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Planet Ocean Blu-ray Review

planet-ocean-blu-ray-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit); Portuguese (DTS 5.1); Czech (DTS 5.1); Italian (DTS 5.1); Russian (DTS 5.1); Japanese (DTS 5.1); Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Italian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish
  • Region: All
  • Running Time: 93 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 9, 2013
  • List Price: $26.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

title

Planet Ocean is a 90-minute survey of the world’s oceans. This special project, directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot was the culmination of a lengthy collaboration with the  OMEGA and Tara Expeditions.  In June 2012, director Arthus-Bertrand presented this film to leaders of the Rio+20 conference.  Narration is provided by popular actor Josh Duhamel. An understandable award winner at the 2012 Blue Ocean Film Festival, this is an excellent overview of the blue depths that most of us have never seen.  However, there is a recurrent and rather heavy-handed reference to the delicate balance between the humans species, its technologies and the integrity of the ocean that approaches preachiness.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

neon

Much of the filmed action takes place under water and provides a gorgeous tapestry of colors, shapes, shadows, and sudden, dramatic action. There is a fascinating section on “the abyss,” an incredible world of unusual life forms, perfectly adapted to a world without light.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

light fish

Armand Amar’s score provides a varied and well-adapted background for Duhamel’s voiceovers. The DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 is the clear choice for English speakers as there are seven lossy alternatives as noted in the disc statistics.

rays

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

ocean floor

There are three short features included (all in Dolby Digital Stereo and MPEG-2 Codec):

  • In the Skies Above Rio: a 6-minute documentary about the making of the Rio de Janeiro aerial shots
  • Underwater: two minutes that cover the laborious process of obtaining some of those amazing shots from the deep.
  • Shanghai: Director Arthus-Bertrand visits the huge Chinese port and delivers the some of the striking overhead shots that are included in the film.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

sailfish

While not in the Planet Earth series, this Universal Studios contribution to the Earth Day movement combines effective, often brilliant cinematography with an original score that is at some times propulsive, at other times contemplative. My two major issues are Duhamel’s rather bland narrative style (might I say, a bit on the boring side?) and the pretty incessant pulpit preaching of the conservation theme: save the oceans or we will all head for catastrophe.  Those points aside, this is still an entertaining watch, if not at the ultimate level of BBC Earth’s The Blue Planet.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

 

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