Captures the wonder and majesty of Antarctica
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 09/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1991 documentary was created for an IMAX presentation so I seriously wondered how this video would look on my little TV scene. Of course it could never be the same, but I had nothing to worry about because this 38-minute Australian documentary definitely captures the wonder and majesty of Antarctica. I learned something too and held my breathe in awe when the camera showed how the crevices in the glaciers are sometimes covered with such a thin sheet of ice that it will not sustain the weight of a person. However, they did bring a camera down there and it was a treat to see something that had never been filmed before. Another great shot was a timed exposure of the sun as it travels around the pole. There was also excellent cinematography of seals and of penguins although I wish they had skipped the silly background music, which tried to be humorous while showing the penguins diving. There were also a few film clips from the 1948 British film "Scott of Antarctica". I understand that the film cost $3.5 million to produce and that the film crew had to drag 2300 pounds of Imax equipment around, including one camera that never worked in the frigid temperatures. It took two Antarctic summers to film and the crew stayed at the American, French, Russian and Chinese scientific camps, getting some interesting footage of the scientists themselves and their experiments. The inevitable conclusion is that global warming is a serious threat that we cannot ignore. This is a great video for those of us who will likely never visit this coldest, driest, windiest and last unexplored place on earth. Recommended."
Great visuals, lacks information content
Daily mouse user | Boulder, Colorado | 11/04/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The footage looks great on a big screen, but unfortunetly the documentary lacks content. There are long sections where the only audio is sound effects and music. I was expecting something more on par with a National Geographic special where I would learn more about Antarctica, penguins, glaciers, etc."
Visually stunning but poorly directed
Tom | Foster City, CA | 03/12/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The film quality is superb, and IMAX fans will not be disappointed in the cinematography. Overall, however, the film is unfocused and lacks direction. In addition, the music soundtrack and narration is surprisingly annoying and overdramatic. If you are interested in Antarctica, I recommend this film, but you might want to turn the sound off."
Welcome to the "world of ice"
Stephen Pletko | London, Ontario, Canada | 11/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is summer [in Antarctica]. It is midnight [even though there is full sunlight]. We are headed south. As they travel in this ship [an icebreaker], the men and women in this ship will be bitterly cold. Sun will burn their faces. Wind will sear them but they will feel fortunate to have become part of a great adventure."
The above is spoken by narrator Alex Scott at the beginning of this revealing documentary of Antarctica. This film was first shown in IMAX theatres.
This documentary has it all:
(1) spectacular cinematography
(2) good, informative narration
(3) interesting background music
What I especially liked was that the narrator did not attempt to overwhelm me with too many details. I got the impression that only the most important and interesting information was carefully selected and presented.
Support for the making of this film was provided by the Antarctic divisions of Austraila, U.S., Italy, New Zealand, U.S.S.R, and China. Data and science support was provided by fourteen organizations including NASA.
Finally, the DVD itself (the one released on Blu-ray in 2007) is perfect in picture and sound quality. It has no extras.
In conclusion, this is a fascinating documentary of Antarctica. Watch it to find out why the narrator said the following:
"Antarctica reminds us again. We have scarcely begun to understand our planet."
(1991; 37 min, 30 sec; wide screen; 7 scenes)