Documentary Review – Planet Ocean (2013)

Planet Ocean
Directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand & Michael Pitiot
Courtesy of Universal Studios
Release Date: April 9, 2013

planet ocea

I’m sure some of my regular readers are scratching their heads right now, wondering why in the world I’m reviewing a documentary about the ocean. I mean, my blog is a genre-focused site, so this is a bit out of the norm. Let’s just say that this film is so good and the message so pertinent that I simply had to share it. PLANET OCEAN is an excellent documentary, and I recommend giving it a look.

If you are not familiar with this documentary, here is the plot synopsis of PLANET OCEAN, courtesy of the Universal Studios website:

Planet Ocean captures extraordinary images of our remarkable oceans – the source of all life on our planet. Filmed by directors Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot, along with an outstanding team of international underwater cinematographers in partnership with OMEGA and with the scientific support of Tara Expeditions. The film aims to explain some of the planet’s greatest natural mysteries, while reinforcing how essential it is that mankind learns to live in harmony with our oceans. Planet Ocean serves as a reminder of the bond between humans and nature, and the duty that exists to protect and respect our planet.

I love all things that have to deal with the ocean, which is one of the reasons I wanted to review PLANET OCEAN so much. I am particularly fond of being underwater as well (which is why I became SCUBA certified), so documentaries on undersea life are sort of a guilty pleasure for me. If you follow my blog, you know that my primary focuses are horror, sci-fi, and fantasy…but, my guilty pleasure sometimes takes precedence and, well, here we are.

The fine folks at Universal were kind enough to send me a Blu-ray version of this film as well, so I had the privilege of seeing it in HD. If you want a good way to test your television’s limits, this is the perfect way to do so. The undersea shots look explosive on-screen as the filmmakers draw out every ounce of color found in nature.

But this is not just a film about undersea life. PLANET OCEAN is a high-profile look at how vital our world’s oceans are to the entire ecosystem. Our lives, as well as those of every species on the planet, are affected in one way or the other by the seas, a fact that is sometimes overlooked during our daily lives. This film highlights those aspects and introduces new ones that you may or may not have thought about.

The film is narrated by Josh Duhamel, and I have to admit that he does a great job. I enjoy his work on-screen, so hearing him was almost as fun as watching him. But it’s not his voice that the audience should be listening to…it’s his message. It is a poignant and powerful statement about how we rely on the ocean and vice-versa. The message is not preachy, though; it is laid out in simple matter-of-fact statements and thus lets the viewer come to his or her own conclusions.

Chocked full of stunning imagery and deep insights, PLANET OCEAN is a beautiful film that the whole family will enjoy. It is available now, so be sure and pick it up for sure.

MSB

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