DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D | MOVIE REVIEW

My name is Jason King and I am addicted to James Cameron, I have no shame in this, the man is my cinematic director hero, his films are some of the best I have ever seen and four of his films are in my Top 20 of all time (you can see my Top 20 films HERE and HERE). He pushes the boundaries and his films always go to the next level, even some of his earlier work, The Abyss for example, is impeccable, filled with believable special effects, and surprisingly echoing of his other passion. Besides making me happy by making incredible films and making close on $6000000000US in worldwide box office takings the man is a passionate and talented deep sea diver who, along with everything else he does, pushes the envelope and endeavours to go where no man has gone before. I had the privilege of not only seeing this film a few weeks back, I went so far as buying a ticket, a huge rarity in my field of work, and attended a Q&A with James Cameron himself, we breathed the same air, he stood next to me and due to this, we are pretty much family now. DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D releases tomorrow in Australia at Event Cinemas, sadly these pleb screenings do not also include access to the greatest director on the planet, but the film is good enough and worth your pennies :). It is a superb documentary, is partnered by National Geographic and Rolex and is released in Australia with many thanks to Beyond Films in partnership with Label Distribution. It’s rated PG and runs for 91mins. I also think it is only playing for one week at Event Cinemas – head to their website for further details.

 

DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

James Cameron is a dedicated, driven, intelligent and passionate man, he also is a man who requires little sleep as he is always doing, I mean literally always on the go. He has five kids, is married to actor Suzy Amis, and considers himself, firstly and always a family man above all else. But this man is a man destined and determined for greatness. Hearing him speak is like his filmmaking and his diving, it is like you are speaking to a world leader, a man who has incredible smart and fast brain capacity and a man who can steer many minions to achieve his goals, it also helps he is worth squillions so can generally always afford to pay for whatever he wants.

As a friend of mine said to me recently he is like Howard Hughes. Damn straight he is – just instead of a passion for going up his passion is going down, way way way down, to the Mariana Trench. This is the deepest place on earth – put it this way – it is deeper than Everest is tall and then add another 7000ft on top of, or more, down below that. There is no visible life this deep and the pressure down there is beyond comprehension. The challenge of merely getting there is seen as harder than getting to Mars. We have a robot walking around and mapping Mars, we got nothing in the Mariana Trench.

 

DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D MOVIE IMAGE
DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | DEEPSEA CHALLENGER PREPPING FOR A TEST DIVE

 

Cameron dreamed of submarines as a child and the film is as much about the man himself as it is about the technical achievements and scientific discovery. The film has re-enactments from Cameron’s childhood and of the two other men who went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 1960 – U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard (I love the guy who first explored down there was named Piccard – I just had a Star Trek geekout). These guys were true freaks of the time in a giant tin can that was a traditional submarine shape and took forever just to reach the bottom, they had limited time on the bottom and then another eternity on the ascent. With everything that Cameron does he looks at how it was done and then thinks and ponders for months and years on how to improve on it, he then invents it and does it all better. He re-designed 3D cameras for Avatar, he invented, or was heavily involved in the morphing liquid effects from Terminator 2, and then he wanted to descend quicker to the bottom of the Mariana Trench so he could spend more time, be enclosed with less carbon dioxide and make things for underwater exploration more efficient, so he redesigned a sub to be more like a blade that could cut through the water and descend much much quicker. Hence was born the Deepsea Challenger, painted in his trademark fluro green that he used on all the unmanned mini subs he also helped design to explore inside of Titanic (the real one, not the movie). You wanna know what he did after the movie with the schematics of the Deepsea Challenger? He gave the sub to a museum that travels it around to schools and the schematics he gave away to all involved in deepsea exploration – FOR FREE. He wants the deep sea explored and he will do nearly anything to see it happen.

 

DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D MOVIE IMAGE
DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JAMES CAMERON PREPPING FOR A TEST DIVE

 

From this insight into James Cameron you can clearly see his passion has leached into nearly every film he has ever made, OK, maybe not True Lies, but his science fiction films and films that involve water are all taken from creatures underwater. In The Abyss, one of the characters sinks deeper than any man before and gives into their fate that they will die (there were aliens after this) but in DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Cameron goes way way way beyond this depth – he was basically dreaming of this dive since being a child. And he achieved it with a remarkable team in a remarkable deep sea explorer (I feel submarine is not a suitable name for this submersible) that was actually secretly built not far from where I live in Sydney.

The film itself is incredible to watch, it will appeal to all who watch it. It has more suspense than most action films, and as much if not more drama, than most drama films of late, it also has a lot of action in it. It has discovery in it. It has technical stuff the geeks will love but is never too technical as to put people to sleep who do not have the IQ for it. It also makes everything understandable and does it with love, passion and occasionally some humour. It is a superb look at teamwork and striving, achieving and surpassing goals.

 

DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D MOVIE IMAGE
DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JAMES CAMERON AND DEEPSEA CHALLENGER ON THE BOTTOM OF THE MARIANA TRENCH

 

The talk after the film with the man himself is something I will never forget in my life. I was sitting in the presence of one of my greatest idols and for once, an idol surpassed my expectations of them. His eloquence and care to explain everything to the questions being asked was admirable. He answered questions from kids under ten and then some geeks and fanboys that needed to be punched – “can I come up on the stage and have a selfie with you?” – I nearly threw my shoes at that idiot’s head. Most of the Sydney cast and crew were in the cinema and he thanked all of them while answering questions from marine biologists and geologists in the cinema and then followed on answering his thoughts on the Megalodon being still in existence to direct questions on his Avatar films – he did confirm most of Avatar 2 will take place in the oceans of Pandora (or Pandora’s moon) – HELL YEAH!!!!

The documentary is one that should be seen, the 3D on the big screen is superb and actually filmed in 3D at that depth – while he was in the Deepsea Challenger there was another unmanned submersible thing next to him filming it all. There is nothing I disliked about the film, I was mainly too in awe at the entire experience – the only thing that was a slight letdown was when he landed – it is so far down there is no visible life, they did find oodles of new species of bacteria, which have done wonders in science, but the land is flat and barren. But he basically drove a couple of kilometres, the places is larger than North America, it has so much more to be seen and explored down there.

JC is my true JC – the film rocks nearly as much as the man! I cannot wait for what he does next.

 

4 and a Half Pops

 

 

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