IMAX GREAT WHITE SHARK 3D: THE REVIEW

Every time I hear the word SHARK or GREAT WHITE the bloody JAWS music auto cues in my head to instill a sense of fear and panic, I am still afraid of the water but live on the ocean. I have had three encounters with sharks that came close to limb or life loss and have a very strong sense of respect for them. IMAX is releasing this spectacular film, GREAT WHITE SHARK 3D, on January 9 at SYDNEY IMAX. It runs for 45mins and is rated PG. Enjoy the usual splendid review from Salty Kernel, Andrew Brusentsev, below.

 

GREAT WHITE SHARK, GREAT WHITE SHARK MOVIE, GREAT WHITE SHARK REVIEW, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, Luke Cresswell, Steve McNicholas, Bill Nighy, JAWS, D.J. Roller, David Marks, Don Kempf, Giant Screen Films, IMAX
GREAT WHITE SHARK 3D – THE REVIEW

 

Great White Shark 3D takes us, in glorious IMAX 3D, into the watery realms to confront one of modern man’s most fearsome and most misunderstood creatures (don’t they usually go together), that of the great white shark.

The fear is understandable I guess. They, like ourselves, are an apex predator. An apex predator like ourselves. But in their watery kingdoms they are the predators  at the top of their particular food chain. But is this fear understandable? Or do they have much more to fear from us. This documentary seeks to demystify as much as possible about these very solitary, intelligent and unique creatures.

We have understandable fear of them and their rows of hundreds of sharp teeth, their mighty musculature and agile, skeleton-less bodies. They represent silent death, the stuff of nightmares, but maybe we’re all wrong about them. The movie starts with this particular film benchmark and examines very briefly the media fuelled hysteria which saw people stopping swimming and shark hunting become a mania amongst certain fisherman. In fact if we examine our vocabulary we only use shark in negative ways. We “jump a shark” which means that you have done something ala Fonzie, particularly memorable and dangerous, and then reached your decline. “Swimming with Sharks” conjures up the image of fighting in a knock em down drag em out fight for supremacy with others all using extreme violence.

 

GREAT WHITE SHARK, GREAT WHITE SHARK MOVIE, GREAT WHITE SHARK REVIEW, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, Luke Cresswell, Steve McNicholas, Bill Nighy, JAWS, D.J. Roller, David Marks, Don Kempf, Giant Screen Films, IMAX
GREAT WHITE SHARK 3D – THE REVIEW

 

Don’t get me wrong the shark is perhaps one of the most filmed and documented of all marine animals but still with all of this data there is so much we do not understand. I am sure that even as you read the above lines Great White there was a ton of emotion that went with those two words. As a regular diver the first thing that people tell me about their reasoning for not diving is sharks. We are equally fascinated and repulsed by these creatures.

Film makers Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas have employed the velvet voiceover talent of Bill Nighy to explore and to understand these creatures. We are taken to the world’s shark hot spots – Mexico, South Africa, Los Angeles and New Zealand to find answers.

The result is a breath taking use of IMAX and 3D. Great White Shark 3D is a 45 minute meditation on these beautiful (yes beautiful) creatures. We learn about their lives, habits and history. Viewers of all ages can learn so much here. And for me ,as a lover of the depths, I can safely tell you that the shark is most certainly unfairly maligned. Like a human hunting and killing in our natural habitat so does the great white shark.

 

GREAT WHITE SHARK, GREAT WHITE SHARK MOVIE, GREAT WHITE SHARK REVIEW, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, Luke Cresswell, Steve McNicholas, Bill Nighy, JAWS, D.J. Roller, David Marks, Don Kempf, Giant Screen Films, IMAX
GREAT WHITE SHARK 3D – THE REVIEW

 

Special mention must be given firstly to the film’s cameramen and divers all of whom must have spent weeks and months under the water. Through their lens we discover that sharks are many things besides being aggressive. In fact in several scenes they are shown to be shy and fun loving. I would even hesitate to say that after any viewing of “Jaws” (I love that movie) this film should be shown to all ages. It offers a fascinating and sympathetic angle on the shark question.

Some of my favourite moments of this movie was with a team of world champion “Free divers” who dive and tag sharks without any cage or air tanks to speak of. In fact  one of them, Francois Leduc, says it was the best way to spend intimate, close range time with the sharks, wearing just fins and goggles, in full proximity. In many of these scenes we see the group of divers surrounded but there does not appear to be any aggression in the subjects. Both seem to observe the other as curiosities.

 

GREAT WHITE SHARK, GREAT WHITE SHARK MOVIE, GREAT WHITE SHARK REVIEW, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, Luke Cresswell, Steve McNicholas, Bill Nighy, JAWS, D.J. Roller, David Marks, Don Kempf, Giant Screen Films, IMAX
GREAT WHITE SHARK 3D – THE REVIEW

 

The cinematography is nothing short of breath taking. The IMAX experience is given  a full run here. The 3D is not invasive and is not used for dramatic effect but used to provide texture and depth. I would suggest it gives us beauty . It is nothing short of breathtaking, giving us the full IMAX feel of the oceans and the sharks surrounding us.

My hope is as a lover of the oceans that we come to understand these animals and have a healthy respect for them. Are they dangerous? Of course they are. But it is through respect and understanding that fear disappears and isn’t that important?

It’s a terrific film for all ages, I hope that it might help allay irrational fears of the Great White Shark and save its life. But it’s not simply educational, it’s a visceral experience and highly entertaining.

 

4 Pops