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Under Review: ‘Oceans’

— by MARIUSZ ZUBROWSKI —

Water is essential to all species of organisms. Of course, the fact that all living things require food, water and a stable environment in order to maintain their life processes is universally known.

That being said, judging from a scientific lens, the world’s oceans are quite important and as the planet’s chief inhabitants, it should be our duty to look into its up keeping. Sadly, we, as a widely industrialized society, forget the importance of reducing water pollution as much as possible.

We are simply thinking of the short term effect of saving money by dumping a plethora of trash into the sea rather than sending it to more costly but ultimately Eco-friendly recycling centers.

It’s a shame that humans have shown themselves to be extraordinarily selfish and it’s an even bigger disappointment that countless Eco-systems have been destroyed because of our actions.

However, most people fail to see that their ecologically unhealthy lifestyles also impacts them personally. One example is the recent oil spill which plagued the coasts of Louisiana. Satellite imaging has shown that the waste is quickly spreading and this is affecting one local fishing town in which restaurants and sea-based businesses are forced to close, thus hurting hundreds of townspeople economically.

But as a more artistic individual, I have little concern for the scientific and economic problems associated with water pollution. This planet’s majestic seas and oceans are sheer examples of natural beauty. Countless artists have been inspired by the crashing waves or even by the calmness that the seas can also exert. There is no doubt that hundreds more artists will look to the ocean for inspiration but this simply won’t be possible if all they see are waves of discarded soda bottles and plastic bags.

There is where my admiration for “Disney’s Oceans,” a nature documentary by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, stems from. It isn’t weighed down by the scientific mumbo-jumbo and instead focuses on the stunning visual beauty of the ocean and its inhabitants.

This is also where my trouble with “Oceans” derives from. Ultimately, I did not learn anything from seeing the film and can just recall several scattered images of various sea-creatures. Ironically, there’s absolutely no depth to Perrin and Cluzaud’s latest.

To make matters worse, many of the scenes have been recycled from the “Planet Earth” series. This is to be expected because much of last year’s “Earth” was also reused footage with some unseen material attached for the hardcore nature enthusiasts.

I absolutely couldn’t shake the déjà vu of seeing the unexpected “shark scene” as I call it on the big-screen. After seeing the baby seal get devoured by an enormous shark, I spent the rest of the film wondering, “Hm, haven’t I seen this before?” but as I left the theater I remember thinking “Oh yea, it’s a Disney documentary.”

But my favorite part of “Oceans” was Pierce Brosnan. He was no doubt horrible in “The Ghost Writer,” but he reclaims some glory as this film’s narrator. Typically, nature documentaries hire a lifeless and boring narrator; however, Brosnan maintains the spirit of an intellectual while adding a certain unexplainable flare to the affair. The sea lions are cool, too.

It’s hard to recommend “Oceans” to anyone who has seen “Planet Earth” before (I was actually forced — yes, forced to watch it). However, for any inspiring nature fanatic, it is recommended that this be their starting point. But young children will also be sure to find this a blast, so parents should be sure to dive right into this one.

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Follow Mariusz Zubrowski on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ItsJustMariusz.

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