Ready for their close-up: IMAX cameras capture the habits of elephant seals in Ocean Oasis.
The expected glub-glub visuals of
plankton, dolphins and schools of fish are in attendance during the
movie’s virtual aquarium sequences, although Summerhays offers an early
tip-off that not everything in life goes swimmingly. The sight of a
dead humpback whale, with various ocean critters feeding upon its
carcass, causes scientist Mercedes Eugenia Guerrero-Ruiz to remark in a
narrative voice-over, “I know that this whale’s life will give her life
to others.” Also getting wet is naturalist Illiana Ortega Bacmeister,
as she literally swims with sharks and then examines the lunch habits
of moray eels.
The IMAX cameras lend a sizable
perspective to the sequence involving galumphing elephant seals as they
battle each other in what seems like nature’s version of Cloverfield.
Summerhays also takes a cue from those True Life documentaries that
Walt Disney produced during the 1950s by attributing human emotions to
its animal kingdom subjects, especially during an incident between a
slithering rattlesnake and a hippity-hop kangaroo rat; perhaps this
encounter was staged, yet it still generates edge-of-your-seat
excitement. While some large-format features get bogged down with
educational messages and philosophical twaddle, Ocean Oasis never deviates from its happy quest to deliver eye-popping entertainment.
Ocean Oasis is currently
screening at the Bristol IMAX Theater inside Armory Square’s Museum of
Science and Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St. Show times are
Wednesdays through Fridays, noon and 4 p.m.; Saturdays, noon, 2, 4 and
8 p.m.; and Sundays, noon, 2 and 4 p.m.; with special matinees during
school break week on Monday, April 14, and Tuesday, April 15, at noon,
2 and 4 p.m. For information, call 425-9068.