Want to scuba, but don't want to shell out the
money for lessons, equipment, and travel? For about
the rental price of a snorkle and goggles "Galapagos"
brings the experience to you - and you don't even
have to get wet!
Marine Biologist Dr. Carole Baldwin descends
thousands of feet into the ocean to get her high, "I
don't know whether to be excited or terrified. And
then I remember how privileged I am to be here. With
only about one percent of the ocean floor explored,
the deep sea is Earth's last great frontier."
But before we go under, the 240-pound IMAX 3D
camera (like a fishering net) scoops up the rich
surface animals of the Galapagos Islands. Hundreds of
sun basking marine iguanas become jagged rocks as our
aerial shot widens. Crystal blue water crashes into
porously gloss black shoreline as sidestepping crabs
go under and reappear. Mossy turtles slurp up seaweed
like spaghetti as carefree seals flip and twist.
Dr. Baldwin swims with the absolutely huge schools
of impartial fishes while a loose-necked group of
hammerheads converge. We're swimming too, navigating
the underwater currents with the back-flipping seals
while the appropriately large and swelling music caps
the experience off as simply spiritual.
Having been the first to chronicle these islands
600 miles west of Ecuador, Charles Darwin would have
been a mossy phosphorescent green with envy watching
as Dr. Carole Baldwin (3000 feet underwater)
vacuum-gathers samples off the ocean floor from
inside the Johnson-Sea-Link Submersible.
The film's only fault: about fifteen percent of
the time the images don't quite mesh, leaving
unsightly ghosts as the two separate film projections
overlap with a shift. A mar that is overwhelmingly
forgivable for a production that makes wide and
fertile usage of 3D technology.
Rich in color, dimension, education, entertainment
and reverence; you're kids will be reaching out
toward the screen, their mouths round with the word
"Wow" repeating over and over. It's as if the theater
becomes an aquarium leaving you to swim with the
finned animals. I was surprised I left the screening