livingseabluThe highest regarded IMAX film finally makes its debut in high definition on Blu-ray. The film is ‘The Living Sea’ by MacGillivray Freeman Films. This documentary was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. This documentary takes a unique approach as it shows our interaction with the underwater species. It is one great looking sequence after another as this is narrated by Meryl Streep and the score is provided by Sting.

To some the approach of having continuous scene after scene with no stops for explanation could be rather disappointing. Through the narration we do get facts which make this documentary more of a fact based presentation. This could be a turn off to some that we don’t get into greater depth.

One of the smaller issues of this documentary is that it does lack a form of focus. Instead of spending some ample time on one subject matter, this would have been a better direction. Then there could also have been some better transition from scene to scene bringing a better cohesiveness to the entire project.
Movie Content: 3/5

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This is a rather breathtaking and beautiful IMAX documentary brought to Blu-ray. The film does show its age at certain points as the transfer isn’t consistent all around. Colors are vibrant that carry a very nice pop to the presentation. The image is very bright which helps bring out some of the finer details in the print. There are scenes where details do look a bit out of focus. This is still a rather strong transfer bringing all the underwater sea creatures to life.
Video Quality: 4/5

Audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix. This is an IMAX film that will not light your setup on fire, but it does manage to do a good job with the surrounds staying engaged throughout. Sting’s score is on the lighter side and I wish it was brought out more dynamically in the soundfield. Dialogue comes through the center rather clear with Meryl Streep’s narration.
Audio Quality: 3.5/5

Special Features

Trailers – 11 total trailers of other IMAX films
Making of Documentary (37:00)
Interview with producer and director
Special Features: 2/5

Final Thoughts:

This is a rather interesting documentary and was hoping that there would have been more in-depth coverage. On Blu-ray, this film offers some very good visuals and solid audio.
Overall Rating: 3/5 (Rental)