I've seen a few of these underwater IMAX movies now, and I don't honestly know why they don't fill the whole thing up with just jellyfish. 3D jellyfish RULE.
We went to see Deep Sea 3D, one of the IMAX movies showing at the aquarium, and I have a few thoughts.
1. Children do not appreciate overarching themes and ideas. Children appreciate jellyfish apparently floating out into the audience. If the movie spent a bit less time hammering home the whole predator/prey/symbiosis idea and a bit more time wafting through jellyfish forests, they'd be doing us a favor. Everyone waits for the jellyfish. No one waits for the really unusual behavior of small fish at certain parts of the reef.
2. We get it. Predator. Prey. But sometimes, they help each other. Do you really need a thesis statement, to make a movie like this? Can't you just move us around in some kelp and make us think the sea turtle is about to leap into our row?
3. I forgive Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet for all the repetition of how predator and prey help each other. Why haven't these two done a movie together, besides this one where they placidly discuss giant squid? One wonders.
4. You never get through a movie about things underwater without some villainous behavior and some inflammatory language. "The ultimate killing machine" and "ravenous jaws" and whatnot. Perhaps that helps to wring a little interest from the teenage crowd, but the six-year-olds found it overdone to the point of absurdity.
5. Actually, the six-year-olds really liked the movie, and even the squeamish one was not disturbed at all, even by the dramatic music and obligatory "scary parts." We didn't see the shark movie, because we thought it'd be too scary. This one was just scary enough, without being traumatizing.
6. Sadie Grace, my two-year-old daughter, has never actually worn glasses and watched a 3D movie before, although she's had a few opportunities, notably at Disney World, in the one where Donald Duck shoots out of the movie at the end and then *can be seen* with his tail hanging out of the back wall of the theater as you leave. She wouldn't wear her glasses for that one. So, all she usually sees are blurry shapes and she doesn't actually watch.
7. She wore her glasses all the way through this and REALLY loved it. It was well worth the price of admission to see her gasp, and ooh/aah, and reach out for the bits of floating things in the ocean, and stuff like that. A nice helping of childlike wonder for all in attendance.
I exchanged a look with the mother of the small toddler sitting next to me, who was also saying "Ooooh!" and reaching for the jellyfish, and the look said, "This is why we came here. Because they will say OOOH and make that face, and reach for jellyfish."
In conclusion, I thought the movie was just fine. Kate and Johnny need a feature film together. The squid were really not all that scary, in spite of the accompaniment, and Sadie wore her glasses.
More jellyfish! It's what we all liked best!