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REVIEW: Oceans

Nothing new, and a below-par narration job by Pierce Brosnan

Oceans: Rates a C-.
Courtesy photo

I’ve enjoyed Pierce Brosnan’s post-Bond career. The underrated film The Matador was interesting. Ghost Writer is one of my favorite movies of this year. And he seems to pop up in a number of films each year. Providing the narration for Oceans is probably something he should’ve passed on. Although, I gotta admit – it was nice going into a movie called Oceans that wasn’t followed with a number.

His cute jokes fell flat, and his narration was just irritating. Part of the problem was that he didn’t tell us enough about the creatures we were seeing. For example, when they showed horseshoe crabs in Maine, I remembered being a 10-year-old visiting my stepfather's family in Jersey, and coming across horseshoe crabs. They looked like a bunch of Nazi helmets that were scalped off heads in Quentin Tarantino’s last movie. I was fascinated, and learned from my stepdad that they haven’t changed in 250 million years and their blue blood is used in a few different medical procedures; and their shells used to help with blood clotting. I just Googled and found that they can swim upside down, go a year without eating, and aren’t a crab, but related to scorpions. Brosnan merely told us what they were called.

The other problem is we’ve seen all this stuff before. In the IMAX movie Sardines, I saw the dolphins trap the fish in a ball before feeding on them. Sure, it’s great to see (especially with the gulls diving down for their cut). We’ve seen it before, though. A lot of it was also shown in Wild Oceans and Under the Sea -- IMAX films I saw at Balboa Park.

The scenes of orcas beaching themselves to feed on sea lions is amazing, but I caught that on the Discovery channel a few years ago. I can count on one hand the creatures they showed us I had never seen before (one being the sheepshead wrasse, which has a head that looks like the Elephant Man; if only Michael Jackson were alive to see this, and buy an aquarium full of these guys).

The Two Jacs (not to be confused with the Nicholson movie) – Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, got an Oscar nomination for Winged Migration. They also used lots of modern technology to give us great shots at some creatures you don’t normally get to see at the local aquarium.

It makes it all the more perplexing that I found the picture slow at times.

I told the director of some movie starring Lynda Carter, that his film was bad and should be on Lifetime, not in movie theatre. He didn’t care for that. I’d tell the two Jacques the same thing. Nobody should fork over $11 to see this.

One scene I found fascinating was turtles being born on the beach, and being plucked from the sand by birds as they tried to make it safely to the sea. It was scarier than Hitchcock’s Birds. We were told onlyone in 1,000 make it (a stat I find hard to believe). This is the type of info I wanted more of, instead of Brosnan telling us about a sea slug called a Spanish Dancer, and describing it in details that we don’t need, since we’re viewing the colorful creature move.

Another interesting scene involved mantis shrimp attacking crabs that have wandered into their turf.

There are one or two humorous moments – like sea lions passing gas, and sounding just like my uncle Herbert.

The old guy sitting next to me mentioned a sea lion looking like Wilfred Brimley. And when another sea lion looked to me like Flavor Flav, I wondered if he’d know who that was. I refrained.

The orchestral musical score soared at times, and I found it added nicely to the visuals.

So…the few people that have bugged me for not reviewing a G rated film, there ya go.

Had this been in 3-D, it might’ve been worth it. I just think they needed to raise the (sand) bar a bit, and give us more on the subject. I’m so tempted to give the film a D, strictly basing that on how little I enjoyed it. The visuals were enough to have it jump up to a C-.