08/29/2015  
Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1The Goldbergs: The Complete Season Two on DVD Sep 8Catching Faith on DVD Aug 181931 The Front Page on Blu-ray & DVD Aug 11Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 28

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

You have to see BFFs JLaw and Amy Schumer dance on top ...
Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani Shine Together on Red Carpe...
VMAs producer: Miley Cyrus has 'free rein,' no rules fo...
Taylor Swift's 'musical crush' Justin Timberlake helps ...
Taylor Swift and Alanis Morissette slayed 'You Oughta K...
Amy Schumer's advice for the new 'Bachelor'...
Jared Fogle reaches plea agreement in porn case ...
Shannen Doherty reveals breast cancer diagnosis in laws...
Love me Tinder! Kelly Clarkson sings and saves these ho...
Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Atlantis (1991)

"Forget one by one the everyday sounds, all these noises, all these symbols of a life that has become modern, urban. Forget this glass-and-metal environment. Welcome to the world of Atlantis. The original world."
- Narrator

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: April 28, 2003

Stars: Dolphins, Sea Snakes, Penguins
Other Stars: Manatees, Sharks, Turtles, Manta Rays, Whales, Fish Extras
Director: Luc Besson

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (aquatic mating, a shark attack)
Run Time: 01h:17m:50s
Release Date: April 29, 2003
UPC: 043396100190
Genre: documentary


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A BAB+ D-

DVD Review

In 1988, French director Luc Besson released his emotional epic about deep sea divers, The Big Blue, to international acclaim and American indifference (due perhaps in large part to the re-edited U.S. cut, which was 45 minutes shorter and featured a different score). Though I enjoyed the uncut version (released on DVD by Columbia TriStar), I found its thematic waters a little murky. The only concrete message I walked away with was that Besson has a passion for the ocean, and a belief that there is tranquility and peace to be found under the waves.

Atlantis, released in 1991, is an extension of those themes. It was filmed all over the world, from the Galapagos Islands to the waters near Hawaii, by divers working with sophisticated underwater cameras that allow for crisp, high quality photography the likes of which is rarely seen in low-budget nature documentaries. Presented without characters, dialogue, narration, or dramatic structure, it is less a documentary than a 77-minute visual poem, enhanced by the music of frequent Besson collaborator Eric Serra.

The only speech is an overwrought opening monologue that asserts that man once existed as a "prince of the sea" and that all he isólove, hate, spirit, lightócame from the depths. The camera plunges beneath the surface and then seems to wander aimlessly from one subject to another, ostensibly following the themes of different "movements" that appear onscreen. Serra's music is a mixed bag. Sometimes his electronic soundscapes mix well with the action; other times, they feel out of place or distracting. His attempts to be humorous feel instead dated, and I wish he had shown more restraint throughout.

In "The Light," the bubbles formed with the crash of each wave are transformed by the sunlight streaming down into millions of tiny shooting stars ricocheting off the lens of the camera. In "The Spirit," a pod of dolphins swims alongside the camera, and it almost seems as if they are aware they are being filmed as they spin, flip, and race after one another. In "The Movement," the journeys of a slinky sea serpent are accompanied by a rhythmic Middle Eastern riff from Serra, and though it works, it was the first instance of the music really drawing attention to itself.

"The Game" follows a herd of seals playing a remarkable imitation of tag. "The Grace" (which begins with a humorous visual of a school of fish exploding apart to the ringing of a classroom bell) is the most moving section, the ethereal gliding of the manta ray accompanied by a haunting, operatic performance of La Sonnambula by Maria Callas. "The Night" explores the different creatures that emerge once darkness falls (including some phosphorescent critters that are positively alien). "The Tenderness" is also affecting, as it follows two mournful-looking manatees as they float together through clouds of swarming fish, looking for food and feeding each other. They stare into the camera and hold their big flippers like they are asking for a hug, and there is another bit of humor when one of them bumps into the lens, followed by a shot of the other holding a flipper to its mouth in an unmistakably human "oh no!" gesture.

"The Love" is made up of footage of sea creatures mating, from turtles clinging together to snakes twisting around one another, and a section that's already a bit too on-the-nose is made worse by the embarrassing bit of euro pop on the soundtrack (easily Serra's most egregious lapse in judgment). "The Hatred" cleanses the palate with footage of a shiver of sharks on the prowl. Finally, in "The Birth," we emerge from the water, and look down on it from an immense height. A speedboat zooms by. The teeming sub aquatic world has passed away, and we are once again in the domain of man. The film is trying to argue that the two aren't so different, but it's also clear which is more mysterious, more enchanting.

I'm not sure that Atlantis makes an argument or successfully transmits a message, but Besson has nevertheless produced a meditative artistic statement, a real-world Fantasia that is frequently startlingly beautiful.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Atlantis has received a much better transfer that its sister film, The Big Blue. While the latter looked grainy and suffered from some print damage, Atlantis is absolutely gorgeous. The rich variety of blues in the color palette comes across with no apparent loss of detail. Images are crisp and lifelike. Blacks are deep, and shadow detail is excellent. I noticed no grain or print damage, and zero instances of artifacting, edge enhancement, or aliasing. This is easily one of the best live-action transfers I've seen in a while.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchno


Audio Transfer Review: The audio is presented in the original 2.0 French, but the language doesn't make much of a difference, as the only speech in the film is the few lines of opening narration. Eric Serra's score is spread nicely across all the channels, presented with a full, rich sound and excellent fidelity. The surround come into play frequently, enhancing the music or contributing atmospheric effects (like the laughter of children playing in chapter five, "The Game"). The only enhancement 5.1 could offer would be more pronounced LFE, but the mix sounds very good without it.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only proper extra is the unique theatrical trailer, which starts on a helicopter and follows the cameraman as he dives into the ocean, illustrating well the film's themes of the hidden world of the sea. There's also a clip for Besson's most recent directorial effort, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.

English subtitles are provided for the opening narration, but sadly, not for the intertitles which announce each "movement" of the film (though they are properly translated on the scene selection menu and on the chapter insert), nor for the closing credits, which introduce the "cast" of animal characters in French.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Atlantis is an odd sort of film. Though beautifully shot and at times hauntingly scored, it never makes much of a point beyond a simple illustration of the enormity and majesty of the underwater world. Columbia TriStar's DVD is top-notch, though, and will please fans.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

celebrity, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago, television, gwen stefani, blake shelton, the voice, adam levine, pharrell williams, music, los angeles microsoft theater, vma awards, miley cyrus, garrit english, staples center, concert, taylor swift, 1989 tour, lisa kudrow, selena gomez, justin timberlake, alanis morissette, you oughta know, natalie maines, ellen degeneres, bachelor, jared fogle, subway pitchman, sex with minors, shannen doherty, beverly hills, 90210, breast cancer, law suit, tanner, mainstain, glynn & johnson, steven d. blatt, kelly clarkson, tinder, heartbeat song, jimmy kimmel, celine dion, drama, family, comedy, faith.drama, fresh prince of bel-air, will smith, fuller house, the x-files, twin peaks, gunsmoke, burt reynolds, bruce boxleitner, buck taylor, jess walton, lane bradbury, merry florene, the man from u.n.c.l.e., robert vaughn, david mccallum, guy ritchie, henry cavill, armie hammer, anna faris, mom, chris pratt, jurassic world, redbook, john landgraf, mr. robot, ray donovan, the strain, difficult people, news late night, jon stewart, peter jennings, the daily show, coco, ice t, conan, keith richards, beatles, rolling stones, crosseyed heart, norah jones, paris hilton, emily ratajkowski, stella maxwell, jada pinkett smith, jaden, willow, howard stern, classic, foo fighters, learn to fly, fabio zaffagnini, betty white, walt palmer, cecil the lion, mia farrow, valerie harper, nice work if you can get it, ogunquit playhouse, mary tyler moore show, movie, mission: impossible -- rogue nation, tom cruise, simon pegg, ving rhames, jeremy remmer, alec baldwin, late night, ted cruz, david mccullough, ant-man, disney, marvel, pixels, adam sandler, jurassic, inside out, minions, trainwreck, southpaw, jake gyllenhaal, october sky, donnie darko, bubbly boy, brokeback mountain, prisoners

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store