Monday, December 17, 2018

Blu-ray Review: Journey to the South Pacific

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
Now available on 4K Ultra HD  + Blu-ray + Digital from Mill Creek Entertainment is the 2013 IMAX documentary Journey to the South Pacific (G; 40 minutes; $34.98). The 4K disc features IMAX Enhanced, which means it has a clearer & brighter picture; heart-pounding DTS audio; and more of the picture fills the screen.

Directed by Greg MacGillivray and featuring a narration by actress Cate Blanchett, Journey to the South Pacific takes us (a.k.a. - the viewers) to the tropical islands of remote West Papua, where we are introduced to a young island boy named Jawi Mayor who is joining the "floating classroom" on the 100-foot trawler called the Kalabia.

Along with his uncle (a teacher) and other students, Jawi swims under the sea to show us the most diverse marine ecosystem on Earth. Under the sea the cameras capture the endangered Pacific leatherback turtle, 40-foot-long whale sharks, and many different fish species.

Special Features include:
  • Trailer
  • Making-Of Featurette
  • Webisodes
    • Film, Sweat, and Tears
    • The Floating Classroom
    • Last Stand of Leatherback Turtle
    • Swimming with Whale Shark
    • Music of West Papua

Final Thoughts

Journey to the South Pacific has some wonderful underwater cinematography that captures the beautiful sea creatures. The main focus of the documentary is Jawi, a thirteen-year-old who's studying the marine life aboard a "floating classroom." Most of the documentary is spent underwater. With the extremely short running time of 40 minutes, there was only enough time to show a few scenes of what life was like on the islands. While I did love the underwater scenes, I wished the filmmakers spent a little more more time on the islands.

The picture and sound quality on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray are topnotch. There are a few short special features, but it would have nice if there was a commentary from the director. Don't get confused with the "Digital" code that is included with this release. The code will not work with VUDU or Movies Anywhere; it can only be redeemed on the Mill Creek Entertainment website. I haven't watched the Digital, so I have no clue what the picture or sound quality is like.

Overall, Journey to the South Pacific is a gorgeously filmed documentary, but the narration is uneven at times; leaving the viewer wanting more than what was given. Despite its shortcomings, I still enjoyed watching the documentary, which looks great on 4K Ultra HD! 

*Note : I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. 
All opinions are my own.

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