Friday, August 8, 2014

Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Review

James Cameron stars in Deepsea Challenge 3D

The Dark Continent

Let's get one thing straight: Deepsea Challenge 3D is not Titanic. Nor is it Ghosts of the Abyss (or Aliens of the Deep for that matter.) While there's no denying James Cameron's unabashed love of the ocean (specifically, its depths) one has to question whether or not audiences will share the famed filmmaker's passion for a one-man trek to the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean. It takes a long time to get under water, and once there... not much happens, outside of making history. It's hard to shake the feeling that we're only here to witness Cameron's childhood dreams come to fruition. Sure, it's an incredible journey; but I wanted to be in the front seat. Too bad, it's already occupied.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: As a boy, filmmaker James Cameron dreamed of a journey to the deepest part of the ocean. This film is the dramatic fulfillment of that dream. It chronicles Cameron's solo dive to the depths of the Mariana Trench-nearly seven miles beneath the ocean's surface-piloting a submersible he designed himself. The risks were astounding. The footage is breathtaking. JAMES CAMERON'S DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D is a celebration of science, courage, and extraordinary human aspiration.

What’s Best: Credit Cameron with conveying the sheer magnitude of his quest. Almost 36,000 feet to the bottom (that's Mount Everest with not one, not two, not even three, but four Empire State Buildings standing on top.) On the way down, 16,000 square feet of pressure literally nipping at your heels. After a series of delays (which Cameron likens to a running taxi meter... at $35,000 a day) they're forced to launch at 4:00 AM: Picture pitch darkness, choppy waters and a fancy tin can with the creator of Avatar inside of it. It's enough to send chills down your spine.

What’s Not: Despite taking (what seems like) forever to start the actual dive, it only takes a few minutes before Cameron begins to lament, 'It's time to go back to my own world.' Already? Cameron reveals, 'I hate this feeling,' and I tend to agree with him. I wanted more. What's that noise? What happened to the mechanical arm? Where are all the fish? I wrote and circled "Anti-Climatic" in big letters in my notebook, and sadly still feel the same.

Best Line: Before the mission gets underway, Cameron and his team discuss all sorts of potential pitfalls, including ominous noises that spell BIG TROUBLE. Luckily, 'You never hear the one that gets you.' Yikes. Decidedly more optimistic... Cameron boast 'We sense the vastness of all, that we don't know.' Explorers unite!

Overall: Cameron is quick to remind us, 'Down there, is the last great frontier of our world.' Outside of a trial run in New Guinea, where we're treated to a few cool creatures (octopi!) I can't say we get to see much (if any) of it. I was all-in for the first half an hour or so, but I could do with less technobabble, and more deep-sea exploring. I bet Mr. Cameron could too.