To The Arctic [Blu-Ray] Greg MacGillivray

To The Arctic [Blu-Ray] Greg MacGillivray
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IMAX documentary films have long since maintained a 40-minute run-time, due in large part to the price tag associated to the format. Unless it's a major theatrical release being backed by a studio—Iron Man 3 recently broke a global record for IMAX ticket sales on its opening weekend—filmmakers that use the incredible technology to shoot their films find it restrictive. Therein lays the primary issue with Greg MacGillivray's enviro-doc To The Arctic: The 40-minute run-time restricts it from getting a chance to spread its wings, leaving it to feel rushed. The film follows the challenged life of a mother polar bear as she raises and cares for her twin cubs, navigating the Arctic wilderness at a time where global warming is impacting their way of life. The IMAX technology is ideal for this subject matter as its high-definition footage transports viewers to a place most will never get a chance to see. The film captures the unique Arctic world, populated by animals and breathtaking vistas that exist in an intriguing balance of nature. Alas, MacGillivray's primary purpose is to alert us to the effects global warming is having on the Arctic as it rapidly devastates the ice floes so many animals—especially the polar bears—require to sustain their lives. Having previously produced other amazing documentaries, MacGillivray spends more time telling than showing, quickly touching on the plight of the caribou, sea lions and Arctic birds that rely on the stability of the seasons, injecting each scene with preachy environmentalism by way of narration from Meryl Streep. To The Arctic, while certainly well-intentioned and visually appealing in its own right, is, for all intents and purposes, intended to lure impressionable grade school children into the environmentalist herd. Perhaps viewing it with the sound turned off will make it a tad more enjoyable; it's certainly one way to avoid hearing the corny Paul McCartney tunes interlaced throughout. Included in the Blu-Ray/DVD package is a bonus 3D Blu-Ray disc, as well as several featurettes that explore the polar bears, filming underwater in the Arctic and even a segment on Meryl Streep's views. For such a short film, it's no wonder the studio opted to package so much into the bundle, presumably to entice people to make the purchase. (Warner)