5/21/2010

Review of the hit theatrical nature doc, "OCEANS"

The era of nature documentaries being shown in major mainstream theaters is upon us. First "EARTH", now "OCEANS". I guess in this time of environmental peril, these films are sent as a message, to remind us that our planet...exists.


"Oceans. Remember those? Those are cool."


It's kind of like those commercials for generic commodities like BEEF and MILK. Oh yeahhh...I forgot about those!


"Beef. It's what's for dinner."
"Milk. It does the body good."
"Cheese. It's like milk, but firmer."
"Rice. It goes under your chicken."
"Beans. These are food."
"Flour. You can make other food with it."




OCEANS is directed by Jacques Cluzaud. Did you know Jacques is not actually a name, but the French word for "oceanographer"? Google it. It is narrated by Pierce Brosnan doing an impression of Patrick Stewart doing tons of drugs. Seriously, the narration is so woozy and uninformative I'm pretty sure Pierce just got in the recording booth, smoked a pound of hash, then watched the movie for the first time and recorded whatever loopy lunacy came out of his mouth. You might think people seeing a nature documentary in a multiplex would get impatient with all the education and start demanding some boobs and explosions, but my friends and I actually found ourselves LONGING for some dull marine biology exposition, because Pierce offers us almost nothing in the way of information about all the crazy shit he's showing us on the screen. For example:


We're following a fish through the sea, watching it from behind as it swims about. Pierce is talking about the ocean being a story...that sometimes has surprise twists! Suddenly, TWO FUCKING LEGS pop out of the back end of the fish, paddle for a moment, then slip back inside the fish.


Tell us what the fish is called? Why it has fucking legs? Show it walking?


Nope. Cut to next scene. Moving on.


Same goes for a stunning shot of a diver swimming next to a MONSTROUS jellyfish that's about the size of a minivan.


What's that thing? Why is it so big? What does it do? Is it the biggest jellyfish in the world? Does it eat planets?


Nope. Cut to next scene.


When Pierce does decide to comment on the freaky stuff we're looking at, he does so in cryptic haikus that end with him trailing off into a deep, druggy slumber.


Example: We're looking at the most fucked up fish ever, a thing with a bulbous, wrinkled forehead and a gnarled, protruding chin that makes you think that if this thing isn't called a Popeye fish, we need new scientists. Pierce educates us with the following riddle:


"One sign of the ocean's health is that it is home to such very old fish."
[shot of the fish's crazy face]
"To wear such a mask of wisdom, one must be around a very long tiiiiimmmeeee...snorrrrree..."


Other choice lines:


[shot of the arctic ocean]
"If dragons really existed, here is where you would find the narwhal.....[long pause, so long you think he's finished]..............THE UNICORN OF THE SEA!"




"The blue fin tuna can make some SERIOUS TIME."  (I think he means it's fast?)


"As far as the eye can see, north, south, east, west.....the ocean smiles at the sky...."


And the closing line, so deep it must have been dredged up from the Marianas trench:


"Perhaps the question we should ask is not 'what is the ocean'......but rather.....'who are we?"




All that being said, the movie does have some incredible underwater footage, showing some images I have literally never seen before, like a Blue Whale puffed up like a balloon while feeding on krill, and some absolutely alien creatures that were completely new to me, despite me being a pretty gigantic nerd. But it really would have been nice to actually LEARN SOMETHING about these creatures. All I took away from this film, educationally, was that the Great White Shark's fearsome jowls may actually just be a smiiiiilllleeeee...snorrre....



















17 comments:

  1. Isaac Marion: proving you can MST3K documentaries, since 2010.

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  2. Oh you should have heard the MST3King going on during the actual showing. Me and a witty friend in an empty theater. It was hysterics.

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  3. My god this made me laugh. And it actually made me want to see the movie, too. Just to see how bad it really is.

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  4. If you see it with the right company it's a laugh riot. It's a weird feeling being simultaneously awestruck and hysterical.

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  5. We should take our show on the road, traveling from theater to theater (in sensible shoes, of course), and exposing the world to our unprecedented power of observation and biting wit.

    "Who are we?"
    We are the fucking merciless annihilators of all shoddily translated French-to-English narration.

    Also, you stole my line about Jacques being the French word for oceanographer, or something to that effect. How dare you, sir.

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  6. If you read the fine print on the waiver you signed when I met you, Sidney, you'd know that anything you say in my company automatically becomes the property of Tall World Operations, LLC (an actual, real corporation owned by me, ask the IRS) and as such is available for fair use in any work or document produced by said company, insofar as the original speaker of the idea, thought, or memorable quote does not have a blog of their own on which they might seek to use said verbal item. Which, apparently...you do. But since your latest post was January 2009, I stand by my acquisition!

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  7. Rebuttal:

    pffffffftttttbbbbbbbbbbbbb

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  8. @ mr. marion: I just read your story (I am a zombie filled with love) just wanted to say that its great.. *^_^*
    and it brought me to some realizations in life..

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  9. i stumbled upon your blog... this one made me LOL after a shitty day, thanks!

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  10. @ RHOSEURANGEL :
    Would that perhaps be that you infact are a rotting human corpse filled with passion and a side dish of a necrophelia?

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  11. @ RHOSEURANGEL: It is delightful. And so are most of his stories. I particularly enjoyed "Somnia", "Blind Date", "Free Falling", and "The Hole in the Lake".

    However, how is that related to the subject you're commenting on? Just sayin'...

    Anyways, I just wanted to say that this review made me laugh enough that I might actually go watch the movie equipped with friends who know how make a laughable movie that much more hilarious, as such movies should be watched =^_^=

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  12. THANK YOU SO MUCH
    That movie was so annoying because it had no story, just dolphins jumping out of the sea for about five minutes then an awkward transition, no explanation of the fish, then a ten minute whale shot.

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  13. @Derrik

    Well, it wasn't supposed to have a "story"...I mean it's a documentary about the ocean. But yeah, usually documentaries actually teach you stuff instead of just flashing a lot of amazing but unexplained images on the screen.

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  14. i thought it was a great movie, just to enjoy and show you how great species in the Ocean are, to take care of them, the director was in no meanings of teaching about each specie but you to see Why is it important !!

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  15. Holy God! Did you ever figure out what fucking fish that was that the legs pop out?! Its driving me crazy! P.S. Great blog, big fan.

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  16. Watching it right now and relating to the fish with feet comment...I was searching for a "fish with feet" and your blog came up first. So funny! I was thinking the same thing throughout the entire documentary; let's keep telling me about the stupid fish I already know about, and say absolutely nothing about the weird ass fish with human-looking legs coming out of it. Great videography, horrific commentary.

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  17. The fish with the 'legs' or 'feet' is the Australian Ghost Shark or Elephant Shark:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_ghost_shark

    The wiki article above doesn't describe the 'legs', but some more light reading about the fish order tells you that they are "retractable sexual appendages" here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimaera

    Hope this helps!

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