Last Reef, The: Cities Beneath The Sea 3D

Featured In Issue 211, November 2016

3D Picture4.5
WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Shout! Factory
(Catalog Number):
SF 16930
(MPAA Rating):
Not Rated
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(Disc Type):
Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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(Full Screen Edition):
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(Theatrical Release):
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Luke Cresswell & Steve McNicholas
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(Disc Soundtrack):
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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(French Language):
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Photographed on location in Palau, Vancouver Island, French Polynesia, Mexico, and The Bahamas, The Last Reef takes viewers on a global journey to explore our connection with the ocean's complex, parallel worlds in which iridescent tropical reefs live. In the film, viewers brush through a cloud of countless jellyfish and visit an alien world where the closer you look, the more you see. As noted by the filmmakers, we think of reefs as exotic, distant places with little connection to our everyday world. Yet, each of them is a hotspot of biodiversity, as vital to life on earth as the rainforests. Just as the Amazon has its secrets, so too do the reefs. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette (HD 13:03), a photo gallery, trailers and a digital copy. The disc also contains the 4K Ultra HD version.

The 1.78:1 1080p, 1.78:1 MVC native 3D picture was filmed using new underwater 3D technology and was originally exhibited in IMAX® theatres in 70 mm on Kodak film stock. The visuals capture the heart of several exotic reefs, revealing a habitat more diverse and more colorful than you ever imagined. This is a wonderfully engaging visual experience, full of seemingly millions of bold and nuanced colors of the area and the lifeforms that live there. The imagery alternates between so-called reef cities, with their diversity of textures and human cities. In both cases, the color palette is naturally hued. Colors are often bold and vivid, rich, with strong deep blues and reds. Contrast is excellent with solid, often stylized blacks. The native 3D capture is fabulous, with tremendous depth and spatial dimensionality, both underwater and above, such as the aerial views of Manhattan. Amazingly, resolution is finely detailed, with respect to texture of the reefs and their lifeforms. The 3D heightens the realism and naturalness of the imagery. Lifeforms seemingly swim and float beyond the screen with terrific depth perspective in foreground images. This is virtually a flawless, pristine 3D visual experience that is mesmerizing. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced with a forward-sounding narration. A virtually constant orchestral score, often with pronounced deep bass and percussion, occupies a wide and deep soundstage presence that aggressively extends to the four surround channels. The bass extension inherent in the music nicely excites the .1 LFE channel, providing a powerful sonic foundation. Outside the narration and the music, there are no other sound elements to speak of. The soundtrack is really focused as an ambient sound experience, to support the narration and stunning imagery. Fidelity is excellent. (Gary Reber)