Friday, May 29, 2020

Mystery of the Nile Review


As with The Alps: IMAX, I was worried that the experience of watching Mystery of the Nile: IMAX would be diminished considerably at home compared to in a true IMAX venue. However, once you get caught up in the movie, you basically forget that you´re not in an IMAX theatre.

This is due in large part to the fact that IMAX footage is so difficult to obtain that filmmakers use long takes and slow camera movements so that the breathtaking scope of what´s being observed can be absorbed properly by viewers´ eyes. There are breathtaking fly-through shots taken from an airplane/helicopter zooming through a canyon as well as point-of-view footage of cameras mounted on rafts braving the rapids.

Mystery of the Nile: IMAX follows a team of scientists from Ethiopia to the Mediterranean Sea as they attempt to ride the whole length of the Nile River from one of its sources to open water. The movie is a combination of footage shot on the ground as the scientists visit sights along their way, footage shot from their boats, and aerial footage taken by filmmakers following the scientists. There are some locales that will remind viewers of the recent movie The Fall, which was shot by Tarsem throughout the world and features extraordinary images that were not created by CGI.

The IMAX footage is just astounding. Undoubtedly, you´ve seen movies or other documentaries with aerial footage of African vistas, but the stunning clarity afforded by the IMAX system reveals colors and details that are excellent substitutions for actually flying over the continent. The richness of IMAX visuals makes sights such as the Egyptian Pyramids and the Sphinx seem grander than even imagined. Some of the movie´s best moments take place when an unmoving camera simply gazes upwards at the majestic waterfalls that dot the Nile´s trajectory.

Considering that it´s rather expensive to take a family or a bunch of students to see an IMAX movie, Image Entertainment´s line of affordable IMAX Blu-ray titles is a huge boon to documentary enthusiasts, parents, and educators. You get top-notch video, surprisingly robust audio, and substantive extras to complement family-friendly films that instill respect for nature and learning.