Lions with Fins
Review Review by Ross Anthony

Wonderfully deep, blue and mysterious, the production stays underwater for the duration. Never a human on screen, sharks are the stars. But sea lions, dolphins, and a chatty sea turtle co-star.

Geoffrey Bateman narrates as if the voice of the turtle MC. Scripted in an informal teenage American text, Bateman's mature British accent contrasts. The match is odd, but works despite. Actually, at my particular screening the sound failed for the first 40 seconds. I'm sure the filmmakers were having a fit, but I kind of enjoyed the appropriately ominous silence. Ah, but then I would have missed the thunderously wonderful score (I'm listening to it now).

Prior to this press screening, we were promised a film with great shots, great direction and great score. Admittedly, I was both surprised and impressed that the promise actually holds water.

Technically, all of the 3-D is solid save for a few seconds of difficult focusing. The jelly fish scenes actually hover out into the audience, the rest is less wowing, but still solid. And despite being HD digital tape instead of film, the production works fine on the big screen. In fact, such an undertaking would have been virtually impossible if not for HD.

The silky eye of the slithering shark, small golden fish flicker by. Jellyfish float right off the screen into the seats, they fill the screen like small helium filled balloons. Shimmering schools, literally walls of silvery fish glitter, scatter, dance as a mass. They are the opening curtains for the sharks. A beautifully mysterious, eerily lovely, dangerously elegant production.

Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques) and his "" support and endorse this film. In fact, he and cinematographer Gavin Mckinney hung out after the production to tell a few fish stories.

I'd assumed the film was shot on a mix of 70mm film and digital tape so I asked Gavin what format he used. Surprisingly he told me it was all shot on tape, using Cameron's HD 750 rigs. If those are the same cameras used on "Ghosts of the Abyss" I had to tell him, then "Sharks" looks much better.

The point was made over and over that sharks for the most part aren't all that interested in eating humans. In fact, Gavin told of a time when he shot the school of hundreds of hammerheads, he held his breath until his face turned blue... not because he was scared, but because he didn't want to scare them away with his bubbles.

Cousteau bubbled over with stories. Stories of sharks mating, of orcas being the true kings of the sea. He told me of a time when two orcas that they were filming took off and then returned with a shark between their teeth -- as if to show off their power for the camera. But Cousteau says, there isn't a single incident where they'd attacked a human (the captive ones may be an exception, he added). He talked about these animals as if they were bar pals. Alluding to a shark eating shark scene in the film, "That great hammerhead is a regular, he's always waiting for that dead female reef shark."

  • SHARKS 3D. Copyright © 2005.
  • Narrated by Geoffrey Bateman.
  • Directed by Jean-Jacques Mantello.
  • Text by David Chocron.
  • Produced 3D Entertainment/Gavin McKinney Underwater.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:36 PDT