Aliens of the Deep
January 14, 2005
Movie of the Day for Friday, October 29, 2004
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In 2003, James Cameron took IMAX audiences on a magnificent adventure through the remains of the Titanic in Ghosts of the Abyss. Now he follows up that effort with a 3D encounter in the depths of the ocean with an eye toward what explorers of the future might find on other planets at some distant day in the future. He is joined by a team of young NASA scientists and marine biologists who share his interests.
Aliens of the Deep features highlights from more than 40 dives made into the Mid-Ocean Ridge, a submerged mountain chain that twists and turns around the globe for 46,000 miles. On the mountain chain are mineral-enriched volcanic vents that are constantly spewing forth clouds of super-heated water as dark as smoke. These vents are known by names like Lost City and Snake Pit, and draw their smoky color from substances that are rising up from deep beneath the crust of the planet. These vents are simply teeming with life, and it is here where Cameron concentrates his footage.
The creatures he finds go beyond our wildest dreams - from six-foot tall worms with blood red plumes to white crabs to a huge biomass of blind, white shrimp. All of these strange creatures are vying against each other to find exactly the right spot in the superheated water. If they don't, they literally fry.
Like Ghosts of the Abyss, this documentary will center not only on the creatures and the scenery, but also the machinery used to do the exploration. Though plenty of people are anxiously awaiting Cameron's return to big budget motion pictures like Titanic and The Terminator, these gorgeous real-life dramas are a pretty decent diversion for the short-term. (Kim Hollis/BOP)