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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday, November 1, 2014 - Edition No 921 

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JOURNEY INTO AMAZING CAVES

SYNOPSIS:
Big caves on the giant screen. This Imax documentary records the exploits of two fearless and fervent cavers, Dr. Hazel Barton and Nancy Aulenbach, as they explore some of the most beautiful, remote and unchartered places on Earth.

Reviewed by Brad Green:
She goes in search of “extremophiles that make chemical weapons”. No she’s not some female James Bond seeking to quietly liquidate a Saddam or Osama, she’s Dr. Hazel Barton, speleologist, microbiologist and totally fearless caver. The extremophiles she seeks are the microbes that manage to survive in the least hospitable places on earth; and the chemicals they produce can hold the key to miraculous medical advances. That’s the practical side to caving, but it’s also one big adventure.

Like most Imax productions, you can learn a little here and get entertained a lot. Dr. Hazel and her caving cohort Nancy Aulenbach have no qualms about abseiling down hundreds of feet of escarpment and take us along for the tour. Our mode of transport comprises dizzying camera angles that shimmy over precipes, race along overwhelming gorges and stick their lenses into some of the most awe-inspiring grottos on the planet. Some of these caves are big, some of them are of pure ice, some are underwater and nearly all of them are beautiful.

Accompanied by a grandiose soundtrack that gives the impression Carl Orff and Richard Wagner got together to remix the Moody Blues, and narrated by Liam Neeson who tunes the vocal box down a couple of pitches for an appropriately distinguished tone, we get the standard Imax package of part cinema part themepark ride. And what a fun-filled ride it is. After all, how often do we get a chance to rappel down a ravine without an ounce of real danger, or kayak down Arizona torrents without even getting our clothes wet?



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0


JOURNEY INTO AMAZING CAVES (G)
(US)

NARRATOR: Liam Neeson
CAST: Nancy Holler Aulenbach, Hazel Barton

DIRECTOR: Stephen Judson, Greg MacGillivray

PRODUCER: Stephen Judson, Greg MacGillivray

SCRIPT: Jack Stephens

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Greg MacGillivray, Gordon Brown, Howard Hall, Brad Ohlund, Wes Skiles

EDITOR: Stephen Judson

MUSIC: Daniel May, Steve Woods

RUNNING TIME: 38 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: IMAX

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 28, 2002 (Sydney; Melbourne tba)







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