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Killer Whales YIFY

One of the most painful acknowledgments you often have to make in adult life is admitting that the vast majority of movies that you loved so much as a child are actually quite stupid and insipid when seen again through the eyes of a grown-up. I've seen so many fond childhood memories deteriorate into disappointment that I've almost become reluctant to seek out my former favorites. Luckily enough this statement doesn't apply to "The Island at the Top of the World"! I loved it as a young boy, I still love it now. This timeless Disney adventure with obvious Jules Verne echoes still delivers non-stop entertainment from start to finish, provided through breathtaking imagery and landscapes, fantastically imaginative plot twists, spectacular action footage and a dazzling musical score by Maurice Jarre. This is the story of an obnoxious British businessman, a suave scientist and a cocky French zeppelin pilot embarking on a highly perilous journey to the Arctic and beyond, to a mythical region no living being ever set foot. Sir Anthony Ross hopes to find his son Donald who, after a familial dispute, ran off on an Arctic expedition but hasn't been heard of since. After a long and eventful trip full of obstacles through the cold and windy arctic mountains, the travelers and their reluctant Eskimo guide suddenly arrive in a flourishing volcanic area where time seemingly hasn't evolved for thousands of years. They find Donald, who has integrated into a Viking community that has claimed the island ever since their forefather arrived and still live according to ancient Northern rites and traditions. The welcoming of the new explorers isn't exactly a hearty one. "The Island at the Top of the World" made me feel 8 years old again and I eagerly allowed myself to be overwhelmed by all the nostalgic goodness. I still can't choose one standout favorite scenes. There are so many! The awesome airship's battle against the storm, fleeing on foot through an erupting volcano, the ancient traditional Viking trial or the attacking of the orca killer whales! Admittedly most of the special effects and tricky photography look extremely dated by now, but this only adds to the nostalgic charm. David Hartman and Donald Sinden depict very diverse characters, but still they're both wonderful British stereotypes. Jacques Marin gives away the best performance as the Captain and the always reliable Mako is terrific as the Eskimo guide. The Vikings, all authentic Scandinavian actors, especially impress through their robust personalities and clothing. Agneta Eckemyr is incredibly cute as the love interest. Perfect Saturday afternoon entertainment… forever!

Killer Whales YIFY

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I just (December 2011) got back from watching this at a nearby art-house theater. Too bad its distribution seems so limited, as it's truly excellent. It could be used in a school classroom to prompt discussions about what is consciousness and what does it mean to communicate with aliens. In a theater, it can either entertain and delight, or leave viewers with plenty to ponder. Several relationships with the whale are described as far deeper than one would have with a typical pet (a dog for example). Questions around just what it really means to be "friends" with another species are very much in the foreground throughout the film. The photography is stunning. The shots of landscape and water alone would thrill; lots of shots of different boats -both powered and rowed- and of floating logs for lumber and of people -both groups and individuals- come along with the mix too. But that's not all - there are also amazing closeups of whale-human interactions, whale-boat interactions, and more generally the whale under water. Initially I thought they were fancy special effects shots that were filmed only with great difficulty after lots of careful planning. I expected stand-in whales to be used, and was rather discombobulated when the narration made a point of saying every individual whale could be identified by its pattern of spots. But it turns out the shots are not staged or subbed at all; they're just plain real; this really is a documentary. Just the shots of huge decorated native canoes with singing rowers traveling over these remote waters are worth the price of admission. There are the whale sounds too. Sometimes they're featured, presented as listening to hydrophone recordings, clearly underwater. More often they're presented as just a completely natural and unremarkable part of some whale-human interactions, moving seamlessly from underwater to above and back. The journalists who took the pictures are shown almost exclusively in or near boats. So you might expect all the shots to be from boat height. But it's much more varied than that. Somehow there are shots from a great height (did they climb all day, or use a helicopter?) and very long shots along with all the closeups and the underwater photography. Pacing and sequencing are excellent. You won't be gripping the edge of your chair, but you won't stop wishing to find out "what happened next?" either - the experience stays comfortably in the middle. No violence nor blood is ever shown, and the one bit about an injury avoids closeups and goes by quickly. Inevitably different people have different ideas about how to treat the whale. There's more than one idea about how to "be kind". We even briefly see a completely different point of view: that the whale is just plain an unwanted nuisance or interruption and the whole situation should just somehow be made to "go away". The film is scrupulous about _not_ taking sides, about presenting _all_ the different points of view and not commenting on _any_ of them. When a boat trip was described as a "reconciliation", I was initially puzzled about just what had happened to split people so far apart they needed reconciling; the disagreements -although described quite adequately- do _not_ suffuse the feeling of the film. Despite the film's even-handedness, for myself (most likely it's a personal predisposition) I couldn't help concluding that the government bureaucracy had spent an awful lot of money -remaining politically correct at every point- but failed miserably to achieve their big goal of avoiding injury to either humans or animals. Further, it seemed to me they never ever managed to realize they had "egg on their face" and looked awfully silly. 041b061a72

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