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Coral Sea Dreaming

As such sci-fi films as The Abyss have noted over the years, the depths of the Earth's oceans can be an alien environment as bountiful and strange as the most distant of planets — a point that the interactive DVD Coral Sea Dreaming emphasizes. Taken from the personal collection of noted nature photographer David Hannan, this DVD International release is an 82-minute spin of sight and music that explores the deepest depths of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, presenting its unusual flora and fauna with startling clarity. In addition to the remarkable underwater footage, Hannan's camera also surveys the reef's surface, with its many birds, turtles, and other exotic animals. Of particular note are a pack of sea lions at play just under the ocean's surface, and an amazing group of dolphins on Australia's easternmost coast who body-surf the crashing waves in a show worthy of Sea World. Not sure what many of the plant and animal species are in the video? Just tap on your subtitles, which detail the images on screen, including names and geographic locations. Coral Sea Dreaming offers no narration (by design), and the entire disc — or one of five segments — can be run on a continuous loop, making it an entertaining home-theater screensaver when you have dinner guests. The music, in a DD 5.1 mix consisting mostly of lush synthesizers and guitars, is largely inoffensive, but if New Age euphonies aren't your cup of tea, there's no reason why you can't play a favorite Mozart concerto through your CD player instead. Also includes textual supplements, additional information and goodies on a companion website (www.reefdvd.com), and DVD-ROM content for your PC or Mac.

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