Posted: 03/13/2011


The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D


by Jef Burnham

Now available on Blu-ray 3D and 2D DVD from Image Entertainment.

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The Ultimate Wave Tahiti follows surfing champion Kelly Slater on a pilgrimage to the shores of Tahiti. There, he and Tahitian surfing legend Raimana Van Bastolaer wait out the famed Tahitian Teahupo’o Demon Waves that make for some of the best surfing in the world. The feature itself is presented in both 3D and 2D formats on Blu-ray to accommodate those without 3D capabilities.

While the film details the science of waves in way of providing an educational element, the film hinges on extensive underwater and surfing footage. And in full HD transferred from IMAX film stock (which almost necessarily makes for beautiful HD) this footage is breath-taking. The underwater photography is particularly wonderful in its dynamic presentation of vibrant coral reefs, schools of fish, and majestic whales. For surfing fans, the end of the film features an extended Kelly Slater surfing montage.

Compared to Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia, a concurrent Image Entertainment IMAX 3D release, The Ultimate Wave Tahiti is a fairly dull experience, owing to its slow pacing and the awkwardness of the occasional narration from and the stilted conversations between Slater and Van Bastolaer. Much in the same way Giants of Patagonia found the gorgeous HD landscapes of Argentina tarnished by the imposition of computer generated dinosaurs, Ultimate Wave Tahiti’s landscapes are occasionally ruined by the imposition of bizarre sketches of Tahitian God heads floating around for no particular reason.

As with all such IMAX films, The Ultimate Wave Tahiti boasts a limited running time of 45 minutes. Special features include “About Tahiti” and a series of short vignettes on surfboard design, Kelly Slater, Raimana Van Bastolaer, Tahiti, and wave science.

Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of

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