Physician and scientist MacInnis, the first person to dive under the North Pole, brings extensive experience surveying the undersea world to this tribute to Titanic director Cameron's latest 3D, giant screen deep-sea extravaganza of the same name. The book combines MacInnis's fascinating descriptions of the deep-sea hydrothermal vents that are the film's focal point with fawning reporting on the many obstacles Cameron faced as he directed what has become one of the most expensive documentary films ever made. The work's most compelling parts are MacInnis's brief "Dispatches": two- to three-page sidebars giving more detailed investigations of related scientific issues, such as how hydrothermal vents may provide a way of looking at the subterranean life that might exist on planets and moons in our solar system. Unfortunately, MacInnis's text makes up only half of the book. The other half, nearly 100 photographs taken from the film, is a major disappointment, with most images lacking crisp resolution and definition. Almost all of the most interesting views of underwater life appear to have been photographed through a thin gauze; what could have been an amazing shot of superheated water shooting from a vent ends up looking like a blur of black and brown, for example, while another shot of shoals of shrimp covering a vent system ends up looking like a mass of pasta. (Feb.)
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