Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chasing Ice

“Chasing Ice” would make a perfectly decent one-hour special on the National Geographic channel. It follows photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey crew to Alaska, Greenland and Iceland to film the calving, retraction, and diminution of the world’s glaciers due to global warming. Balog’s belief is that viewers of time-lapse images and videos of the glaciers’ deterioration will see for themselves the truth of climate change. There are some breathtaking visuals in “Chasing Ice” – though perhaps not as many as you might expect – but the movie spends too much time on Balog (including the serial knee replacement surgeries he’s had to undergo as a result of his endeavors), who doesn’t exactly command the screen. Stretched out to 75 minutes for release as a documentary feature, it feels both repetitive and undernourished – at movie-house prices, kind of a gyp.

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