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Watching this 40-minute, large-format, 3D documentary from STOMP creators Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, it's easy to see where deep-sea enthusiast James Cameron got his inspiration for Avatar's environments — it's not for nothing that he plans to submerge his sequels in the oceans of made-up planet Pandora. But the alien world depicted in the stunning underwater photography of D.J. Roller (who was also cinematographer on Cameron's documentary Ghosts of the Abyss) is all too real. The Last Reef, like Cameron's environmental epic, is the vehicle for a message, a call for cutting carbon emissions that are destroying the Earth's coral reefs — home to wondrous life forms, including crocodile fish, giant sea worms, and Finding Nemo–fan favorite, the clown fish — as the seas become more acidic. You'll be tempted to reach out and touch the hovering schools of jellyfish — just try not to get stung.

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ARTICLES BY BRETT MICHEL
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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL