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The Imperial March.

In a bid to spend a few hours out of the unrelenting Maui sunshine this past weekend, we exchanged Aloha for Antarctica and caught the well-received March of the Penguins. Brimming with impressive footage of the Emperor Penguins’ arduous yearly breeding cycle in the world’s most inhospitable place, and presided over by an avuncular Morgan Freeman, March definitely makes for a pleasant and diverting moviegoing experience, and seemed a great movie to take the kids to. Yet, as appealing as it is, March seems somewhat misplaced on the big screen, given that — ultimately — it’s not all that different from what you can catch on the Discovery Channel most times of the day…but given the particularly lousy crop of late-summer movie fare at the moment, perhaps there’s something to be said for quality nature docs writ large. Regardless, big-screen or small-screen, March of the Penguins is worth viewing, if only to appreciate anew how strange, delicate, unforgiving, and surprising our world can be (and to discover that there’s much more to penguins than Opus and Oswald Cobblepot.)

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