199 of 221 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2007
Move on to "Planet Earth" for everything this bluray isn't...
I normally refrain from posting negative reviews in case it's a question of taste and I may be in conflict with other people in that respect.
However in this case I am pretty sure this is a title to avoid for everybody. Especially when there is such an alternative as Planet Earth which presents a hundred times the content and imagery this IMAX adaptation strives to deliver.. and fails..
First of all, this is a very lousy transfer. They didn't bother remastering the 40 minute footage and the "dirt" of the master is visible in every frame. It wouldn't have taken a large team to edit them out. Frankly it's the most disappointing bluray transfer I've seen out of the 40 or more bluray titles I have.
Secondly, the narration, disjointed topics, duration of many of the space imagery which drag on for minutes without any movement contribute to a mindnumbingly boring viewing experience. You'll notice you'll be hardpressed not to forward to the next scene every other minute (and let's admit it, there are not that many to start with)
There's also an older similar bonus segment in the bluray, with even worse visuals and mostly resembling SD instead of HD in many places..
In short, I'd strongly suggest you skip this bluray in favor of the stunning Planet Earth if you've not grabbed it yet.
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2004
I got this for my 4 year old son's birthday last year because he has a fascination with air planes and I was trying to get him interested in the space program. Let's just say when I first played it, even my husband stopped what he was doing and came over and sat down. We have a large screen TV and it makes you feel like you are really there! The sounds and colors are vivid. And even when there is no sound, the sights are just so amazing you don't need it- I think that's part of it's magic. Maybe it's just that space is such an unknown and elusive place, but when it shows the view of our planet from space you just get goosebumps. This is a wonderful dvd to pull out on those rainy/snowy days. No matter how many times we have watched it, it still evokes a sense of awe and reverence.
48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2002
The cover picture and text on the package leads one to expect space shuttle photo journey, but it is more like a 4th grade science class with intermittent space video. It is about 20% space video and 80% ground level shots. With low-level information like,"On Earth there is a gas called oxygen, which we need to survive...." Great for the kids, yes, but adults may be disappointed.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2002
Shots of planet earth, satellite photography, volcanoes, earthquakes, rainforest. Main message: earth is home to all of us, let's preserve it. The space and aerial photography are beautiful. Spectacular is the view of a lightning storm as seen from space. Footage of a hurricane, however, did not appear threatening. Sheet metal flying off a small house's roof, a man leaning into the wind.
Things I expected to see but didn't: a storm at sea, a twister, a nice volcano eruption, a geyser, a large crowd of people. The only people we see are two cosmonauts in orbit taking pictures, and some guys cutting trees.
The narration is rather primitive, sometimes mind-numbingly so, as in the end, where the voice-over enumerates those to whom earth is home: "Earth is home to Jews and Arabs; It is home to Russians and the Chinese; It is home to Germans and Italians", and so on and on, until (surprise!) "It is home to ALL of us".
Some educational facts are given about how many tons of pollutants we emit and millions of acres of forest we destroy each year. These sound horrifying, but to make sense, they need to be put into perspective (there are billions of bacteria in my mouth, but that doesn't mean I'm about to die). How much forest do natural fires destroy each year? How many acres of forest naturally grow back? How much deadly pollution does an average active volcano emit?
The 3D California valley fly-through was visually disappointing (have they heard of texture mapping?).
Overall, a very enjoyable experience. The DVD is definitely worth having, although I won't be watching it for a second time in full any time soon (as I watched Baraka).
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2005
OK...to start off with the positive, this DVD does have great sound and crisp, vibrant video footage. Also within the 40 minutes of this DVD, you will come away with a good understanding of the big picture of our planet and how our planet's atmosphere, oceans, land, life and and pollution are all interrelated. It is also explained in a way that makes it easy to understand. If you are an adult with with a true interest in Earth science then you can add a star or two to my rating.
I do not recommend this DVD for children. It will be a real sleeper for them! The very calming voice of the narrator and fairy tale type of music in the background will put almost any adolescent to sleep. I say this because I am a high school science teacher and have shown this to my students. While doing so I have had to nudge my students or get their attention to stay awake. Those that were awake had that glazed over look in their eyes. There are better videos out there for students that are more exciting and just as informative.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2001
I saw 'Blue Planet' several years ago at the IMAX, and it has remained my favorite. The surround sound is astounding, and the DVD transfer is excellent; if you have an HD-ready projection TV with progressive-scan DVD player, you'll be amazed at the resolution. Unlike some other films that display compression artifacts on larger screens (unfortunately, "The Living Sea" is one of them), this film looks just as crisp and beautiful as the original IMAX presentation. It's only 42 minutes in length, but you won't be sorry you picked this one up.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2007
I can't believe the negative reviews for these are beautiful transfers of beautiful films. Some scenes look far deeper and sharper than the often mentioned PLANET EARTH series which is beautifully made though "only" on HD-Video. These films were filmed in space and explore the earth and Space Shuttle, PLANET EARTH is animals/nature with some computer-generated earth views!
The films presented here were made for specially made theatres with screens up to 1.000 square meters big and filmed in 70mm/15perforation, a three times larger film format than 70mm/5perf LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. All films in this format were 30 to 55 minutes long.
I always LOVED the slower pace resulting from these big images, just to get the time to take it all in. Also the earth views are so beautiful they need a slower pace. That is too much for some viewers it seems.
THE DREAM IS ALIVE (1985), 37min, features three space shuttle starts from different angles and shows training of astronauts as well as some of the first footage of the earth actually taken in orbit with the highest definition cameras on earth in the 15/70 format. Sure, there are always scenes in the shuttle where they had a lowlight situation and the image is not as sharp as others. One has to take into account the conditions under which these films were made. What counts is the overall impression and that is definitely high definition. Narrated by Walter Cronkite.
I use this disc to impress my friends and NOT my PLANET EARTH disc ;-) Both films have breathtaking sound (Dolby TrueHD + Dolby Digital + French Dolby Digital). Subtitles French + Espanol.
BLUE PLANET (1990), 44min, to me is a true IMAX classic. Stunning earth views and exploration of the ozone hole at a time when few were talking about it make it one of the most stunning and at the same time serious large format films. Aftermath of San Francisco earthquake and hurricanes in the southeast.
I hope there will be many more IMAX films coming to Blu-ray!
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2001
There are not many frills; the DVD trailer's are a bunch of quick hit's with no titles. The big plus is the space photo's of earth. I never realize we were covered with so much water; thus the title Blue Planet. The emphasis is on education and the enviorment. This is a safe bet for the Imax enthusiat. It has the picture's that are hard to find on another DVD. Were I found the film lacking was in the music and the naration. I felt they could have had more fun with it. After all this is space and the pictures are spactacular yet the music is basic and the naration is monotone. A small complaint. A good addition for your Imax collection but not in the league with The Living Sea. I resevre the 5 star rating for the one's that have the complete package. A solid 4.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2009
This review is NOT for this film, but to serve as a warning to potential buyers. It is apparent that many people, like myself, bought this 44 minute IMAX film believing it is the excellent 8 episode BBC production "The Blue Planet: Seas of Life" from the creators of "Planet Earth". This is NOT the case. "Blue Planet" and "The Blue Planet: Seas of Life" are two totally separate productions. Unfortunately, "The Blue Planet: Seas of Life" has not been released on Blu-Ray yet.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2008
Its got a great picture but the content is less than desireable. Its short and its not even close to what "Planet Earth offers in the realm of content.