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Discovery Atlas: China Revealed [HD DVD] (2006)

James Spader , Cassian Harrison  |  NR |  HD DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)


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PRODUCT ALERT:
• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Spader
  • Directors: Cassian Harrison
  • Format: Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Discovery Channel
  • DVD Release Date: January 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JRYP1E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,536 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

UPC: 014381386745

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for anyone interested in China. January 28, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A beautiful documentary and one that I had to have on DVD after I saw it on the Discovery Channel.

It gives you a little background, but in the majority of the 100 minutes you follow several people such as a young gymanst, a window washer in Shanghai hoping to find fortune, a family who still works in the rice fields, a young martial artist, a policewoman in the Gansu province, and several others.

You are able to follow them and understand their way of life in this fascinating country. It is interesting and yet almost sad at how technology and the future is hurting some of the ancient traditions and ways of life in China.

My only complaint is that in the middle of the documentary, it gets a little slow, and I would have preferred to hear more about the actual country, but it's still a fabulous documentary.

The narration is great, music is beautiful, the design and feel of the documentary is fantastic. All in all, I loved it and enjoy watching it very much.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HD cinematography is breathtaking. February 26, 2007
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
As this unique experience that covers many of the diverse cultures within China unfolds, you are held in astonishment of the beauty and detail that HD brings to life of the colorful Chinese culture. This production took over 18 months to film and it resulted in an extremely refined, non-biased, educational view into China.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting. June 20, 2007
Format:Blu-ray
Where to start. When I originally seen this I assumed it was an ordinary documentary covering history and culture. However, this wonderful series took a step in a different direction by getting more into the lives of current residents, and how current life ties into the history of the country. There are many comparisons of the original culture to currrent culture, including the parts of the country that are conforming, and the parts that choose to keep everything in its purest essence. Overall, you will enjoy learning of parts unknown in this very nicely captured and directed contemporary documentary.

Also to note - the quality of the video is very nice - I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life in contemporary China January 22, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This 100-minute documentary, narrated by James Spader (who plays Alan Shore on "Boston Legal"), explores life in contemporary China, highlighting the opportunities and challenges of life in the world's most populous nation and fastest growing economy.

You'll meet a twelve-year-old gymnast hoping to make the Olympic team; a window cleaner in Shanghai who moved there for the economic opportunities, while his wife and child live in the country; a young woman who gets plastic surgery to improve her prospects in the business world; nomads of Inner Mongolia; a wealthy property developer; rice growers; a master of martial arts; a woman who works on the drug squad; and the last of the imperial bowmakers.

I was disappointed that almost nothing was said about how the Chinese government and economy actually work, and I would've liked to hear more about the effects and side-effects of the "one child" policy. I like James Spader, but his narration struck me as excessively earnest and dramatic, as did the musical score, especially given the film's rather bland, "safe" content.

A much better documentary about contemporary China is "China From the Inside." And an excellent documentary on twentieth-century Chinese history is "China: A Century of Revolution."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. Simply Amazing. December 28, 2007
Format:Blu-ray
It is a shame that there are people who don't bother to READ what these documentaries are about BEFORE they buy them and are disappointed.

The oft-stated aim of Discovery Atlas is not a history lesson ... it is a unique look at countries through the eyes and personal stories of a select group of individuals.

What better ways to learn the true feelings and emotions than by this manner.

Exquisitely shot, wonderfully narrated, these videos provide a unique look into each of these nations that one would not otherwise EVER be party to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor HiDef Imagery of Gorgeous Locations January 7, 2009
Format:DVD
Most other reviews are for the standard-definition DVD version. And for regular DVD, "China Revealed" probably looks great. BUT NOT ON BLU-RAY. For a Blu-ray disc, this "hi-definition" tour of China has some of the worst video quality I've seen for a released BD. It may have been okay for their "broadcast" where signals get highly compressed any way, but an actual Blu-ray disc can allow for a much better signal. The blockiness and poor video compression of this BD often makes people's faces look like they were built out of legos and the details of the supposedly amazing vistas look like they've been smudged, crushed or created with construction paper cut-outs. I was so looking forward to a beautiful tour of China; and although the subject matter is often amazing, it is only a mild exaggeration to say that you can download better picture quality off of YouTube. Many PlayStation Network downloads do look better. It was disappointing to see the marvelous colors of such a rich country so poorly compressed. See the documentary, learn its lessons about China, but don't waste your money on the Blu-ray version. Buy it in standard-def (which probably was the original source). A travelogue or Blu-ray title that should be LIVING on its video quality should LOOK much, much better than this. And I would expect better from a name like "Discovery HD". These images are blotchy, blocky and jagged.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blue Ray DVD
Incredible photography and great narration. I really enjoyed the personal stories of the people featured.
You get a great feel for what life in China is really like. Read more
Published 3 months ago by bostondan
1.0 out of 5 stars not beautiful
this should probably get 2 stars, but i gave it only 1 in order to warn people that there is almost no scenery in this film, and very few of the breath-taking locations china has. Read more
Published 19 months ago by S. Gruen
5.0 out of 5 stars China brief
This is a brief and compact introduction to know China, a country with an unbroken civilization of over five thousand years with a family of 56 ethnic groups. Read more
Published on June 4, 2011 by Walter W. Ko
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Classes
All the Discovery Atlas videos are great classroom resources for Current Events or World Affairs teachers, but Discovery Atlas China is one of the best of the series. Read more
Published on September 7, 2010 by Michael G. Jernigan
4.0 out of 5 stars Discovery China HD Blue-ray Dvd
This is an inspiring movie. Different from other travel movies with the way the lives of several people are followed makes this more emotional and satisfying. Read more
Published on January 21, 2010 by C. mccullough
3.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This is an outstanding video, I seen it on TV a few years back and wanted to show my wife how the West views China. Impressive. Read more
Published on October 29, 2008 by James D. Teakles
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Behind the Great Wall
"China Revealed" follows several individual Chinese as the oldest continuous civilization on earth transitions into a leadership position. Its 1. Read more
Published on July 26, 2008 by Loyd E. Eskildson
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Behind the Great Wall
"China Revealed" follows several individual Chinese as the oldest continuous civilization on earth transitions into a leadership position. Its 1. Read more
Published on July 26, 2008 by Loyd E. Eskildson
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Behind the Great Wall
"China Revealed" follows several individual Chinese as the oldest continuous civilization on earth transitions into a leadership position. Its 1. Read more
Published on July 26, 2008 by Loyd E. Eskildson
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for your HD collection
I fell in love with this series on Discovery HDTheater, and was one of the first discs I ordered on BluRay. Read more
Published on June 30, 2008 by William
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