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on June 5, 2009
This is a magnificent production. I'm now watching it on the National Geographic channel and had to check to see if a DVD was available. No commercials to interrupt the thread!

The photography is stunning, the music enjoyably fitting and the narrator's voice smooth and clear. The story is informative, sad and scary.

Yes, this production conveys the message that the current economic model of consumption is not conducive to long-term survival (in the manner to which we have become accustomed) where a secure supply of uncontaminated food/water and adequate shelter/clothing are a given.

Sometimes "a picture is worth a thousand words".
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on June 5, 2009
This is a great documentary film! The images and shots were movingly stunning, the colors were amazingly rich and fluid.
THe narrative highlighted the problems that we've created with literature-worthy eloquence and with objectivity whilst not forgetting humanity's needs. The mostadmirable part of it was that while it instills a sense of pain and regret for the environment, it focuses on what we still have and what we can still save. But behind every good narrative, there is a good soundtrack and the one for this documentary lives up to its narrative, with music from all corners of the globe, each fitting into its place and each a place where it fits.

One extremely noteworthy aspect of narrative,picture and soundtrack mixing well is that the soundtrack doesn't drown out the narrative, as some documentaries are wont to do. Also, the documentary allows for moments of wordless eloquence to captivate the viewer in sound and image - yet without dragging it to being "verbose".

all in all, the five stars awarded are truly deserved.
one for picture, one for mastery of language in narration, one for soundtrack, one for humanity the last one, for message and overall delivery.
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on June 7, 2009
Home is an excellent documentary which aims to familiarize us with our planet while reminding us of our place and responsibilities vis-à-vis our environment.
The amount of effort and research put into this project is evident and as a result the documentary helps transport the viewer to different locations allowing one to lay eyes on natural wonders and disasters alike. Glenn Close does an amazing job narrating in a way that brings to mind the Lords of the Rings, while the photography is simply breathtaking!
In short, Home is a must-see documentary, strongly recommended to those people that do care about the legacy they leave behind for the generations to come. 5 Stars
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It's too late... to be a pessimist.

"HOME" is a film directed by Award-winning aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Yann has been active in covering the world beginning with his Altitude Agency which he formed in 1991, an agency which was the first of its kind to specialize in aerial photography and in 1994 he captured the world from above and its beauty in the book "Earth from Above" which became a best seller in many countries.

But Yann is also known for his involvement with Ecology and he is the founder of GoodPlanet, helping companies and people with reforestation and practicing energy efficiency. He is a well-respected man known for his work on public environmental awareness and most recently, the world became familiar with his work from his film "HOME".

The story of the creation of "HOME" is quite interesting. In 2007, he began his new documentary project originally known as "Boomerang" which then became known a "HOME". Produced by well-known film director/producer Luc Besson and financed by the PPR group, "HOME" was created. In a way, the documentary was Yann's way of showing the world of what kind of state our planet is in. That the beauty that we see, can all be gone within the next decade(s) due to man's needs and rapidly depleting natural resources.

In order to have the film shown worldwide, Yann gave up his rights to the film and it was shown on the video streaming site "YouTube" on June 4, 2009 and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 5th.

The film spanned 54 countries and 120 locations covering the most amazing landscapes of the planet. Narrated by actress Glenn Close, the film starts off with showing us the beauty of the planet. From the volcanoes, the rivers, the ice and water that flow through the world. Then the beautiful rain forests and then the animals that reside on the planet.

But unlike other well-done documentaries on nature that focus solely on a planet's beautiful surroundings and the animal interaction and its importance in the food chain, "HOME" shows those things but immediately switches gears to show us the how our planet is in trouble and to best illustrate the trouble, showing various civilizations who are now in trouble or are facing major crisis.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

"HOME" is featured in 1080p High Definition (aspect ration of 1:78:1) and is featured on a 25-GB single layer Blu-ray disc (AVC @ 21 MBPS). If you thought "Planet Earth" looked absolutely incredible, "HOME" is magnificent to watch and the imagery is absolutely breathtaking.

Words can not describe the imagery captured on film. From above a volcano, to high above the algae covering the oceans, the farm lands across the world, the deserts, the ice, the people, the animals from high above. But then you see the destruction of trees and areas that were once full of water, now having depleted their water resource. You will be in awe of the cinematography but shocked about how civilizations have depleted their natural resource that lands that were once full of trees are now barren. Nothing has grown back. Just shocking!

As for audio, audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (and also French 5.1 Dolby Digital). Glenn Close narrates the film and can be heard clearly. But there are scenes where you hear water rushing and you can hear your subwoofer being utilized as the rumbles are captured. Also, above many civilizations that are packed with people, you can hear them from way above and those crowd noises are captured quite well. The audio compliments the overall video imagery and is what I expected from a documentary.

As for subtitles, English SDH is offered.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Unfortunately, there are no special features on this Blu-ray release.

JUDGMENT CALL:

I absolutely loved "HOME". I was surprised how the film started out showing us the beauty of the planet. The cinematography was excellent but 30-minutes into the film, I was asking myself...is this all about the beauty of the planet? Having watched "Planet Earth" on Blu-ray and various nature based documentaries, I was thinking that perhaps that "HOME" was no different from the others. Beautiful cinematography but I was hoping for something more.

Well, the film suddenly switches gears and then shows us the man-made destruction of the planet. I was immediately captivated by the images of lands that have had their forests eliminated, then to see lands that were once full of water now seeing their water levels much lower than ever. Image after image of civilizations who have depended on their natural resources now having depleted them. From the fish to the water.

I was absolutely in awe. I never knew other countries had it this bad. And to know that because they have used up their natural resources, there is a chance that they will become refugees in their country. But shocking are images of people living amongst their trash, people who are living in poor impoverished areas but built right next to them are these big multi-billion dollar oil corporations.

We learn of Easter Island's Rapa Nui tribe, well known for the Moai (statues) but also well-known for how this tribe destroyed its forests and how habitat destruction has led to soil problems, then water problems and overall collapse on civilization, nearly wiping everyone out. Of course, Easter Island's conflicts have been documented by travelers who have visited the area when it was lush and full of life and now, all life is nearly all gone from that region.

There are many images that I would never have expected to see captured on film and that imagery is all captured in "HOME".

"HOME" is a magnificent documentary that opened my eyes to the world. Director Yann Arthus-Bertrand and the whole crew must be commended for such risky, challenging but also beautiful work of covering 54 countries and 120 locations. It's one thing to capture beauty but to capture the destruction by man. In fact, on the back of the Blu-ray case, you learn that the producers will donate their film's profits back to Goodplanet.org. Even the packaging is ecologically friendly and made with 30% recycled paper and bio-based inks.

Needless to say, after watching "HOME", my eyes have opened up to the world. There are many things we have read or heard about on the news but now we have visual evidence that is made available to the world of how things are getting worse and that we need to change our ways before its too late. Because of technology, we are now rapidly exceeding our planets resources. And already, civilizations are or will soon go through catastrophic situations never seen before. This documentary is indeed an eye-opener.

"HOME" is breathtakingly brilliant on Blu-ray with awesome picture quality but as much as the visuals are impressive and vibrant. It's one of those documentaries that you hope everyone gives it a chance and the time to watch and see for themselves and so they will know what is going on in the world. I don't think many have a clue how our planet has changed within the last 50 years and its pretty sad.

There is literally so much visually to take in but I wouldn't mind watching this documentary repeatedly because the amount of footage and what you are able to see is outstanding. Again, I am very impressed with this release.

If there was one nitpick I have with this Blu-ray release is that with the message delivered from the film, I wish there would be some form of special features included. May it be pointing people to directions of websites that they can get involved in and even a featurette on the making of "HOME". Anything extra would have been nice. But I understand that the focus and the message the filmmakers wanted people to see, is what people will take from the film after watching it. Again, "HOME" is simply magnificent and is truly an eye-opener and this is probably one of the rare occasions where a Blu-release was barebones in special features content but still receive my highest recommendation.

"HOME" is a documentary that I wholeheartedly recommend. I was amazed and now I'm just happy that I had the opportunity to watch this. This Blu-ray is highly recommended!
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on July 29, 2009
The aerial cinematography in this film is terrific to watch, and that is why it rates 5 stars. You will definitely want the blu-ray version, because the detail is astonishing. There are some strange things about the American language script however. First, some poor, yet should-have-been-obvious edits for this audience, for example: 1) Grand Canyon of Arizona, or of the Colorado, not in Colorado, 2) Towns started up more than 6,000 years ago, not 600 years ago. Second, the message often had nothing to do with the images. You notice this right away when we are looking at glacial ice-fields in Iceland, and the narrator is talking about rivers. What was that all about? What does a healthy, swimming whale have to do with the plight of ocean fisheries? It appears that there was a collection of TERRIFIC video, and someone needed a "socially relevant" script to accompany its presentation, but the match was not tight. Third, there is an enormous dichotomy between more than an hour spent in hopeless and dreadful pessimism about the planet, followed by a few minutes of optimism that was kind of unsupported. I mean, if Americans are the worst offenders on the Planet, what does more education and aid to third world countries have to do with the impact of overpopulation and technology? Fourth, core issues like population control and political instability were not addressed at all. I am afraid that valid points like the link between meat consumption and high levels of resource utilization get lost in the message of aid to developed countries, or the lack of a real solution here. After all, if we are all vegetarians consuming 1/10 of the agricultural resources per capita, what happens when there are 10 times as many of us in a few years? What about this urban blight? Can we all go rural, not suburban, but really rural? Aren't we better off when people in third world countries don't drive automobiles? So, I think the messages here do raise a lot of thought, but are short on convincing answers, or convincing video evidence. The "feel good" stuff at the end is just that. My well-to-do neighbors have college educations, and they still eat beef and shrimp from shrimp farms that are destroying mangrove forest,fill their refrigerators with bottled water, and they drive SUVs without remorse! Maybe we need more clear thinking about human nature, not just some comforting blurbs about how good we could be if things were just right! But, such a cinematographic journey this is!
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on October 10, 2012
My first review was 2 stars. After giving this another shot I was happy with the visuals some of which are absolutely incredible. It's not Planet Earth or Life but this is solid none the less. It is a bit preachy at the end and the narration is not my favorite but the visuals in HD on a huge screen are spectacular.
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on February 14, 2011
As others have said more capably than I ever could, the images in HOME are breathtaking. My wife and I are fans of nature programs, enjoying Nature for decades on PBS, and National Geographic, and David Attenborough. We now have many of their programs on DVD. Yet HOME showed us scenes of Earth we'd never seen before, moving us deeply.

We were unhappy with the narration. Can't put my finger on what bothered us, just that it did. Maybe the earnestness, maybe the muffled monotone. (My player feeds audio to an above-average sound system, so that's not the problem.) Am going to wait before buying a copy of HOME in hope a reissue will provide another narrator. I know, fat chance.

The music was mostly excellent, especially when it sounded like Philip Glass. Not so good was the lamenting female voice, just caterwauling to our ears.

In the film's closing minutes, the screen goes to black with words providing dire statistics and urging action. I wish they had been omitted altogether -- hadn't the point already been made? aren't we already among the convinced? -- but if it was felt exhortatory slides were needed, then much better to have presented graphs or charts, giving us numbers with cold, convincing facts.

Still, the above are just quibbles I'm a little ashamed to even bring up. HOME is a monumental record of our world in the 21st century. Much of the film astonishes the eye, making us ask for more information (Dubai, the skyscrapers of China's new cities, the camel caravan, the agricultural revolution).

It's a film your teenager needs to see before flying the nest.
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on June 6, 2009
One may not agree with the theory of evolution, but that should not be the reason for not watching/buying this DVD. This film is about man's greed and the results. We must become stewards of our planet or face the fact that our children or grandchildren may likely suffer unthinkable changes to our (American)wealthy way of life. This film shows what has already happened in my lifetime of 60 years, and has certainly awakened my family to our responsibility to care for our home. The photography is absolutely exquisite, the music haunting, and the narrative poetic.
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on May 8, 2011
Incredibly shot (almost all gorgeous helicopter shots from all over the world),
very well meaning, but slightly preachy and simplistic documentary pleading
for global awareness about climate change.

Really worth seeing for the images, and a worthwhile message, if a bit heavy
handed. My only other slight problem; by having almost everything shot
from above the visual impact ultimately starts to wear off just a bit.

But this sounds more critical than I mean to be. It isn't often a film makes
you gasp with the quality of its images, and look at the world (literally)
in a new way.
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on April 9, 2011
This movie was startlingly beautiful! It also has a very relevant theme that everyone needs to learn about. I agree with other reviewers, it is startling to hear Glenn Close say that towns didn't exist till 600 years ago. How then would she explain Rome, Jeruselum or many other ancient cities? That did cause me to take the information presented in the film with a grain of salt, but I do believe that the film is a good representation of reality overall.
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