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National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (2012)

 NR |  Blu-ray
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] + National Parks Exploration Series - Yellowstone: The World's First National Park [Blu-ray] + National Parks Exploration Series - The Grand Canyon: A Wonder of the Natural World - Blu-ray
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005X7H9U4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,540 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Nestled in the heart of America s great plains are contrasting tastes of a sacred land that beckons the visitor to enter the nation's mysterious and glorious West. A land of soaring pinnacles, deep canyons, hidden caves, national monuments and countless wildlife sanctuaries. It is also the place of the inglorious death of famed gunslinger, Wild Bill Hickok and the most sacred spot for the Lakota Sioux.
These contrasting tastes of the West, one soaring, rich in forests and water and the other barren and deeply eroded, are brought together by a shared geology and history. They are the Gateway to the Great American West. They are the Black Hills and the Badlands.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised January 18, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
It has been about thirty years since I visited this region & my only memories are the few photos I can still find. I thought that for the then asking-price of $6, I'd give this video a shot.

It's a very basic package. No liner notes; the disc is divided into just four chapters with no extra features. They are: 1) The Beauty 2) Geology 3) Ecosystems 4) History and Parks. My machine times the program at 69 rather than the 75 minutes listed in the description.

There is some stunning videography here, particularly in the Badlands. Dialogue is mostly narration by a male, with quiet background music, as well as a few comments by a local resident and park rangers. I found all chapters interesting.

Just a few personal nitpicks caused me to deduct one star... I thought too much time was devoted to a section showing fossils collected in the area, as well as to the shooting death of Wild Bill Hickok. Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills is barely mentioned; however there is a good section covering neighboring Jewel Cave National Monument. I would have liked to have seen information about hiking and other outdoor opportunities, but that information is easily available elsewhere. This is definitely a natural and human history program, not a travelogue.

For the price, I consider this a good bargain. Very satisfied!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully informative! February 20, 2012
By Pic. E
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Great footage paired with an in-depth look at the subject matter makes this blu ray a hit. However, does not have quite the polish of a big studio docudrama (...think 'Life') and is dry in some spots where alot of factual info is presented. With the amount of footage that is on this Blu ray- still a great buy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment! July 16, 2012
By Luister
This Blu-ray is boring and misguided. How such incredible country can be depicted in such a lackluster way, takes talent. Or maybe anti-talent.

The "stunning high-definition" was neither. The subjects, the shots, the angles, the cinematography in general, was amateurish and unspectacular.

Speaking of subjects, they chose to waste a significant amount of time on the human history of the region. Recreating Custer's Last Stand and Wounded Knee has nothing to do with the grandeur of these parks. Then they threw in the life and murder of Wild Bill Hickok. I am not joking.

These parks are vast enough to fill over an hour of a "stunning high-definition" Blu-ray, with a tour of the best features. This is what I expected. That is not what I got.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nat Parks: The Black Hills and the Badlands May 8, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The Black Hills and the Badlands National Parks HD Blu-ray video is a quality presentation and is most enjoyable. The photography is beautiful and the naritive information proivided on the history of the parks is very well done. I highly recommend it to those that have an interest in the National Parks and their history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Informative but not pleasant to watch July 8, 2012
By J. Lang
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This Blu-ray is very informative but its footage failed to showcase the natural beauty of this National Park. The video could have been done much better, both technically and artistically. It is not the quality of BBC documentaries such as Planet Earth, but of course it is also a lot cheaper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not as scenic as some. April 29, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this Bluray DVD it was different from some others I own. It took more time explaining animals, caves, and land development than others did which were purely scenic with some historic facts mentioned. The price is right and their are still beautiful scenic shots too. Well worth the $4/99 I paid.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Waste of My Time June 20, 2012
By Wer
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I read all comments available at the time I write this, and can honestly say that everyone is right. Though I really enjoyed most of the film, I can certainly understand the negative comments. The videography is stellar for most of the video, and the sparse narration is informative.

On the other hand, the whole package, as was stated elsewhere, lacks polish. The narrator does over-enunciate, and even then often mispronounces words (Batlands rather than Badlands.) Some of the instructional portions are too long. The commenters could have been more judiciously selected for passion for their subject. An English-speaking Lakota Sioux should have been chosen to give background rather than one whose first language is Adolescent American (or what we in Southern California used to refer to as "Valley"). Not to say this guy wasn't entertaining. Here are his parting lines verbatim; the very last spoken words of the film:

"The beauty is probably the key thing about it, but just for them to remember that this is also, um, it's a place of history, y'know, uh, a lot a stuff went down around here, and it, uh, it means a lot to us Lakotas if you didn't like, uh, trash it, or anything like that."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unengaging June 6, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I was hoping for another beautiful and engaging documentary, after having bought: "Yellowstone - Battle for Life".

But this is not well done. Unengaged guides repeat information in flat voices, and somewhere in the middle a man that sounds like a school teacher reveals shallow information about a bone collection for what must be at least 20 minutes. None of the interviewed people really has anything to say, and it has too little of photage from the actual places it is supposed to be about.

It's like a bad infomercial that runs nonstop in a souvenir shop.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Pretty good scenery and some I have gone to see, good DVD for the whole family.
Published 25 days ago by DANAL
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good film
Published 28 days ago by Ira
5.0 out of 5 stars Places I've been and can now go again.
You don't always have a chance to see the places that these photographers do. Nice to see it again it's been a long time.
Published 1 month ago by J. Stolarski
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Opportunity
This hour-long video is informative in many ways. If you're planning a trip or simply interested, you can't go too far wrong for $6.99. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cal Emery
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent
While hearing about the Black Hills and being intrigued to plan a visit, I bought this inexpensive dvd and gave it a test drive. Read more
Published 15 months ago by daspfaff
4.0 out of 5 stars Very fine comprehensive overview of the area
History, landscape, geology, peoples and wildlife are all covered. Especially interesting: Jewell Cave, Custer and the Lakota Sioux, Wild Bill Hickock, early fossils from a... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Gertrude Desjardin
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for Everyone
This is one of the items I debated buying for a while based on such conflicting reviews. I bought it, everyone is a little bit right. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Vanessa M. Ortiz
3.0 out of 5 stars some day
I bought this as part of the package, this one being the most expensive. After seeing it , if I had the choice I would not make this a part of the items I bought. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sally McMullen Mudge
4.0 out of 5 stars Never knew.
On our many family trips from Sioux Falls to Rapid City to see the Grandparents. We always traveled at night, so this was my first time to "see" the Badlands. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Nick Carlson
5.0 out of 5 stars National Parks of the USA
Our America has so much to offer, why go abroad to see beauty, when it is right here in your own backyard. Visit America folks. It's beautiful
Published 19 months ago by Betty R. Moran
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