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31 Reviews
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised
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...
Published on January 18, 2012 by SonoraDick

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment!
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...
Published on July 16, 2012 by Luister


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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, January 18, 2012
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully informative!, February 20, 2012
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment!, July 16, 2012
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nat Parks: The Black Hills and the Badlands, May 8, 2012
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Waste of My Time, June 20, 2012
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not as scenic as some., April 29, 2012
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Informative but not pleasant to watch, July 8, 2012
By 
J. Lang (Baltimore, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Unengaging, June 6, 2012
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great memories, May 23, 2012
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
When I was growing up, this was our vacation spot, South Dakota. This brings back great memories. And now I have a video of all those places we visited 60 years ago. I have purchased this and other videos from Amazon that we have visited over the years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Places I've been and can now go again., July 6, 2014
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This review is from: National Parks Exploration Series: The Black Hills and the Badlands - Gateway to the West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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.
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