38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
It's not the same on the small screen, but...,
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The most important thing to understand about this DVD is that "Journey of Man" was originally created for an IMAX 3-D presentation. I saw it in the theaters and was blown away, and so I bought the DVD as a reminder of that experience. The sound on the DVD was spectacular, drawing out the beauty of the soundtrack, but there are inherent limitations on the visual side. Because IMAX's aspect ratio is close to that of a TV, there's no need to letterbox this feature, but there's no way to capture either the size of the IMAX screen or the 3-D effects that made it so spectacular.
All of the acts were taken from the various touring Cirque shows: The opening "Taiko" from Mystere, some synchronized swimming from "O", "Cube" from Alegria, "Statue" and "Banquine" from Quidam, and so on. I'm not sure that there were any original acts, but each of the performances here has been further stylized and put into a setting that frees the act from the constraints of the stage, making each one larger and more powerful. "Statue" is especially striking, as the performers in full-body grey makeup perform on a vivid green leaf floating in a black pool. The colors are beautiful throughout, and the performances are, of course, spectacular. The acts are connected by sequences that were amazing on the big screen but feel a little bit unnecessary in the living room.
The storyline explores the "child-like wonder" theme of previous Cirque productions, but I think that the theme is both better portrayed and has more of an impact here than I've felt in Cirque's other work. There are all sorts of amazing things in the world if you keep looking, and what you think you want isn't always what you need most.
Basically, this DVD is a good buy for rabid Cirque fans who need to have everything that Cirque has produced, people who never got a chance to see Mystere, "O", or Alegria and so can enjoy some acts they haven't previously seen, or for those of artistic bent who don't mind shelling out the money for a 35-minute presentation of beautiful staging and cinematography. I fall into all three categories and am very happy with my purchase.
However, EVERYONE should see this in its original IMAX 3-D format. On the big screen it truly is an amazing spectacle throughout. On the small screen it's more of a novelty.