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Human Body: Pushing the Limits

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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(Jul 29, 2008)
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Human Body: Pushing the Limits
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  • National Geographic - Inside the Living Body
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  • Incredible Human Machine, The
Total price: $36.34
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Editorial Reviews

You've never seen the human body like this before. In this groundbreaking series, we push the human form to its extremes, capturing both the power and the poetry. You will be surprised and even shocked as stunning CGI effects and the latest in cutting-edge photography reveal the body's inner and outer workings in vivid detail.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bray Poor
  • Directors: Mark Radice, Jeremy Turner, Dan Clifton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Discovery - Gaiam
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017VG618
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,349 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. M. Chenoweth on September 14, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 2-disc set presents 4 episodes focused on different areas in which the human body is "pushing the limits": sight, strength, sensation, & brain power. I have actually shown some clips in my general psychology class as the material is presented in an easy to follow & interesting format -- perfect for freshmen! For anyone who is a Discovery Channel geek like myself, whether you're an educator or it's just a hobby (or both), this is a must-have for your collection. My only regret is that I bought it directly from the Discovery Channel website rather than Amazon.com -- I could've saved about $15!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the first year that I am teaching a human anatomy and physiology class in high school. I was looking for some materials to supplement the usual textbook/memorization that accompanies a course like this. This is an excellent video(s). It's too long to show at one long stretch in class, but broken up, it really helps to break up the monotony that can so easily come to an anatomy class. And it's well done, so the kids enjoy it for it's entertainment value as well. It can be difficult to find videos that are educational and entertaining without being cheesey, but this video accomplishes that task well.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The "Human Body" comes to us as four 40-minute episodes (Sight, Strength, Sensation, Brain Power) on 2 Blu-ray discs, housed in a standard-sized case. Each episode contains personal accounts of extraordinary survival tales, re-enactments by actors, and computer animations. The back of the box touts itself as a "groundbreaking program" with "stunning CGI", but the production is anything but innovative. The main problem is that it tries to look like an action movie instead of a science show. In an attempt to appeal to more casual audiences, Discovery has skipped over a lot of the science and medical presentation in favor of computer graphics and trendy camera tricks. It's heavy on stylization and light on the science, using a lot of fast cuts, cliche editing techniques, and repetitive CGI. For example, the first episode ("Sight") begins with a re-enactment of a high speed police car chase through crowded city streets, with overused Terminator-like cross-hair targeting motion graphics and accompanying sci-fi sound effects.

All the episodes are plagued with uneven editing that makes the series look at times like a music video or an extended car commercial. A typical example of the overused, spasmodic, and cliche editing is the stop and go motion of many shots: shots will start off in slow motion, then suddenly sped up, then slowed again, sometimes rapidly intercut with a series of other shots. This is what a science show might look like if Michael Bay directed it. While people with attention deficit disorder may find this acceptable, my patience quickly wore thin.

Secondly is the frequent, overused, and repetitive CG. You'll be seeing the same animations over and over again, several times within the same episode.
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Format: DVD
I agree with fellow reviewers that this DVD will appeal to students. It's educational, engaging, and very entertaining. The groundbreaking CGI effects and amazing real-life stories are riveting. From the ordinary to the extraordinary, there are great survival lessons to be learned, and how our bodies push to every extreme and challenge.

In addition to this DVD, I also highly recommend NGC's National Geographic - Incredible Human Machine, which further explores the physiological functions and inner organs of the human body. (Don't know why it's labeled as being produced in 1975. The documentary premiered late '07, if I recall correctly). Anyway, it complements DC's series very well.
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Format: Blu-ray
Human Body: Pushing the Limits reaches unprecedented heights of poor formatting. The material presented in this collection of Discovery Channel's latest consumer exploits had a massive degree of potential, nevertheless speedy production did a foul number on this beast.
Main problems:
Repetitive graphics from one human feat to the next detract from the originality of the story presented
Narrative format is poorly paced (e.g. the film watches like a long commercial)
Lacking in quantity of personal accounts
Quality suffers from numerous cuts for commercial breaks (no actual commercials are in the film)

On the plus side, the personal stories are mostly fascinating. Despite the boring CGI models that invade the screen perpetually, the information presented is highly informative.

If I were you, I would just watch it on cable if it ever gets aired again.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I originally found this series online about 7 years ago and had my Science classes (4th grade) watch it. Unfortunately, streaming the videos via Youtube didn't always work well. I decided to just give it a try and see if the videos were available and to my surprise they were and for a great price. I'm looking forward to having these as part of my class learning library moving forward.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was hoping to be able to use these for high school anatomy classes, but it is too hard to dissect the meat from the fluff. There is a lot of good information in the video, but it is surrounded by these sensational stories that make good TV but are just filler when it comes to learning the material. I wish I could easily take out the anatomy/physiology information and lose the stories.
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