Life in Cold Blood
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Life in Cold Blood (DblDVD)
In telling the epic story of the reptiles and amphibians - the most enduringly successful animals ever to walk on land - David Attenborough completes his overview of life on the planet. The very latest technology enables extraordinary and previously unseen behaviour to be captured in intimate detail, overturning the myth that cold blooded life is slow, solitary and primitive and revealing these creatures to be as dramatic, social, sophisticated and passionate as warm blooded animals. As with Life in the Undergrowth, this series will change the audience's perceptions forever - giving them a new, warm-hearted relationship with Life in Cold Blood.]]>
Billed as the last in David Attenborough's series of Life nature documentaries, Life in Cold Blood leaves you hoping that proves not to be the case. For once more, as he has done many times in his distinguished career, Attenborough gently--and unobtrusively--delivers an utterly fascinating insight into the world in which we live. Life in Cold Blood looks at reptiles and amphibians, bringing into focus a series of creatures very much of all shapes and sizes. Across the episodes that make up the series, the filmmakers delve into the lives and mannerisms of its subjects with some quite stunning camera work, bringing to our screens things that have quite simply never been seen before. As much as perhaps we shouldn't take for granted the heights that Attenborough's work easily scales, Life in Cold Blood happily matches the standards of his earlier series. Often genuinely jaw-dropping, and never less than completely absorbing, the DVD set is rounded off with some equally intriguing bonus features that delve into the complex production of the program itself. If Life in Cold Blood really does bring the Life series to an end, then that's even more reason to cherish it. Regardless, this is an extraordinary series that'll make you look at snakes, frogs, crocodiles, and turtles in very different ways. Unmissable. --Simon Brew
- 5 episodes over 2 discs plus a 10 minute featurette for each episode
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Even so, it's wonderful footage. Reptiles are less interesting than most other animal/plant subjects (for me), but I still enjoyed this program nearly as much as every other Attenborough DVD I own.
I don't like reptiles, but David makes them more acceptable/tolerable. His understanding and perspective provides the kind of view that I'd want my children exposed to...to help guide them to appreciate rather than fear the less attractive creatures we share the planet with.
4 stars: because I think Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Blue Planet, etc, are better productions. I like the added sound effects, like sword play during lobster duels.
I think it's the overexposure to American TV that has affected my opinion. Like barking the tires on a dirt road in the Dukes of Hazzard. (Yeee Haaaw!)
This series goes beyond the easy, commonplace work of other films that focus on, say, Komodos or crocodiles. During the course of this series, species most people have never even heard of are explored in a wonderful, awe inspiring way.
In total, there are 5 episodes; one for a sort of overview (the cold blooded truth), one for amphibians, one for lizards, one for snakes and one that combined both turtles and crocs. All are wonderfully shot; one thing the BBC has going for it is an excellent film crew. Shots are well composed, narration is crisp and relevant. These are not just good documentaries; they're artistically made movies. That they manage to treat the subject they cover so well is amazing. Combining good documentary techniques with excellent filmaking is rare and wonderful.
Each episode covers a wide range of it's subject matter; the amphibian episode actually covers caecilians for instance, and the lizard episode covers far more than than the over-exposed Komodo--pygmy chameleons, shingleback skinks, dwarf blue tongue skinks all get coverage. In the snakes episode, they discuss rattlers and giant pythons...but they also discuss the Queen snake (a crayfish specialist). In the episode about chelonians and crocs they deal with the Galapagos tortoises...but also the fly-river (or pig-nosed) turtle. They cover the migration of the spectacled caiman...and show a female caiman helping the young to complete the journey. The range of species is amazing, and it's gratifying to find a documentary that does not focus on the same handful of reptiles as every other documentary does. That it not only mentions but also actually explores these forgotten species is even better.
If you like herps, or if you just like nature documentaries...get this. It's one of the few worthwhile reptile documentaries, and the only really good one I've seen.
Unrelated but Important point- Recently i visited one zoo and thereby re-realized strongly how lucky I was to see so many animals in their natural habitat from my couch (in BBC wildlife series). Most animals in zoo will either be sitting in a corner or all curled up not revealing their faces. Many times it is so difficult to spot them even in a confined environment. In this regard, it is really a treat to have such documentaris home, which take us from one pole to another within minutes (all in 20-50 bucks). Taking this point, I guess it should not be too hard for us to watch those people (who are behind these great films) on TV for a while.