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Life (David Attenborough-Narrated Version) [Blu-ray]
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From the award-winning BBC Natural History Unit, makers of Planet Earth and The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, this is the original UK broadcast version of Life, with narration by renowned naturalist David Attenborough and music by Oscar® and Emmy® winning composer George Fenton In Planet Earth, we brought you the world as you’ve never seen it before. Now, get closer with Life. Four years in the making, filmed over 3000 days, across every continent and in every habitat, with breathtaking new high definition filming techniques developed since Planet Earth, Life presents 130 incredible stories from the frontiers of the natural world, 54 of which have never been filmed before. Packed with excitement, revelation and entertainment, this remarkable 10-part blockbuster captures unprecedented, astonishingly beautiful sequences and demonstrates the spectacular and extraordinary tactics animals and plants have developed to survive and thrive.
This enthralling BBC series examines "the lengths living beings go to to stay alive," in the words of Sir David Attenborough (Oprah Winfrey narrates the Discovery Channel version). Aided by breathtaking high-definition cinematography, the makers of Planet Earth explore the more colorful strategies the world's creatures employ to procreate, evade predators, and obtain nourishment. Cameras travel though the air, under the water, and right into the faces of insects, like the alien visage of the stalk-eyed fly. Except for "Challenges of Life" and "Hunters and Hunted," each episode covers a different category, such as mammals and birds. Among the more memorable images: three cheetahs move with the relentless rhythm of mobsters, a school of flying fish glides through the air with the grace of ballerinas, and a Jesus Christ lizard skips across the water, like, well, you know. The strangest sights range from a pebble toad bouncing away from a spider like a rubber ball and brown-tufted capuchin monkeys pounding palm nuts with stone tools like the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Witty writing and skillful editing, which distills thousands of hours of footage, make the learning go down easy (at one point, Sir David references Jurassic Park, which featured his brother, Richard).
If the sound effects seem overamped, George Fenton's score is always on the money, adding humor and suspense at crucial moments (martial drums for the mud skippers, woozy brass for the Darwin's beetle). Nonetheless, delicate sensibilities may find some sequences disturbing, as when Komodo dragons feed on a water buffalo or when a leopard seal dines on a penguin (according to Attenborough, the Komodo siege caused the camera operators "emotional turmoil"). More often, the filmmakers capture the moment of impact before moving on. The set comes complete with 10 featurettes on the four-year production. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Stills from Life (Click for larger image)
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Life on Location: 10 behind-the-scenes video diaries found at the conclusion of each episode
1080p, except "Plants," which is 1080i
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Top Customer Reviews
What I did not remember was how often the same footage was reused throughout the DVDs. I was really disappointed that they used the same footage for so many different parts of the series.
On the other hand, my two year old seems to love it-but then again she would be willing to watch one movie over and over again all day long.
There is some really amazing footage and information in each part of the series but if I remember correctly, when some of the information was repeated.
There is no way I would be willing to pay full price for this DVD set.
This one is truly amazing, a masterpiece. People always compare between "Planet Earth" (which also has close to a 5 star rating) and "Life". It is actually difficult to compare between "Planet Earth" and this one, but my vote goes to "Life". Planet Earth is also an excellent series but it moves too fast between one continent to another without going into the details. To sum up "Planet Earth is Jack of all Trades but Master of None". But, then again it is my personal opinion. I have both the series and they both are truly amazing. Great work from BBC.
Coming back to "Life", please please buy the David Attenborough version. Trust me I have both versions and it is a total different experience listening to Attenborough version. Oprah narration is not very bad, but it is meant for kids- they will love it and it is cheaper too. If you don't want it for your kids and are seriously looking for some knowledge, go for the Attenborough version. It is deep and totally worth the extra money. I don't hate Oprah, but then I never expected anything great from her. It is totally Discovery's fault. Discovery already has spoiled many such series with narration from actors. I bet USA has a lot of good naturalist and scientists, why not use them. "Please Discovery, leave science for scientists".
Also, Attenborough version is about 100 min longer and is entirely in 1080p (even the special features are in high definition) whereas the Discovery-Oprah version is in 1080i and no high definition for special features.
Another thing, Life by David Attenborough is much cheaper in United Kingdom (at least when I first wrote the review), but do not buy it from there. I already did this mistake but amazon.uk was kind enough to refund my money. It has nothing to do with the region coding, but the UK version is coded in 50i or 50Hz which will not play in most of the US bluray players (US players need 60Hz coding). This thing is not mentioned anywhere on the product but their are 2 ways to know it without opening the bluray package- First, US version has a thicker book case as compared to blue plastic case for the UK version. Second, US version has a picture of Flamingos in the back cover and the UK version has a red frog.
Enjoy Life :)
First of all, I don't understand why everyone is complaining about Oprah when this is the David Attenborough version, but whatever.
Anyway, even though this Blu-ray of Life says it's region 1 and will play in US Blu-ray players, it really won't play in most of them. The packaging says 1080p, but it's really 1080i50. Basically, if your system isn't 50hz compatible, you won't be able to play it.
As far as I can tell from some basic internet research, this means pretty much all US Blu-ray players won't work. This includes American and Japanese PS3s, but apparently someone got it to work on a PS4.
I have the Sony BDP-S5100 Blu-ray player, so I can tell you it's not some weird issue with owning an older Blu-ray player.
But yeah, I have no idea how to rate this. I love the show, but I can't give a Blu-ray of any show 5 stars when the media doesn't work. I am so sad. I don't want to have to get the Oprah version, but I can't decide if that's worse than just not watching Life on Blu-ray at all.
If this set works on your Blu-ray player, please post the model in the comments so people know what will actually work!
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