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on June 21, 2016
If you own a Bluray player, you should own Life. From the makers of Planet Earth, this is similar in style and format, but the minutiae of life is really what makes this series beautifully done. Small moments, things literally never seen before on film, are captured for future generations in premium high def for those generations who will not be as lucky to experience them in the natural world. The narration by David Attenborough (the best narrator of wildlife documentaries bar none) is insightful and informative without being dull, and the camera work is just amazing. This series is what the high-definition world was made for. An excellent investment, and a remarkable accomplishment.
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on May 10, 2014
When I can't sleep, or if I'm sick, or otherwise need to kill some "quiet time" I watch an episode or two of the BBC Earth series "Life." Filmed in high definition, played back on Blu-ray, it's non-stop astonishment.

The discs include a short "making of" documentary of each episode, which is even more astonishing than the content. The months, sometimes years (!) spent setting up particular shots or scenes, the incredible danger and inhospitable environments, the luck both bad- and good- endured by the crews.

David Attenborough narrates. Unlike many documentaries, he is perfectly understandable (on headphones) without subtitles (though they are available).

The music is varied and tasteful and contributes. Sound design -- added bubbles or rustling noises or animal cries -- are appropriate and nicely dubbed in stereo. Even subtle humor sometimes is snuck in: the segment on Venus Flytraps has tiny burps dubbed in as the flowers reopen after a kill.

Extensive use of time lapse photography and slow motion photography illuminate trends and action impossible to discern in normal time.

Pacing is fast, almost too fast sometimes, with interesting shots and story lines rushing by as fast as you can absorb them.

And of course the visuals -- ah, to die for.

It doesn't get any better than this.
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on May 11, 2015
I had read about how visually stunning this series (in HD blu-ray) was but I was unprepared for the actual experience. Prepare to be amazed! Filmed in high definition, you get to see some of the most startling and gripping nature film ever created. It is likely that even those who live close to these events never saw them with this much close-up detail. This is what HDTV Blu-ray was invented for. Well worth the price for the experience. Highly recommended!
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on January 14, 2016
I was really excited to watch these DVDs with my daughters and husband because I remembered watching then show on television when it was first released.
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.
Bottom line:
There is no way I would be willing to pay full price for this DVD set.
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on May 25, 2011
As someone who climbed a mountain or two and dived into some unspeakably beautiful oceanic worlds, watched dolphins at play in their own habitat and spent a few days walking through what we used to call 'jungles' I know that no television experience can possibly replace actually being there. I also know that no human on Earth can possibly be to all the places the BBC crews covered in these series. And, thanks to their hard work, passion and BBC's equipping with the latest in HD gear, what came out is as close to 'being there' as today's technology allows it.

'Life' kept me and the rest of the family captivated often in awe for the four days we spent watching the series, limiting ourselves to one disc per evening to allow ourselves sufficient time to talk about what we were watching and to go back from time to time and replay some of the more stunning takes. I'm not going to say what 'Life' is about because it's not a story. The series was produced by a number of BBC crews who went all over the world to capture so that they could show the rest of us some of the more extreme, more beautiful, more striking and lesser known ways life forms on our Earth act in order to survive as individuals or as species, raise and take care of their offspring, hunt for prey, hide from predators, fight and sometimes cooperate in order to stay alive.

Except for the first episode which is a summary of what the rest of the series is about to present, each individual episode of 'Life' covers one specific theme, usually a broad class of life forms - birds, mammals - showing their specific characteristic, adaptations, some of their lesser known forms and behaviors and so forth. The last few minutes of each episode breaks the spell to some degree by showing us what the crew had to do in order to be able to show us the beautiful images we just watched.

This is what 'Life' presents:

- Challenges of Life
- Reptiles and Amphibians
- Mammals

- Fish
- Birds

- Insects
- Hunters and Hunted

- Creatures of the Deep
- Plants
- Primates

'Life' does not cover everything but what is presented is beautiful and brilliant and it is so because the crews sometimes spent weeks and sometimes expose themselves to great risks just to capture some extraordinary few minutes and sometimes few seconds of 'never seen before' footage. Try to imagine diving without oxygen tanks in the middle of several 40-ton male whales engaged engaged in fight to the death for the right to mate, or spending three weeks following half a dozen hungry Komodo Dragons following a buffalo they've poisoned and waiting for it to die, or covering a lions vs. hyenas war. It's all awesome and informative.

Children will learn from watching this but I suggest that the younger ones don't watch it alone because life keeps itself going through an endless cycle of feeding which necessarily involves death. Yes, in many instances we see how well adapted organisms escape their predators but everyone needs to eat and not all the actors in these series are vegetarians. It would probably help if parents were around when seals feast on penguins or when the lovely killer whales are trying to turn a frightened seal into lunch.

Life shows extraordinary adaptations, the length to which some parents sacrifice to ensure that their offspring have a chance at their own life and the extreme risks the young adults take for a chance of becoming parents themselves. It's about feeding, surviving, seeking the next meal, taking care of the young and sometimes relaxing and having a little fun. It's fascinating, colorful, action-packed, incredibly beautiful and it's for almost everyone.

>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
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on May 21, 2015
We are almost finished with the life serise. We have watched the blue planet and planet earth which are also by BBC. The life series has not disappointed. This series features new animals than the planet earth series and it goes into more depth on many of the animals. Every video we are in awe at some of the shots they get with the camera on some of the animals. Absolutely breath taking.
Since this series does go into more detail there are some parts that can be a bit heart renching. Also there are parts that show the animal mating ritual. May make for some interesting questions in kids.
In all this series has been fantastic. It is one that i know we will watch over and over and we will catch something new every time.
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VINE VOICEon June 7, 2011
I loved Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series. It was breathtaking and comprehensive. So, I was a bit hesitant about ordering Life, thinking it would be redundant (as another reviewer suggested). However, I found it to be a fantastic complement to that series. There was a bit of overlap, but Life went into more details on, well, life. I actually enjoyed this program more because it focused more on animals. The BBC puts all other nature programming to shame with these two outstanding series. The film/photography is literally stunning, and the footage they managed to captures comes close to being a miracle. The extras often go into detail on how long they had to film to catch particular segments (sometimes weeks for a minute or two of footage). That was often as interesting as the show itself.

This is a wonderful program for the entire family. I was lucky to snag this for $20 during the lightning deals at Christmas, but I would not hesitate to pay full price. It is that good and the running time more than makes the cost reasonable. This program is worth watching again and again. These shows are so good, they make me worry about Britain's budget crisis because I would hate to see BBC funding get cut! Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon December 9, 2012
LIfe is a wonderful show depicting life in many forms, mammals, insects, birds, reptiles and amphibians as well as subjects as creatures of the deep without backbones and predator and prey. This series not only taught me about life around the planet but also some extraordinary animals and plants I barely knew anything about. The photography is stunning and in bluray was brilliant. The narration by David Attenborough was clear and easily understood. I did have to wonder at times as I heard the British pronunciation of some words but it didn't prevent my comprehension, it broadened my knowledge of how we differ, just another part of life! I really enjoyed the series and learned a lot. My memories of chimps, Komodo Dragons and water buffalos are still with me. After each episode, a 10 minute short explains how the most difficult sequences were filmed. A very valuable exercise which made me wish I was there to do it too. Great series.
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on February 14, 2017
This is a fantastic set, on par with Planet Earth. There is a little duplication with that series, but that's OK. This gives a great view into the diversity of life forms on our planet and without saying it, proof of evolution. The videography is simply amazing. I watched the blue ray discs on a 50" TV.
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on February 21, 2017
Picked this up for a deal of the day for $7, worth every penny! But, in all honesty, this is a great set of videos, we watch them often as a family and we enjoy them every time.
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