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Wild Pacific [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Wild Pacific (2009) (BD)

This landmark series explores the sheer scale and majesty of the largest ocean on Earth, the isolation of its islands, the extraordinary journeys wildlife and humans have gone through to reach these specks of land, and what happened to both after their arrival. Unimaginably vast, the Pacific is 99% water and only 1% land - you could fit the whole of the world's landmasses into it and still have enough room for another Africa! The distance between these islands can be huge - literally hundreds or thousands of miles - but somehow, life made it there. Isolation does curious things - animals evolve and adapt in strange ways. Witness flesh-eating caterpillars, giant crabs capable of opening coconuts, geckos that can breed without any need of a male, frogs that have never been tadpoles... Beyond cliched images of swaying palms and idyllic beaches, this is the real, immense and surprising South Pacific.

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Special Features

  • Six episodes on two discs
  • Each episode concludes with a special 10-minute making-of video diary

Product Details

  • Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 353 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BEXDXO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,254 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BBP TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 16, 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
For the hi-def nature lover, this is another gem from the BBC, but not an unblemished gem. It has its fair share of problems both structurally and technically. Here you'll get 6 episodes divided onto two 50 GB discs, with a total runtime of 353 minutes. That's nearly 6 hours of footage, so you'll definitely get your fill of naturey goodness. It's 1080i here, not 1080p. From 6 feet away, it's not a problem, but randomly sampling a scene from 3 feet away, I did notice noise in darker areas and judder in fast-moving scenes like pans of palm leaves and waves.

To sum up the series, it shows some of the very amazing and unusual birds, insects, fish, and mammals of some of the 20,000 islands dotting the Pacific. But it also shows a heck of a lot of people. Despite the title being "Wild Pacific", humans are in every episode. I found out when I popped in the disc that the original (and more accurate) UK title is "South Pacific", and I was definitely misled by the name change for the US market. With every episode, the story keeps going back to one of the traditional societies of the islands, lost colonists/sailors, or modern people.

There's still a lot of informative and entertaining footage, including rare glimpses of animals, impossibly close shots, and more of that signature stunning photography that we've come to expect from the BBC. I particularly liked the cloud fly-throughs and beautiful aerial shots of atolls, pristine aquamarine lagoons, and islands that are scattered throughout the segments (on "Ocean of Volcanoes"). There's also some lush underwater photography (corals, lava, and fish). These I enjoyed the most. But it's not all animal eye candy and idyllic seas, tranquil islands, and forests.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Wild Pacific is another excellent BBC documentary. This 2-disc set features six episodes. Wild Pacific covers the remote islands in the Pacific Ocean, the wildlife on the islands, the formation of the islands, the sea life, and the problems man has created. The video quality on the Blu-Ray is very good. The sound quality is disappointing. I don't understand why a new documentary would have a Dolby Digital 2.0 sound mix. I had to take a star off for the sound. Overall, if you like the other BBC documentaries such as Planet Earth and Galapagos, you will definitely like this release.

*UPDATE*

As the other reviewer noted about the sound, this Blu-Ray is indeed DTS-MA 5.1. I was watching the documentary in 2.0 since my receiver was defaulting to stereo sound. I watched an episode in the DTS 5.1 track and this by far, is the best sounding BBC documentary on Blu-Ray. The packaging is mislabeled as stereo sound.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This review is for most everyone else out there. I'm NOT a videofile so sifting through the barely discernable minutia of digital high def technical mertis and / or pitfalls is not my forte. The disc looked great on my plasma from start to finish, even the underwater footage. And Speaking of footage, there were many UNMATCHED camera shots here, even comapred to BBC's magnum opus, Planet Earth. I found the narration fine. As far as editing, the chapter selection needed some re-organization but as far as complaining about how long shots were held on someone's personal wish list? come on. Let's face it, after Planet Earth, it's hard for any nature program not to seem redundant, yet you don't feel that here. The human element as described clearly leaves the viewer with a new appreciation in some areas and a return to reality in others. So no - it's not all about critters, it's a better over view on ALL the elements influencing this previously poorly understood area of the planet.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I had read a lot of reviews of this set and detected mixed emotions among many reviewers. Normally BBC nature productions set the standard though so I went ahead and bought it as the mighty Pacific has always fascinated me. I was not disappointed.

In reviewing this series, I think it's important to mention that Wild Pacific, which ran on the Discovery Channel, is the same series as South Pacific which ran on BBC and BBC America if I recall, depending on which version anyone here might have seen. I think the Discovery version was cut a little different but was basically the same. In either case, what a show it is.

Wild Pacific is cut into 6 parts, each covering a different aspect of the Pacific Ocean. The first episode explores the fact that there are indeed so many islands, thousands in fact. The second deciphers how animals and plants made it to all of these isolated places. The third documents the immense diversity of the Pacific, perhaps the most important eco-system in the world. The fourth episode is about the role of volcanoes in the Pacific, the so called "Ring of Fire". In episode five, the focus is on the unique animals and plants that exist on only one or two islands in the Pacific and nowhere else. Finally, episode six discusses how fragile the Pacific is and what kind of trouble it faces from overfishing, global warming and other threats.

This series does not cover every aspect in depth but it covers a lot of information, provides amazing photographic documentation of the subjects covered and brings tears to the eye at times with the beauty of places most of us can only dream of. It is in a word, astonishing.

Good is always mixed with bad and this documentary is no different.
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