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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Geography > Economy > Discovery Atlas - China Revealed (Blu-ray + DVD-Video/Image Entertainment)

Discovery Atlas - China Revealed (Blu-ray + DVD-Video/Image Entertainment)


Picture: B/C+     Sound: B-/C+     Extras: C     Main Program: C+



There is an increasing market for smart documentary product and Blu-ray is going to need as much such content as possible.  Unfortunately, so much of that kind of content has been low-definition for several decades, before HD and after many years of theatrical and television filming in 16mm and 35mm.  The Discovery Atlas series is an early HD-produced entry and the series is good, if not more basic than we would have liked.  That brings us to the China Revealed episode, now on Blu-ray and DVD-Video.


With all of its flash and great footage, we are told how the country is on its way to becoming the next superpower and the conflict of new against thousands of years of tradition.  However, not enough detail is given and it may be one thing to avoid controversy and politics, but another to avoid facts, especially when you have so much footage other people do not have.  Too bad, because despite some problems with playback, this is an interesting look at a country that was closed for so long that anything seems like a revelation.  Too bad this decides to coast on that idea, but it is still worth a look.


The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray has its softness and color limits, but also has some good shots thanks to the access to China granted.  I just wish this had been in better HD or film, but that is still better than how soft the anamorphically enhanced DVD version is and unnecessarily so.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is nothing great, with its limited surrounds, but it plays better on the Blu-ray than the DVD.  Extras include stills, brief director Q&A and look at the making of the series this is a part of.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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