B-/C+ Sound: B-/C+ Extras: C+ Film: B-
has been making documentaries and films about nature for decades and though
they have been criticized for animals in their parks and pollution by being a
big corporation, they have been as adamant about the subject as any of the
major studios gong back to before they were a major studio. Earth
(2007) is co-directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield; an ambitious,
expensive, varied and detailed production in what has become a cycle in an
environmentally conscious era.
have not seen this kind of film before, it is more impressive than if you have
seen so many like it. Add TV mini-series
(like Planet Earth from the BBC, reviewed
elsewhere on this site) and a sense of overlap sets in somewhat. However, as long as the environment is in
danger, not enough of these productions can be made and seen because not enough
is changing quickly enough and if things actually do go down the drain for us
all, these will be proof that the human species failed due to ignorance.
Earl Jones narrated this U.S. version (though I would love to hear Patrick
Stewart doing the U.K. version and if Disney was clever (with all due respect
to Jones), having Stewart on an alternate track along with Jones work would
have won this release more viewers by default as a curio.
90-minutes-long feature follows three types of animals, all of whom despite
their might and size, could be extinct in the near future if action is not
taken. They include elephants, polar
bears and humpback whales. Fans of these
animals and nature in general know this already, in part from hunting by people
who need to find a new line of work over being greedy, hateful and even
idiotic. If anything, this is not long
enough in one sense and I wish tried a new approach in another as Sharkwater (reviewed elsewhere on this
Still, it is well done and worth a good look.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot on a wide mix of film and
video, HD and of lower definition, resulting in a documentary-style
presentation despite some good shots. At
its best, the image looks good, yet soft and the anamorphically enhanced DVD is
more so. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
48/24 lossless 5.1 mix is not bad, but not very expansive and Jones’ narration
sounds limited, boxy and a bit compressed.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is even a little weaker. Still, the Blu-ray has its moments.
extras (give or take the DVD, which we will not count) are Earth Diaries (a making-of
piece) and Blu-ray exclusive Filmmaker’s Annotations section.
- Nicholas Sheffo