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Discover the glorious variety of life on Earth and the innovative, intelligent and sometimes bizarre tactics animals andplants employ in order to survive. More than four years in the making, taking full advantage of the latest advances in filming technology, this breathtaking ten-part blockbuster reveals the natural world’s most remarkable behaviour in unprecedented depth and detail.
Full of amazing filming ‘firsts’ on every continent and in every habitat – from 250 six foot Humboldt squid hunting as a pack to Komodo dragons (the world’s largest venomous animal) stalking buffalo and cheetahs (notorious lone hunters) working cooperatively to hunt prey twice their size – this is evolution in front of your eyes. Yet this astonishing series is not simply about revelation, it is also about entertainment. With sequences that inspire awe, wonder, sadness and humour, Life allows us to truly relate to the animals and their endeavours, and to understand and appreciate them as never before.
- Ten 'Making Of' diaries for each episode
This enthralling BBC series examines "the lengths living beings go to to stay alive," in the words of Sir David Attenborough. Aided by breathtaking high-definition cinematography, the makers of Planet Earth explore the more colourful 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 skilful editing, which distils 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 humour 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. --Kathleen C. Fennessy, Amazon.com
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Top Customer Reviews
As opposed to being a purely educational lesson on the variety of species and their relations with each other and their environment, it is the weird and wonderful species that get the film time. This is a good thing due to the rarity of some of the obtained footage. The skill that has been required by the team to capture these moments is immense, probably not replicable by all other wildlife documentary makers due to time and budget constraints.
Episodes are 50 minutes long followed by a ten minute insight into their efforts at the end illustrating the techniques used to film a single scene in an episode. Each episode covers a separate animal group, with some episodes covering broader issues such as hunters and prey and general challenges faced by some life. These broader episodes do often have repeated footage, eg some penguin sequences are shared between the `challenges of life' episode and the `birds' episode. As I watched these all in quick succession, I found some parts repetitive, but watching some of the more stunning sequences for a second time was still welcomed.
Particular highlights were seeing the primates at work and using tools, which deeply illustrated our genetic proximity to them. (It made me wonder at times if I could actually find an example of a primate making more intelligent use of its environment and each other than a human).Read more ›
To stories told offer an unique insight and often are the first of it's kind - ever.
And then Sir David Attenborough - ahh. What can you say, he is simply the best. He explains what is necessary, he pauses when to take in the scenery, he has a good humour, and most importantly for me, he is "Genuine".
The only thing that disappointed me a little, is that I don't believe the description of the blu-ray to be true. It states to be 1080p, I found it to be 1080i. Nothing to worry about, the picture quality is spectecular. Still one might wonder if it is a typo or a deliberate mistake. An otherwise such brilliant monument in documentary deserves better than that.
It has 10 different episodes of about 50min:
1. "Challenges of Life"
2. "Reptiles and Amphibians"
7. "Hunters and Hunted"
8. "Creatures of the Deep"
And each episode is tailed by a short "Making of". This is not some information on the side but something which adds tremendous value. (By the way, "Earth" blu-ray hasn't got the "Making of" - only the DVD version.) For example the additional images given in the production of the Komodo Dragons was just breathtaking. The attacking Komodo Dragon scene couldn't be presented in the Episode because it was chasing by a cameraman. The hazzle and emotion of the team gave a better understanding of the whole story.
So here it is:
One of THE BEST DOCUMENTARY there is.
You also sometime recoil when you consider what a wasted medium television has become. Bruce Springsteen once sung of "57 channels and nothing on" and surf that remote on any day and you sometimes long for the days of 4 firecely competitive channels who had to major on quality and not the lowest denominator. Quite how we have managed to debase the genre in this way is worrying and astounding. Yet before we lose faith there is always oasis of quality and in the case of Attenborough's programmes the standard never dips.
In this current programme "Life" there is so many highlights it is difficult to single them out. But one thinks of the filming of the tense and pitiful portrayal of the first footage of Komodo dragons hunting a water buffalo and stalking the animal for weeks as the poison they have injected through bites disable the creature.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Here is the breakdown in the differences between the UK and US versions of LIFE:
1) Narrator: UK version, by David Attenborough, while US version,... Read more
A fascinating documentary for all the family. Really enjoyed watching this series and still put it on to watch with family. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Habibi17