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March of the Penguins [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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The film may concentrate on the routines of survival on ice, producing an egg, keeping that egg warm until it hatches, keeping baby alive until it is capable of fending for itself (there is an enormous death toll), but it also follows the penguins into the sea. Unable to fly, once in the water they take flight. Water really is their element. But, with no predator on land (or ice) except the temperature and weather, at sea they are hunted, and life becomes a life and death struggle for survival.
A massive box office hit, ''March of the Penguins" is a French documentary which has attracted considerable critical acclaim. It's original French soundtrack can be a bit twee in places in the way it gives the birds a voice, but the American, English language version casts Morgan Freeman in the role of narrator. Now Freeman has a lovely voice - warm, avuncular, yet with just a hint of gravitas. Unfortunately, the narration at times does tend to sound like "The Shawshank Redemption" - a brilliant film in its own right, but the voice-over here can be a touch sentimental … overwhelmingly so at times.Read more ›
Directed by Luc Jacquet, bravely photographed by Jerome Maison and Laurent Chalet, and narrated by The Great Voice Of Morgan Freeman, ''March of the Penguins" presents the unique breeding cycle of Antarctic emperor penguins, majestic little creatures with long white torsos, talon-like beaks, and an enduring need to reproduce. 'rampant little thing's they can be' lol
Every spring, they waddle and slide on their bellies for miles to a wide open space where the ice is thickest and where hundreds of other penguins have gathered to look for a mate in the coldest place on earth.
It's a great, big singles mixer. And because the females outnumber the males, the ladies compete for the attention of the unattached men, who seem to know the statistics and carry on with a cocky sense of aloofness. The movie never says what becomes of the single female, who presumably will have to wait until next season, but certainly someone at Modern Penguin magazine is writing an article about how they should be in a total panic.
The good news for the remaining singles is that there really is always next year: Once the courtship is over, the love made, and the egg hatched, man, woman, and child sever their bond and go their separate ways, only to gather in the same spot the following season for a different partner. The movie never mentions whether repeat couplings occur or if really old penguins have midlife crises and just want to keep pairing off with hot young things.Read more ›
So why only 3 stars? This is a review of the Blu-ray version of the film. So what is this film like in HD (bearing in mind that this comes at a 200% premium compared the standard definition version March of the Penguins - Luc Jacquet )? The HD adds nothing. At times it seems more like an upscaled DVD. Certainly compared with the same material from Planet Earth on Blu-ray this is very poor. Bearing in mind that this was shown in the cinemas on a large screen this must be a flaw in the conversion. What a let down as it is not hard to see how beautiful this could have been.
I won't bore you with facts about penguins, but it is guaranteed to make you go "Awww!" If you are more cynical about fluffy creatures, it does not cease to be fascinating following the annual ritual of the penguins.
It focuses quite a lot on the love between the penguins which is lovely. It's been placed under children's films here, which I agree with. This wouldn't look at all out of place alongside your Disney films.
As they get older, or are at an age to appreciate it, they will be able to understand the lifecycle of these lovely creatures.
But for the younger ones, the visual impact would be enough I imagine, and at just over an hour, doesn't entail sitting forever. Even can be watched in shorter sittings if necessary.
However, children aside, I thought this film was lovely!
There's no real interest in penguins needed- although if you dislike with a passion documentaries, I perhaps wouldn't recommened this particular film.
Captivating with stunning scenery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a tissue film in my house none of my gran kids ask to see it againPublished 2 days ago by colinrandell
My husband and I both enjoyed this; it's nice to watch something that doesn't have a complicated plot or that involves violence. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mrs Michele A. Baxter