on 3 November 2011
This is the reference in terms of aerial images. It goes beyond the documentary, it is a phenomenal work of art. The score is also up to the video and together will deeply move you.
THE GOOD: Like "Planet Earth" and "Baraka", Home was shot throughout the globe and therefore it will take you out of your regular environment and routine reminding how big the world really is. This is a powerful change of perspective and opening of view that will hopefully make you put some thought in it. The movie begins by talking about the creation and evolution of life on Earth up to the appearance of man. Then it continues with the history of the evolution of humanity and how this evolution changed and affected the world we live in.
THE BAD: There is an abundance of statistical data, some of which are shocking. However some are exaggerated or taken out of context and the continuous enumeration of statistical examples becomes fatiguing in the second half.
THE GOOD: I have bought this together with "Baraka" which is the reference in terms of image quality. This is extremely close. While "Planet Earth" for example has some 15% of footage which is not of the highest quality, "Home" has less than 5%. Yann Arthus Bertrand has managed to create art from landscapes, he is a Rafael Sanzio of the video camera. You have never seen the planet like this, few documentaries come close and only for a brief moment. "Home" means aerial imaging for almost the entire duration of film and it is a delight for the eyes from the beginning to the end.
THE BAD: none
THE GOOD: The score written by Armand Amar is a perfect match for the video and it will reach deep into your soul. The narration is made by Glenn Close.
THE BAD: The narration often covers the music and unfortunately there is no option of watching the video and music only, without narration.
CONCLUSION: If you are passionate about HD you must have this documentary on blu-ray. This is one of the reasons you buy a blu-ray player and a plasma TV.
on 1 April 2010
Forget about global warming and melting ice caps, if we ever needed a wake up call about the consequences of our impact on this planet then this "documentary" sums it up in terms that any idiot should be able to comprehend. And when slapped in the face with the right facts, delivered in glorious HD, the realisation is that our prospects are not very pretty.
After viewing a HD download which suffered from some compression artifacts, I just had to promise myself the Home BluRay. The narration by Glenn Close like an alien observer, compliments this stunning movie. Like our tentative and early steps to take control of our surrounding resources, progress of the storyline is slow at first; then breaks into a canter; and finally into a gallop. Story aside, this movie is an art form in itself, using colours around us like an artists palette. Like lemmings and our insatiable demands for more and more things we seem hell bent on our own demise and the complete destruction of our own resources. We already know the depressing story, but we look away and choose to ignore the inevitable. But every now and again something gets our attention for the odd 90 minutes and this, like Planet Earth, South Pacific, and Baraka, is one of those rare occasions. Its food for thought. What hope for us, our children, or our grandchildren? It seems there is none.... what have we done!
on 14 June 2009
The Amazon Short Trailor is a very good introduction to the great work of Yann Arthus-Bertrand; decades already famous as aerial photographer, he has found now the best form of media: the FILM; breathtakingly beautiful, aesthetically, the feelings of moving, the viewpoint, even the background music - but most important is the core of that bold political statement: We can all point to our own nose when it comes to focus on thoughtless spoiling the finite resources of our planet! Fortunately, Europe faces many clever inventions in the field of renewable energies - much educational work is surely yet to make in Africa, Asia, India - and in the USA. There is Yann Arthus-Bertrand incidentally now pursued by the law: He was not allowed to film a million-Cattle-Farm from the air, legal trouble is in the house. The oppression of thought by the judiciary: a never ending theme? In Paris however Yann Arthus-Bertrand is incidentally celebrated as a hero, like a Robin Hood of the 21 Century! In fact, there are remarks in the film as the comment: "The property of money is in the hands of 2% of the people." Oooh, my God, that hurts (whom?)! Here a daring aerial photographer is perfecting the genre of the movies leaving "art by art" and dares to bring some results of thinking it over to the public! My dearest wish is, that he would be supported instead of being criticized ...
on 20 June 2010
The cinematography is incredible, the blu ray transfer very good. The ecological message, sound. But it is hammered home with all the subtlety and repetition of a script clearly built by committee in an attempt to be "universal" when in fact, all it does is become so relentless, any pleasure derived from the stunning images is removed. You can't shut her up, and as a result, there is no grace in watching it - any rhythm gained by the stately imagery is nullified by a narration that actually achieves the opposite of it's goal, the wake up call that other reviewers have alluded to.
It's a sad sign of our dumbed-down times when these images explain 90% of the written content we somehow need to be shouted at without so much as a pause for breath. We can see! We are grown ups. We know we are in a terrible state with the planet. There should at least be an option to watch the material without the narration.
By the time the short piece had finished, I was so exhausted I don't think I'll ever watch it again. On the plus side, it did make me want to renew my Greenpeace membership and do a bit more with my carbon footprint.
on 2 May 2011
I'd gathered a group of friends to watch Home and must say, the first 15-20 mins were a little awkward as although there are beautiful scenes, the narration is a bit technical/flat and there are no subtitles to tell you what beautiful landscapes you're actually looking at... which was driving us all nuts.
BUT then the soundtrack started to build, the narrative story took hold and never let go and we were taken on a beautiful and confronting journey through human intervention into Earth history. It really does provide a completely new way of looking at our world.
Have snacks for the opening and then buckle up for a great ride.
on 13 July 2010
The authors' aerial pictures available in books are stunning. However, the beauty of the world is totally lost in this film. The narrator is annoying with doom's day predictions in every sentence. The earth needs to be protected, sure, but sometimes the message could be strong by a more subtle narrator.
on 28 May 2013
Well, it's not perfect, but much of the photography is still stunning.
Much of the soundtrack is poignant and often very beautiful also.
It is certainly a better viewing than 'Earth From Above: Fragile Planet,'
(also by Bertrand), which is hampered by too many on-the-ground 'discussions'.
I'm not going to mark it down because I wanted even more of its views.
Unlike the likes of the Koyaanisqatsi series (or even Baraka), which leaves you to
'work it all out' (!) for yourself, the narration here (by Glen Close) spells it out in no
uncertain terms. What have we done.
It is not all doom and gloom; there is some hope for what some countries are
beginning to do to replenish the earth - albeit it far too little and perhaps too late.
Whilst, at one level, it might be nice to have the option of turning it off,
unlike some viewers, I personally don't find the narrative too preachy.
I guess it depends upon your point of view. Sure, some of the info may
be inaccurate or outdated, but it does ask us to question what we are
doing to the planet - and if that uncomfortably ruffles folks' sensibilities
and spoils their viewing, then they perhaps are missing the point.
Our destruction of the planet can look truly amazing. Some of the aerial shots
of toxic waste are remarkably beautiful and it would be a travesty for folks to
be so enthralled by the visuals and lose sight of the message that it also attempts
to deliver, however clumsily or preachily for some.
It does not tell us that, despite what humanity does now, the earth has always
gone through periods of heating and cooling - of balancing itself, somehow.
Will it get most people to develop a social conscience and change their buying habits?
Maybe not, if they are not already on this journey; this is a complex subject and most of
us are too comfortable, ignorant or selfish living the way we do, for this to change on the
back of a single film, but it may help some folk to begin a process whereby they take
more of an ecological interest, if they don't already.
"In one hour, the Sun gives the Earth the same amount of energy as that consumed
by all humanity in one year." "...the Sun's energy is inexhaustible." Cultivate it.
At least you can watch it right to the end as the credits roll, not a second is 'wasted'.
on 8 September 2010
The first time I watched Home on Youtube (where it's available in many languages and picture qualities), I was speechless. Never, ever in my life did I find any documentary so beautiful and compelling in its message. I have since watched it dozens of times on Youtube, and eventually bought it on blu-ray, where I was finally able to enjoy it in proper HD on a 40" screen. All the friends to whom I showed this movie got emotionally very involved, to the point of further advertising it to more friends. Such is the effect of Home to most people!
I was already used to stunning documentaries like the BBC ones, but this is obviously something different. It's a movie about human genius, about how in such a short geological timeframe humanity has been able to conquer Earth and subdue nature to its needs and pleasures, and about how we now risk losing control over what we are doing, because of our very success as living beings. The genial thing about the documentary's plot is that in one and a half hours it manages to perfectly summarise the rise of Life on Earth over the millennia, describing the simple yet amazing features that enabled its inhabitants (plants, animals, bacteria) to change our planet from a Venus-like boiling pot to the Blue Marble it now is. The narration and description of humans' taming power over nature, accomplished in just 200,000 years, is an exceptional artistic achievement, also surprising for those who (like me) are already like-minded to the authors.
In 90 minutes, magnificent HD aerial images of our planet unroll before your eyes, showing everything from the rarest natural beauties to the most humanised places on Earth. Such beautiful photography is perfectly coupled with a breath-taking soundtrack by Armand Amar, and and a compelling, "alien" commentary by Glenn Close. I find her act also extremely well crafted within the movie, as it conveys the sense of urgency and drama that the subject requires. I am actually surprised that someone would downgrade Home on the basis of its english commentary, as it is an integral part of the emotions that unfold when watching the documentary (I also watched it in Italian on the web, and the pathos doesn't get any close to that of the english narration).
This is a must-see, for both its incredible message and the stunning mix of photography, music and narration that so gracefully highlight the dramatic times we are facing as humans. The best bit is in that - despite its environmentalist touch - a strongly positive message is sent out: as much as we can ruin Earth, human genius can also change things for the better, we together can change our paradigm and keep on thriving on our marvellous planet without further damaging it. But we have to change our model.
Do not overlook this documentary, as it is likely to have a much needed, profound effect on the way you see things and deal with life! If you won't get touched by this, nothing will. It has changed my life for a start.
on 30 July 2010
Unfortunately, this is probably preaching to the converted. If you take an interest in our 'Home' at all you will probably have a pretty good idea already. Nice but nothing to make it stand out apart from the magnificent aerial photography. Worth watching nevertheless.
on 22 June 2012
I haven't watched all of this yet. I got it, mainly, to try out blu-ray and I think the visual experience and the spoken background and natural history are both easily worthwhile. Probably one of the best condensed overviews of our planet that you will get for your pounds/dollars.
I expect that many Brits, however, will find the 'murican voice a little irritating but I found that I could live with it, just. It is a close thing, however, when one of my pet irritations, found on both sides of the pond, appears regularly. This is where "species" is spoken "speshies".
But this is picking nits out of what looks like a very watchable, just about listenable (at least for the information contained) and worthwhile experience.
I've just watched the whole thing and need to re-review my first comments. There was absolutely no annoyance at all with the commentary voice after the first 5 minutes. It was clear and informative. My earlier comments come from a 40-year-old prejudice which was not justified here.
I have been cynical about the whole "climate change" thing but this has presented well founded arguments that must be listened to, in a clear and concise manner - and the supporting imagery was as good as I can imagine it could be. The message is clear and we must draw our own conclusions. You should watch it.
Personally, I think that the earth will protect itself and if we, humanity, are unable to match our actions to our intelligence and potential for harm, it will spit us out and carry on regardless. We do not have the final "say".
(Still bothered about "speshies" but it seems sort of less relevant now)