Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Tilda Swinton
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Documentary
The inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands are a living laboratory, a geological conveyor belt that has given birth to and seen the death of many species of plants and animals. As the western i... more »
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If only there were more than 5 Stars
Mat | Central Illinois | 03/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I waited a long time to see this special on the National Geographic Channel, and I wasn't disappointed. Don't let the nearly three hours scare you because this is very well worth it.
This is by far the best documentary I have seen...EVER. They did a wonderful job at looking at land, sea, and air creatures, giving all of them equal time. They explain Darwin's visit very well, and the video is pristine. You truly believe you are there when you watch this.
As I said earlier, don't let the three hours scare you. It may seems to drag on in some places. Believe me though, it is worth every minute of it. It's sad to know that humans are destroying places like that. If anything, this documentary will show the world that these creatures are actually WORTH keeping around."
Book your trip now...this documentary is the closest to a Ga
Francisco Dousdebes | Miami, FL USA | 03/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD will transport you to the wonders of the Galapagos. The documentary provides viewers with in depth commentary and footage that will certainly bring the destination closer to you. Image quality and footage are superbly filmed, and Tilda Swinton's soothing voice & pitch set the right tone for an amazing destination.
Wildlife footage has been captured in an unbelievable way; not only from a visually entertaining point of view, but also from a detailed point of view. Loved the scenes where giant tortoises are featured, marine iguanas feeding, blue-footed boobies displaying, albatrosses courting, and the only-tropical penguin on Earth fishing underwater. The volcanic eruption footage is also remarkable for its quality. For viewing purposes, the larger the screen the better.
We went to the Galapagos in May 2006 for nine days and it was an unbelievable experience. We used Adventure Associates in the US, and also Ecuador's Metropolitan Touring. This dvd will remind us constantly of the powerful message the islands left upon us. We asked for "what is the best time to go", and we understand that tourism is managed year-round. We were advised that in the summer months, Easter, Xmas and New Year's, finding space can be challenging, but in months like April, May and early June, finding space is easier, and that wildlife is at its prime due to the transition months between one season and the other one. They were SO right! We saw so many incredible things both on land and underwater (weather was unbelievably perfect too!). We noticed larger vessels offered greater amenities, onboard options, and their level of Naturalists' environmental interpretation is excellent. We are making arrangements to go back again with friends in early June 2007, and will give them this dvd as a gift.
Back to the dvd, the sound quality is perfect and the low price of $14.99 is very affordable. This is thus far the best comprehensive documentary we have seen about the Galapagos, and it will not be a disappointment. I have purchased other documentaries, and although they were good, this one remains our favorite. Another hard-to-find dvd is NG's "Galapagos, Land of Dragons", but was never released in dvd format, just vhs. You know what happens with vhs tapes after playing them twenty times. The dvd case has easy access to the dvd itself, and the different menus are easy to navigate through. The only con is that it brings just the audio program in English. It'd have been great to add Spanish and German.
All science teachers and libraries should have it. You will not be disappointed with this dvd. Hope you can visit this extraordinary destination."
The Galapagos on a "Planet Earth" Scale in a Visually Arrest
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 06/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are a number of related documentaries on the market, including a Kenneth Branagh-narrated IMAX film (Galapagos (IMAX)) and a personal journey with Richard Dreyfuss (In the Wild: The Galapagos Islands with Richard Dreyfuss), both produced in 1999. However, if like me, you have been enamored with the BBC's extraordinary Planet Earth series designed for high definition (aired here on the Discovery Channel), then you will find yourself equally drawn to this 2007 DVD of a three-part 2006 BBC series on the mythologized Galapagos Islands. Even though the scope is not nearly as ambitious this time, the result is almost as enthralling given the plethora of exotic, endemic species surviving on this isolated archipelago of nineteen volcanic islands. I was fortunate enough to tour the Galapagos on a schooner several years ago, and I can assure you that the outstanding visual quality of these programs captures as much of the distinctive flora and fauna of the islands as possible on the DVD.
Aired stateside on the National Geographic Channel, the set consists of three fifty-minute programs. The first, "Born of Fire", provides a vivid archeological history of the islands and shows how several of the most unusual species originated there and learned to cohabitate with each other. The second program, "Islands That Changed the World", looks at man's imprint on the islands, for better or worse, with an obvious emphasis on the work of Charles Darwin as he developed many of his theories about evolution based on his sightings here. It does take on the feel of a scholastic film with recreations of historical figures and events, but they do provide helpful context. The last is "Forces of Change", which forecasts the future with some coverage of the global warming issues but more of the focus on man's burgeoning presence on the islands and what is currently being done to maintain the natural environment.
Unlike Sigourney Weaver's overly controlled narration on the U.S.-released version of Planet Earth, actress Tilda Swinton imbues a greater sense of genuine enthusiasm over the dramatic images in this version. What is inarguable is the stunning cinematography, whether it's the satellite photos of the islands or the near-poetic movements of the animals spotlighted, for example, the first flights of the baby albatrosses, the dexterous swimming of the flightless cormorants, the multitudes of marine iguanas randomly spewing sea water from their lungs, and the proud ballooning of the red-bellied frigatebirds. There is a surprising lack of real scientific data which could have made the environmental reports that much more enlightening. You also have to tolerate some repetitiveness between the programs since they were aired at separate times. Regardless, this is nature programming at its finest, especially for those mesmerized by the particular idiosyncratic pleasures of the Galapagos."
The word "awesome" applies.
Birdman | Minnetonka, MN USA | 09/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"GALAPAGOS is a revelation.
This three-part series, narrated hypnotically by Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton, includes a largely informative script, a heartrending score and some of the finest nature photography ever committed to film. Whether tracking an enormous Blue-Footed Booby flock on a massive dive for prey, following the eerie progress of Marine Iguanas on an undersea quest for red algae or honoring, through iconic imagery, the dogged persistence of the Galapagos Tortoise, the film is endlessly fascinating. Through three gripping episodes, it never flags.
If ever there was a film to unite evolutionists with Biblical fundamentalists, this is it. The endless birth and aging of islands in the "hot spot" of the archipelago -- some as young as 30,000 years of age; others in excess of 100 million years -- reveals the full flowering of nature, and justifies the concept of evolution and the holiness of wild places.
Of all the wonderful natural history films released by the BBC these past 30 years, this is one of my three favorites. It ignites the scientific imagination and intellectual curiosity. It's also undeniably beautiful.