Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Man vs Wild|
Actor: Bear Grylls
With little more than the clothes on his back, survival expert Bear Grylls goes toe-to-toe with some of Earth's toughest, most remote environments in each edge-of-your-seat episode of Man vs. Wild. Grylls faces sweltering ... more »
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P. Ormsby | New Lenox, IL USA | 07/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It really doesn't matter if he has a crew and researchers and people making sure he is safe, or if some shots are staged. This show is not about Bear really surviving.
It is a *demonstration* of how to survive in extreme circumstances.
Lighten up, it is a very entertaining show, even if some of the techniques
are suspect, even if there is a crew with him...and if you really believe
that he jumps off a cliff into a river before first having the crew
check it out for depth and rocks, well then, you don't get what the show is trying to do. Entertain first, teach second.
5 stars for an original and very fun show to watch."
Great fun and entertainment....
D. Colley | England | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was never really interested in 'survival' programmes on the context of the fact I live in a city/town and the only wilderness around here is a small family park with a small duck pond, not exactly the Rockies.
I found survival documentaries slightly dull, not the programmes themselves, but the fact that it was a topic/genre I could not connect with or relate to. Survival experts seemed to belong to another lifestyle incorporating hunters through to paranoid doomsday nuts (I was very naive about the subject). Survival programmes usually had a barrel-chested bearded guy with glazed twitching eyes trying to show us how to make a smoking-jacket out of some poor rabbit and some leaves for a cravat.
However, I really enjoy the Man vs. Wild ones. In fact, nowadays I like survival programmes a lot, and my naivety about them is now only 'slightly pathetic'.
I first watched this on the Discovery channel, though it was re-titled (or may have been originally titled, I am not too sure) Born Survivor. I slowly come to liked it, listening to Bear Gryll's morbid stories of 'travelers' and 'hikers' meeting a doomed fate - he ALWAYS has a story to go with a poisonous plant, or a man-eating frog, etc. It was also funny watching him eat some gigantic insects to 'survive' and whilst he is telling us that these are good for us he squirms and chews with disgust at what the poor creature tastes like. There is also a slight Steve Irwin OTT drama about Bear Grylls also. For example, watching him jump off a helicopter with a slight over dramatic "yee-hah!"
Man vs. Wild is survival in a dramatic, but fun way, glamourising environments that most of us city dwellers will seldom see, besides sitting on our sofas watching TV.
Grylls comes across as a likeable fella, he seems the type to be devoted to what he does, and I guess that's what makes the programme work well. It must be great to have a job one enjoys as a hobby.
A lot has been said recently about 'faking' parts; I do not know why people would believe that these Man vs. Wild docs were 100 percent genuine. I spotted it first time I watched them, for example Grylls climbs a cliff type face yet the cameraman is at the top filming him climbing up, yet they are `all' together.
The fuss over these programmes came about because of an uproar over 'fake' scandals on British TV (fake phone-in scandals, dodgy editing on a Royal family documentary trailer that made the Queen look like she walked out of a photoshoot in a huff when she was exactly walking IN to the photoshoot, and she wasn't in a huff). Grylls came into the firing line, though his seem the most innocent. His programmes are fun and educational, if you really think that he can walk across most of Alaska and suddenly find an abandoned boat to rescue himself are slightly naive.
Another clear indication to viewers that certain parts are dramatized for artistic lisence is that each episode has a 'plot' arc which is as follows: Grylls gets stranded (albeit, purposely), Grylls has to get to a certain position covering many miles or/and obstacles whilst telling us how to accomplish it, and, finally, Grylls gets rescued or he escapes. It's that simple. The fact that certain things were planned was not shocking. He is showing how things should be done in the wild. If it was 100 percent real what are the chances he could find every plant he wanted to show us ("This is poisonous, don't eat it") or get a camera crew up a cliff? I am sure Grylls, being one of the youngest to climb Everest and being an ex-TA SAS Special Forces soldier could do all the stuff he wants to do, but people forget that programmes are made with the restrictions of lawyers, health and safety people and, most importantly, the liability and insurance restrictions. I also read somewhere that during his time with the SAS he broke his back from a parachuting mishap and spent months recovering, so I think he has already taken enough risks in his lifetime without folks calling him a 'fake'.
I am not writing this review to defend the guy, however, as a fan of the series I was worried that they would not make any more, which would be a huge shame in my opinion.
All in all, you have to take these programmes as they are - a dramatic calculated documentary about survival techniques that appeal to an audience that may not necessarily like 'survival' documentaries. It is fun yet informative, and whilst most of us will never experience some of the things Grylls does, I guess there are loads of us who wish we could get off our lazy arrses and experience some of these journeys through the exotic and hostile environments that our diverse world has to offer.
If you like Bear Grylls stuff, you may also like Ray Mears programmes as well."
Good show, but dissapointing DVD
Erik C. Massie | Napa, CA | 05/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge fan of the show, but this DVD disappoints. First, the episode list that is listed here on Amazon, isn't what's on the actual DVDs. There is no desert island episode, or Colorado Rockies for example. Plus the episodes that are on the DVD, well they aren't the original broadcast edited versions...they've been re-edited. For example, there is no horse taming scene in the Sierra Nevada episode. Now while some may feel good about that, as they called some of those scenes fake, I think it's a poor choice to not include the ORIGINAL episodes as they were meant to be.
And there are no bonus features on this disc, UNLESS you call "deleted scenes" from the Sierra Nevada episode (which the scenes in question are already included in the final cut of the episode anyway), and a quick montage of eating bugs as bonus material...then well, there really isn't anything here worthwhile. Plus the menus are designed horribly. The DVD seems like it was authored in some guys living room using cheap software. Discovery should be ashamed of themselves. Plus whatever happened to releasing shows by season? That would of been much better as well."
If you think Bear is all show, little substance, watch Bear'
J. Bacon | Fort Worth, TX | 11/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bear and the manufacturer of para glider engines take off from a base camp trying to be the first to para glide over the peak of Mt. Everest. The noticeably shaken manufacturer/engineer gives up about 1/3 of the way up, but Bear para glides so high, his altimeter/gps freezes at 20 thousand some odd feet. It is absolutely amazing and no one could ever question his will as he makes it to the top and back with little more than a parachute, massive fan harnessed to his back, some warm clothes and an O2 tank. He absolutely shattered the world record height record for para gliding that day.
Yes, I think it's funny when Bear lays out snow chicken traps made out of shoe laces, doesn't catch anything and then appears with a dead snow chicken saying "if you had caught one, this is how you'd eat it" but it is a great show to watch in High Definition. Bear engages my son and I, we giggle when he says "glaciers, vitamins and crevaces". The shows take us to great locations with beautiful scenery and keep us engaged for an hour. Who cares if during days and days of filming in hostile conditions at remote locations he spends a few nights in a motel. My hat goes off to Bear. He is driven, common-sense clever, entertaining and crazy.
Man vs. Wild is a fun show to watch and talk about. I put it in a league of it's own. It is better than 99% of the mind numbing crap found on TV today."