Search - Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment on DVD


Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment
Out of the Wild The Alaska Experiment
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2009     5hr 44min

Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment follows the stunning real-life experiences of nine ordinary Americans who have volunteered to participate in an incredibly unique experiment. They are flown in, dropped off and strand...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Creators: Derek Carver, Megan Carson, Aaron Zober, Adam Briles, Amber Engelmann, Drew Nicolello, Gilliam Taylor Jones, Karen Ripenburg, Robert Callow, Scott Madden, Tim Pastore, Zach Green
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: Discovery Channel
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/15/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 5hr 44min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Takes some time to get started
Daniel G. Lebryk | 10/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The scenery is incredible. The production company did an excellent job including some phenomenal aerial shots of this part of Alaska in the fall. The series takes a bit too long to get started, or enjoyable. The first two episodes are the most forgettable, and could be easily skipped.

The premise - 9 people volunteer to trek across a small bit of Alaska with limited supplies. Who will make it to the end? No reward, no big prize money, no voting people off, no crazy Man versus Mountain stunts; just a group of more or less normal people trying to survive in the Alaskan wilderness. Somebody wants out, they press the button on their GPS around their neck, and voila helicopter rescue and they are out of there.

You are led to believe that this group has been dumped in the wilderness and has to survive. Well, kind of a ways from the truth, or not exactly what happens. The whole crew got 2 days of survival training before the adventure. Despite the constant reminder that the volunteers must consume 5,000 calories a day or risk death and they haven't caught any animals; these people are given some kind of food (it is not really possible to survive 5 days with absolutely no food at all, as the narrator sort of says). And there is a short message at the end of each episode explaining that nothing was staged, there was some editing of the order to increase the drama, and first aid and a survivor specialist were constantly on hand. Oh, and at each shelter stop along the way, the producers have conveniently dropped supplies.

This is a difficult show to watch on DVD one episode after the other. The narration is highly repetitive (I never want to hear about calorie intake again in my life). The beginning of each episode contains a 3 or 4 minute recap of the season. And there's just so much beautiful scenery you can take in during one sitting. The show was produced with commercials in mind, so there's a ton of those black gaps where commercials would be inserted.

The first two episodes were pretty bad. There's a lot of team building, group mistakes, and dumb things people do. We know that they got two days of survival training, but yet they break most of the rules, as we're told by the narrator. There are a few members that leave very early, and that's a good thing. By episode three, there is a sense that this group really knows what they are doing and is a pleasure to watch.

I'm pretty sure this series never saw the light of broadcasting on the Discovery Channel. If it did, it slipped past me, and got very little buzz. The episodes on the DVD are all censored for foul language (such a strange thing to do on a DVD). This series is not rated, but parents should be aware that several animals are killed and skinned in great detail during this series. Oh delicate ones, maybe look the other way.

There's no bonus features, just one episode after another. This is a two disc set.

On the one hand, I really liked this series. The location is spectacular. Some of the volunteers are really likeable and pleasant to listen to and watch learn how to live in such a difficult location. On the other hand, a very dramatic show in reality was amped up a bit with narration and storytelling; that was unnecessary. The real story is much more compelling.
"
Beautiful scenery, narration and follow up could be better
clarita davies | Seattle, WA | 07/08/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is worth buying for the scenery alone. It has magnificent footage of the Alaskan wilderness.

This reality/adventure series is the story of a month-long trek of 9 average Americans through the Alaskan wilderness. They are given two days of survival training, some very basic equipment, a map and an itinerary to a series of predetermined camps. Each member has a GPS beeper they can set off to summon a helicopter to whisk them outta there any time the going gets too rough for them. Only 4 make it to the series end.

The group quickly forms itself into a close-knit family that work well together and are truly supportive of each other. I found the characters quite likable, and the series a refreshing change from other reality shows in that there were no personality clashes or drama.

Its marred somewhat by a repetitive and poorly researched narration, which over-focuses on calories and protein.

Even more irritating, they get it all wrong, harping on each cast member needing 4500 calories per day in order to survive. The cast may have been expending that many calories on days they hiked, but that is certainly not the minimum daily requirement for health let alone survival.

The narration and the team also focuses on protein, as if a day or two without a slab of meat is dangerous. It seems no one there got the memo that large parts of the human population is quite healthy on a vegetarian diet. Alaska abounds in wild edible berries, roots, leaves, but until the last two episodes these were only mentioned in the context of bears being attracted to the fields of blueberries all around the cast. Also, all but one of the camps was stocked with provisions of some sort - flour, lentils, etc.,-- so they had other sources of food too.

But the cast and writers are so protein-obsessed that they keep referring to themselves as starving because they really need protein bad!. In one of the earlier episodes, only a few days into the trek, cast member Dan is weak and even faints, ostensibly from lack of nourishment. That was more likely due to dehydration and his mind-set. You just dont starve that quickly. I myself have gone on a 21-day water fast with only occasional need to rest, at a time when I was hiking in the Alps.

I would have liked the narration to include more about the terrain, local flora and fauna, stories of those who survived in the wild, and specific survival skills. It would also have been nice to see some of the survival training the cast went through before the trek, and to see them in their homes afterwards.

Still, I give this 4 stars because it was enjoyable, and that scenery - ahh!
"
"INTO" OUT OF ALASKA
Rod Essex | usa norhwest | 02/08/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A great mini-series - the beauty of Alaska and the challenges of living in its rough and cold interior. The real drama though comes in the form of the personality clashes among the "tribe" members and how they deal with their own self-doubt in commiting to a project that seems to get harder by the day. *****"
WOW !!!
Beachgirl | Ft. Walton Beach, FL United States | 01/29/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I love this DVD..hubby bought me for Christmas....similar to survivor but much
better!!! The scenery was beautiful!! It's amazing to see how people
survive with only the barest essentials and hike through snow....well worth
the purchase if you like adventure...I was sad when it ended....I want more!!!"