Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Yellowstone Battle for Life |
Actor: Peter Firth
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational
In a land of beauty and peril, the dramatic lives and fortunes of these animals are inexorably bound together. Intimate and emotional, epic and engaging, Yellowstone - Tales from the Wild reveals the grandeur of this uniqu... more »
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Excellent documentary on one of America's spectacular natura
buru buru piggu | New York, NY USA | 09/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The BBC has released many excellent documentaries in hi-def/Blu-ray and Yellowstone is no exception. It carries on the BBC's tradition of high-quality nature programming and flair for visually-stunning photography. This series is a year in the lives of several of Yellowstone/North America's iconic wildlife: the bison, grizzly bears, foxes, wolves, beavers, and elk. Divided into three 50 minute episodes, they are titled "Winter", "Summer" and "Autumn" (in this order). For the US market, the BBC has added "Battle for Life" to the title, but this is a bit superfluous and unnecessary, maybe to make the DVD sound more dramatic. The original title is simply "Yellowstone".
The episodes are informative, entertaining, and light-hearted, largely free of the depressing reminders of human ecological destruction seen on some other BBC documentaries such as Wild Pacific [Blu-ray]. I learned some things I didn't know before. Winter is by far my favorite episode, giving me the most memorable line from the series: "At 40 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit or centigrade doesn't really matter much. At this temperature, both are the same." Despite being the home to the world's largest geothermal formation, Yellowstone is paradoxically one of the coldest places in North America. I enjoyed the pristine landscapes covered with deep snow and seeing a winter wonderland untouched by any signs of humanity, all from the comfort of my home. One particularly amazing scene is of a fox sniffing for mice under 6 feet of snow, and seeing it leap into the air, plunge headfirst into the snow like an Olympic diver, and emerge with a mouse in its jaws.
This series also features some gorgeous fly-overs, in particular, the colorful volcanic springs (Grand Prismatic Spring), which looks like a beautiful orange and blue encircled painting instead of a natural ecological wonder. I wish the producers could've spend some time showing us the colonies of extremophile heat-loving bacteria that thrive in these springs, instead of just flying over and cutting to the next scene. Bears and elk I've seen a thousand times on TV, but not these rare bacteria.
I watched these out of order on TV, but the overall effect is not diminished because of the cycle of life and the changing of the seasons. Peter Firth's voice is pleasant and affable. If you enjoyed Nature's Most Amazing Events [Blu-ray], you'll probably enjoy this too."
Very good program on Yellowstone
pither | Iowa City, Iowa USA | 08/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm writing this before the Blu-Ray is released, but I happened to catch this program on Animal Planet yesterday and was very pleased with it.
The program contains the usual stunning scenery and animal video you would expect from this type of program. The basic theme of the program is to follow how various animals survive in Yellowstone throughout the year. I missed the first part of the program, but I believe it starts with summer and then flows through the seasons to summer again. There seemed to be particular emphasis on the Yellowstone winter given its harshness. (Of particular interest was the fact that winter is when wolves are at their strongest as their prey animals become weaker.)
The program also spent some time explaining how the geology of Yellowstone affected its climate. They explained, for example, how it can snow in Yellowstone any month of the year. (Something I found interesting given that I got caught in a snowstorm there in late July one year!)
The TV airing was 120 minutes, less commercials. The Blu-Ray description indicates a run time of 150 minutes. That might include extra features or it might mean additional footage not included for broadcast. Either way, and given the price, this seems to be a good deal.
UPDATE: The program actually includes three 50-minute episodes (Winter, Summer, Autumn). I must have missed part of the Autumn as part of that episode has a bit more of the man versus nature theme than the other episodes. The episodes are presented in widescreen (and look great). Three short features on "The People of Yellowstone" are included."
Phenomenal visuals and great documentary narration
Alexander M. Walker | Chicago, IL USA | 10/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yet another fragment of BBC Earth gets its own Blu-ray release. What can you expect? If you know anything about BBC Earth then you know it has a reputation for stunning nature footage in a resolution that will make you believe in hi-definition video setups. You've seen nature documentaries before, but until you've watched one like, say, Yellowstone: Battle for Life produced by top-notch cinematographers on top-of-the-line equipment you don't know the best the genre has to offer. The natural occurrences captured in this three episode series will have you returning to the disc to show off to your friends exactly what that HD television on your wall is capable of. Yes, the series looks that good.
The division trisecting the series follows a seasonal sway. It starts with "Winter" and then, in a very Monty Python and the Holy Grail-way, gives Spring a miss and passes right on to "Summer" and "Autumn". Each season provides a starkly different appearance of Yellowstone and chapters the iconic natural phenomena like Ol' Faithful or the abundant wildlife which populates its wooded expanses.
If sharks are the number one nature channel attraction, then wolves are easily in second place with viewer fascination. Wolves may never be able to compete with "Shark Week" but they make for great footage as they hunt a bull elk in the frozen environs of Yellowstone. The wolves' quest for food increases in success as the winter season drags on and their prey grows weaker and colder. Intercutting into the lives of the wolves are fascinating time-passage shots of the park and little tidbits about the park's fascinating volcanic history. Some overhead shots are so surreal that you'd swear they were computer generated - but they're not. The footage is just that brilliant. Bison, otters, sunrises, sunsets and glittering snow-covered hills all get their moments in the spotlight as BBC's footage unreels.
Life returns to Yellowstone and the task of replenishing food stores and continuing the species become the most important activities for every species. The shift from Winter to Summer isn't a folly on the part of BBC in naming its chapters on this disc; instead the weather shifts slowly as cubs and other young offspring gain their footing in a newly blooming world. You can watch bear cubs learn to climb trees or a hummingbird dogfight over a patch of flowers. The wolves get a little more attention here, but the main focus of the "Summer" section is on the family of bears as they adapt to life in Yellowstone and learn the routine that will govern their lives forevermore.
The final chapter in the series has some of the best sweeping panoramic footage. While the series reused some of the "Yellowstone is a giant bowl" footage in the first two, here we have a whole new set of overhead shots coupled with animal footage that will make any BBC Earth or Discovery Channel fan glow with satisfaction. The wildlife really does take a backseat in "Autumn" and so the footage of bison, elk and the sort may still be a rare gem in terms of nature documentary offerings, but they're by no means the focus. I guess it's only right that the most terrain-intensive shots would be reserved for the trifecta's farewell.
The picture is crystal clear and the narration by Peter Firth is superb. Compare it to the stunt casting for narrators in features like Arctic Tale or even Disneynature's Earth and you begin to understand that a famous or recognizable voice isn't always the best choice. Firth's narration is strong and keeps you riveted without ever distracting from the activity onscreen.
Blu-ray Bonus Features:
"The People of Yellowstone" highlight the local experts who aided in the filming of this BBC Earth series. Among the people highlighted are Jeff Henry, Mike Kasic and a group of people affectionately titled the "Geyser Gazers". Each of these little pieces is just as interesting as the disc's main material and is presented in the same stunningly beautiful resolution."
Suberb Blu-ray Disc
A. L. Mccomas | 02/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The perfect nature documentary for the Blu-ray format. Great photography with good story and narration. Probably the best Blu-ray yet produced by the BBC."