Take flight on a breathtaking tour of the 49th state in Over Alaska. Soar over Mt. McKinley and the vast crevasses of electric blue glaciers all shot in High Definition.Format: BLU-RAY DISC Genre: MISCELLANEOUS/NATURE UPC:... more » 781735603093 Manufacturer No: 60309« less
George Sarant | New York, NY United States | 01/04/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This disk is good as far as it goes, which isn't very far. Although frequently visited areas are covered, the whole north of Alaska is not covered so you don't see any polar bears. There are many ground-level shots in what is supposed to be an "above" disk. I've been there and the essence of a lot of places, especially towns, just isn't captured. On the other hand the mountain shots are majestic and look great in blu-ray."
Good for fluff, but not very educational
buru buru piggu | New York, NY USA | 12/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is another show from PBS's "Over" series, which includes Over America, Over California, Over British Columbia, Over Ireland, etc. I call these "armchair tourist" DVD's because they're sort of virtual vacations instead of the proper educational/journalistic programing that PBS is better known for. They feel like a tourism board film, or one of those video you see at a museum exhibition (or a "video essay", as the box of Over America puts it). Light on historical, geological or other scientific info, the educational value here is minimal. Don't expect a documentary, but do expect some excellent aerial photography of Alaska's iconic geography and wildlife.
Buy it for the visuals instead of the narration. The narrator's voice is pleasant enough, although very ordinary, monotone, and uncaptivating. Missing is northern Alaska. The program starts in Denali National Park, already halfway down in central Alaska, jumps down to Anchorage, then and winds its way southwest to Juneau, meandering between different subject matters. You'll also find quite a bit of cornball fluff writing. For the bush pilots segment, "On a clear day in Alaska, the routes are all the same -- somewhere just south of heaven." Describing their derring-do ability to land practically anywhere, he says "the wings of their planes are connected directly to the seat of their pants". Later, about trains that go through mountain passes and tunnels, he says "it's living proof in Alaska that men can move mountains." He lays on the cheese pretty thick in several places.
What this 58 minute film does do well is give a broad visual sampling of Alaska to someone who hasn't been there (me). It captures the essence of the land and the character of Alaska -- its expansive wilderness, the independent spirit of its people, and a sense of never-ending freedom. The best shots are of snow covered peaks, glaciers, and water. The mountain flyovers really show off their majesty and give the viewer a sense of the magnitude and beauty of the land. Less interesting are the flyovers of buildings. There is also an appreciable amount of ground photography (of bears, elk, foxes, Iditerod race, closeups of foliage in the rainforest, indigenous peoples), though I did not find this to be a problem. Ugly yellow subtitles appear under places to identify the shot, but it's impossible to tell where you are in relation to the entire state if you don't have a map.
As for picture quality, the mountain shots are the best. They are crisp and vibrant, with great contrast. The forest flyovers are less good, being dull and muddy. All in all, good for virtual tourism. Bad if you're expecting to learn anything. For that, you might want to try Alaska: Spirit of the Wild (IMAX) [Blu-ray]."
T. Chuang | 01/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Very nice image quality (much better than the scenic national park series "Yosemite", "Grand Canyon").
It runs approximately 60 minutes, kind of short. But it is still a good BD title to own."
Big-D | Lake Havasu City, AZ United States | 12/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this video to try out my new Blu-Ray player and I was not disappointed. This 1 hour video is broken down into several segments that showcase Alaska in splendid beauty you'd expect. If you love Alaska and what it has to offer, this DVD is a must see. And for the low price, its a win/win situation!"
Alaska in my Living Room
Jay A. Hoyt | San Diego | 10/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THis is Great. If you ever wanted to tour the Great state of Alaska or take an Alaskin tour, you will love this one. You can watch it many times in High Definition Quality. If you want to hear Music instead, that will work well with company. I have the Whole set and love it.