Massive Nature (2004)

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Released 1-Dec-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 175:22 (Case: 180)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Sean Pertwee
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Neil Cartwright


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The BBC Natural History department sure knows how to crank out quality nature documentaries either with or (as in this case) without David Attenborough. This series was produced in 2004 and focuses on massive natural phenomena involving animals in incredible numbers. All of the episodes (6 in total) involve a major movement of creatures and the predators which try to get them. The dramatic and sometimes droll voiceover discusses what each of the creatures can do (if anything) to increase their chances of getting away rather than getting caught and eaten. The stories follow a number of months in the life of each of the animals and examines the build up to the moment of impact between the species both from the perspective of the prey and the predator.

    As usual the cinematography is spectacular and is in this case combined with some 3D graphics to illustrate various points. Some of the footage used here was also used on the Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth DVD which I reviewed recently but there is not that much crossover. The stories are told in a dramatic and detailed way with each half hour episode only focusing on one clash between predator and prey, thereby allowing time for extra detail than on many such shows.

    The six episodes (each of approximately half an hour) are:

  1. The Deep - A massive shoal of sardines make a 1000 mile journey up the coast of Africa being attacked by thousands of predators including seals, dolphins, sharks and gannets. Why do they do it and how do the predators know where to find them?
  2. The Trap - Flamingos flock to a soda lake in Africa to feed despite the poisonous water. They are attacked by baboons, eagles and other birds. Why do some survive and others not?
  3. The Crossing - One million wildebeest cross the Mara River in Africa every year to get to the rich grazing lands on the other side. They need to watch out for crocodiles, leopards, lions and their own stupidity.
  4. The Falls - Salmon return to the river they were born in to spawn and die, but only if the grizzly bears don't get them first.
  5. The Edge - Tiny Adell penguins leave their breeding grounds in the deep south before winter closes in but leopard seals and hunting birds are waiting for them. Which of the young will survive and why?
  6. The Exodus - Millions of bats all leave a cave together in Florida but they need to get past the snakes, birds of prey, raccoons and flesh eating bugs first. Not an episode to watch over dinner.

    A fascinating and high quality documentary series which focuses on the major global clashes between predator and prey. I would not recommend this show for younger children as there is a significant amount of animal violence.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was pretty good. There was some light grain in some shots which may mean they were archival footage.

    The colour was wonderful, rich and solid throughout.

    From an artefacts perspective, there was some mild macro-blocking especially during underwater scenes and other expanses of colour and a few white lines. Nothing much to whinge about really.

    There are no subtitles.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    The voiceover was clear and easy to understand.

    The score of this series by Neil Cartwright is great, adding to the drama inherent in these scenes from nature. It is modern and funky in style.

    The surround speakers added some mild atmosphere when played with ProLogicII.

    The subwoofer added some bass to the music which is more a function of my amp's bass management than anything else.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu was very simple allowing for the selection of episodes only.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This series does not seem to currently be available in other regions.

Summary

    A fascinating and action-packed nature series focused on major clashes between predators and prey.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The set has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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