Death of the Megabeasts (2009)
Main Menu Audio
|Year Of Production||2009|
|Running Time||92:53 (Case: 106)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (61:03)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Franco di Chiera|
Franco di Chiera
|RPI||?||Music||Ash Gibson Greig|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English (Burned In)||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Most people will have heard of a Tyrannosaurus Rex or a Brontosaurus but how many people in Australia have heard of our own 'megafauna' such as the Diprotodon (Giant Wombat) or Procoptodon (Giant Kangaroo). I certainly was not really aware of them until this DVD arrived for review. These species lived in Australia until much more recent times than the Dinosaurs roamed the earth, dying out less than 60,000 years ago. This documentary recreates those and other species using CGI, in a similar way to Walking with Dinosaurs. The focus of the documentary is a scientific investigation into why these huge beasts died out when they did. Rather than present this in a dry, scientific manner the documentary presents it like a 'true crime' documentary with a voiceover, dramatic music and the revealing of clues. This makes the show very watchable especially when combined with the CGI recreations. My two young boys (5 & 7) were fascinated by this show.
This is a quality production with much effort involved in finding appropriate locations to shoot backgrounds relevant to the era, quality CGI work and an interesting and engaging approach to the subject matter. This version of the documentary is longer than when it was shown on television, running over 1.5 hours. The show is a co-production between SBS, a French TV network and National Geographic Channel. It was nominated for an AFI award for visual effects.
The feature is presented in 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced widescreen. I believe this would be the original aspect ratio.
The picture was clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was good.
The colour was very good with no issues to report.
Artefacts included some mild MPEG compression artefacts during fast motion and some occasional edge enhancement.
There are no subtitle streams however yellow subtitles are burned in for foreign languages.
The layer change occurs at 61:03 and was not overly noticeable during playback.
The audio is very good.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand.
The music is suitable dramatic and tension building, adding significantly to the atmosphere.
The surround speakers were well used for megabeast noises and atmosphere.
The subwoofer added bass to megabeast noises and the music.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is still and simple but includes music.
A short making of featurette that covers the technical aspects of fitting the CGI into real environments, motion capture approaches and some discussion of locations and other factors. Worth watching.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The local release is all region and seems to be the only choice currently.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is very good.
|DVD||Sony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|