Galapagos (BBC Video) coming to HD DVD October 2nd - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-29-2007, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=7575

Warner is the distributor.
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post #2 of 22 Old 06-29-2007, 12:21 PM
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It's silly that Planet Earth on HD-DVD hasn't been released in the UK yet!
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-29-2007, 12:32 PM
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Woo, added to my list!

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post #4 of 22 Old 06-29-2007, 02:37 PM
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I will be picking this up. It was great on National Geographic HD channel. We will be going soon also to see it in person. Can't wait!
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post #5 of 22 Old 06-29-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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Galapagos (BBC)
HD-DVD | Amaray Case
Official Pre-Sell Date: June 29, 2007

Studio: BBC
Genre(s): Documentary
MPAA: NR

Synopsis: The inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands are a living laboratory, a geological conveyor belt that has given birth to and seen the death of many species of plants and animals. As the western islands rise up from the sea offering a chance of life, the eastern islands sink back beneath the waves guaranteeing only death. Between the two are the middle islands; fertile, lush land in its prime that contains an incredible diversity of life. Nowhere else on the Earth are the twin processes of creation and extinction of species so starkly apparent... see it all unfold before your eyes in this stunning series filmed entirely in high definition from the BBC and the National Geographic Channel.
Original Broadcast Date: 3/18/07
Broadcast Vehicle: National Geographic


Product Type: Sell Through
Latest Promotion: New Release
Announce Date: 6/29/07
Order Date: 8/14/07
Street Date: 10/2/07
UPC: 794051413826
Cat#: E4138
ISBN: 1-4198-5949-8
MSRP: $28.99
MPAA: NR
Packaging Type: Amaray Case
Media Quantity: 1
Soundtrack Language: English
Units per Carton: 30
Product Dimensions (D x W x H):
5.4 x 0.6 x 7.5 IN
Product Weight: 2.4 OZ


Consumer Promotion: National Geographic Channel will be promoting the series with a promotional DVD gift with purchase of PETCO products

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post #6 of 22 Old 06-29-2007, 08:17 PM
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Chalk me up for an other pre-order :-)

2008: BD+ hacked... payback time for Warner, Fox and Disney!
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post #7 of 22 Old 08-02-2007, 05:09 PM
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Wow! I need to check the upcoming release lists more often.

I can't wait for this title. It was absolutely fantastic on National Geographic HD! Some of the best HD programming I've seen!
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 08:53 AM
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I picked Galapagos up last night and am extremely impressed after my first viewing. I had not seen this documentary before and I found it, on that level, to be very interesting and informative. The Galapagos islands provide a profound subject and here they are discussed with focus and a seemly reverent demeanor. Animals from blue-footed boobies to giant tortoises are given their moments on screen. Often times the script seems to pause allowing the focus of the video to tell it's story. Tilda Swinton's voice is pleasant and her cadence makes her easy to understand but is a bit slow for my taste. Overall, Galapagos is a great documentary on an amazing subject.
The video quality on this disc is mind-blowing. It had me staring unblinkingly at my screen, oohing and aahing at each scene. Colors are vibrant and natural, and all the variety in nature is on full display. Detail is among the best I've seen. You can see every scale on a iguana, every feather on a hawk, and each grain of sand on the gorgeous beaches. Contrast is strong with shadows falling naturally to black and clouds not feeling hot. This adds up to more "picture-window" and 3D moments per minute then any other HD DVD I've seen. The underwater scenes appeared to me on screen about identical as they do through a mask when I'm snorkeling. Thats a pretty big statement but I was really that impressed.
My only complaints come from the sources. This is another documentary that uses a variety of cameras to capture the video and not all of them are HD. The scaled SD shots can be jarring but occur infrequently. And camera noise varies but never became as bad as those particularly noisy shots from Planet Earth, another amazing BBC documentary. There is also banding in some of the sky's hues. It didn't bother me but I know some here are real sticklers about it.
On the audio side, things are documentary as usual. Nature sounds are rendered with clarity and the narration is mixed for clarity. The score is quite grand and swells nicely at special moments. Its entirely front heavy. I'll have to go through again, which I'll gladly do, to locate a discrete surround effect. I missed them if they were there, of course the video was distracting, but I think thats telling of the mix. I would have liked more surround bleed of the score but keep in mind this was made for TV.
Galapagos stimulates your mind and grabs a hold of your eyes for its entire runtime. This is a disc that should be in every HD collection. We all live in a marvelous time where the most magical places on earth can be freely experienced in our homes. I wonder how the great thinkers of decades gone-by would react to what is now available to us all.

Edit: It's been brought to my attention that this disc only contains a stereo audio track. It says it on the back of the box but I didn't notice. This explains why I didn't notice any surround use.

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post #9 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 11:24 AM
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Sorax, as someone who spent over 6 hours snorkeling in the same waters shown on the disc in August, I can tell you that this disc captures what I saw with my own eyes perfectly, enough to have given me the willies. I reviewed this disc on my site and another and can tell you without hesitation that this is the best nature documentary on the market.
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 01:48 PM
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My 6 and 4 year olds are awed by Planet Earth. I should pick this one up as well.

Thanks for the revew, Sorax.

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post #11 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 03:57 PM
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About half of this 2.5 hour documentary is wasted on an irrelevant and boring discussion of Darwin and people that sailed to the Galapagos, and the first 10 minutes or so of the second and third programs waste time repeating what was said in the prior programs.

The remaining nature documentary portion (~1 hour) is very Planet Earth-like, a lot of superficial eye candy that's not too well organized and lacking detailed explanations. But the camera work is excellent.

IMO, this is more of a rental than a keeper.
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nm88 View Post

About half of this 2.5 hour documentary is wasted on an irrelevant and boring discussion of Darwin and people that sailed to the Galapagos, and the first 10 minutes or so of the second and third programs waste time repeating what was said in the prior programs.

The remaining nature documentary portion (~1 hour) is very Planet Earth-like, a lot of superficial eye candy that's not too well organized and lacking detailed explanations. But the camera work is excellent.

IMO, this is more of a rental than a keeper.

There is absolutely NOTHING irrelevant discussing Darwin and the Galapagos Islands...did you actually watch the video to learn why they are so closely tied together???

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post #13 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorax View Post

Animals from blue-footed boobies to giant tortoises are given their moments on screen.

Blue-footed boobies?
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post #14 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 View Post

There is absolutely NOTHING irrelevant discussing Darwin and the Galapagos Islands...did you actually watch the video to learn why they are so closely tied together???

It's all lies anyway, Intelligent design is the real documentary I'd like to see. I think cavemen riding dinosaurs with saddles would be awesome in HD.
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 05:37 PM
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Tread lightly, or this thread will get locked.

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post #16 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 View Post

There is absolutely NOTHING irrelevant discussing Darwin and the Galapagos Islands...did you actually watch the video to learn why they are so closely tied together???

Yes, I'm quite familiar (from outside sources) with Darwin's connection to the island and how it helped him shape his theory of evolution.

However, the documentary doesn't even explore that in any depth. The second episode is littered with dramatizations of Darwin wandering on the island with superficial narration that never explains the connection in detail. It's boring, and pointless.

I'm just warning people who might be expecting a nature documentary that they will only get about an hour's worth of great Planet Earth-ish eye candy about animal life on the islands, but little meaningful narration and a lot of unnecessary filler. (Think National Geographic's "Relentless Enemies," although not nearly as bad as that.)
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post #17 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite View Post

Blue-footed boobies?

It's hard to even mention those islands without discussing blue-footed boobies!

http://www.photoseek.com/94GAL-10-34...ootedBooby.jpg
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post #18 of 22 Old 10-13-2007, 08:43 AM
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JWhip:
Thanks for verifying the clarity of this video. I could imagine no higher compliment. Also, that's a nice website you have begun. I like the look and your writing is strong. I also followed the link from your Galapagos review to your photo album. It looked to be a great experience. I'm amazed you can get that close to the animals. Now, I can't wait to travel there myself. By the way, it looks like that tortoise is shy Your photos of Dover reminded me how awesome it is. Dover's castle was the best I seen.

nm88:
I agree its useful to inform people there are sections not exclusively pertaining to animals but honestly I couldn't imagine the documentary not mentioning Darwin. The first thing I thought of, after seeing the title, was Origin of Species. In addition you overstate the actors screen time. Shots containing humans take up maybe 25 minutes and are always narrated in context to their surrounding.
I take issue with your use of "superficial" when describing the images. The shots of these creatures give what you take from them. A scene where a Woodpecker Finch wedges out a grub with a twig, it properly sized, contains depth and revelation to me. And every frame has the additional level of "what did a human have to do to film this"?!?!
You are right Galapagos isn't very detailed but does provide plenty of facts and explanations. With the wealth of potential information it could easily have become overly-dense. As it is, I believe Galapagos leaves you informed but wanting to learn more.
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Blue-footed boobies?

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post #19 of 22 Old 10-13-2007, 01:26 PM
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I picked this up today at Best Buy (they price matched Amazon). It's been on for a couple hours in the back ground while I've been doing work around the house (including installing a new toilet. Blech.).

The parts that I have seen has caused me to stop in my tracks. I'm really looking forward to sitting down and really watching this documentary.

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post #20 of 22 Old 10-13-2007, 01:39 PM
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Sorax, one of the msot amazing things about the animals there is their total lack of fear of humans. You can walk right up to most of them and they pay you no heed at all. We would walk right up to the blue footed and nasca boobies and watch them do their mating dance and tend to their chicks. The finches and mockingbirds would land on your neck. They don't scatter when you wander near. The only animals that scatter when you approach are the Sally lightfooted crabs. There are billions of them it seems. Watching the blue footed boobies plung dive en mass was amazing as was swimming with sea turtles as they would graze under water. Having sea lion cubs and penguins shoot between your legs while snorkling can be disconcerting the first few times. BTW, the giant tortises just draw in their heads when you get close, at least some of them do. Too big to run! They make this giant sucking sound when they do. They sound like Darth Vader. Dover castle was great. Nothing like sitting on the King's jack. That is my wife's travel blog. She does all the work there. As far as nm88's comments, I doubt he would feel the same if he was ever there. I found this disc to be wonderful in all respects.
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post #21 of 22 Old 10-13-2007, 04:26 PM
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I'm sold and just about to order this on HD DVD right now. Great reviews, and good info Sorax. It sounds so amazing, I can't wait to get this on Wed!
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post #22 of 22 Old 10-14-2007, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorax View Post

Shots containing humans take up maybe 25 minutes and are always narrated in context to their surrounding.

I watched it when the SD version came out, but as I remember it, the entire second episode droned on in dramatic tones about Darwin (after wasting considerable time in the beginning recapping what was said in the prior episode). And it didn't even say much of substance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorax View Post

I take issue with your use of "superficial" when describing the images.

The writing is superficial, very Planet Earth-like, as though it were put there for dramatic effect rather than education. Of course, some people might like it that way, but those familiar with nature documentaries and the Galapagos might be disappointed.

Bottom line, if you liked Planet Earth, you will probably like this. But if you've seen the catalog of BBC nature documentaries that predated it, you'll likely be disappointed except for the fact that it's in HD. There are much better documentaries out there covering this subject.
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