The Beauty Of Snakes (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 04-06-2009, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 8,927
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 392
attachment.php?attachmentid=138978&d=1239020641
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

78






Studio and Year: Genius Products - 2008
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 43 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080i/60


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Narrated by Aoife McMahon
Produced by: Brook Lapping
Music by: Barnaby Taylor
Written by: N/A
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 7, 2009







"Masters of the kill"



Film Synopsis:

Explore one of nature's most beautiful and mysterious creatures. From the desert horned viper to the tiny thread snake, these reptiles have never been showcased in such detail for their vibrant colors and sleek movements. Visit a number of unusual species throughout the globe as this special brings these exotic snakes to light. Despite their fearsome reputation, these fascinating specimens will prove that they are more than deadly, dangerous predators. The Beauty Of Snakes will take you into the wild to celebrate the most intriguing snakes around the world.




My Take:

The Beauty of snakes is an interesting documentary on these fascinating and largely misunderstood reptiles. I recall seeing this when it aired on DiscoveryHD Theater on cable TV. I remember stumbling upon it while surfing channels and then not being unable to turn it off. It gives a general overview of their mating, birthing, anatomy, and physiology although there are some variances among the differing species. There are approximately 3,000 species that live in nearly every corner of the world. They come in a variety of colors, genus types, and can be as small as 6 inches or as large as 30 feet. No matter their size or classification all snakes are masters of the kill. Though largely feared by humans snakes will almost always avoid human contact but some can be extremely dangerous if provoked (or not provoked!). One such example is the African Black Mamba. Nicknamed the Shadow of death by locals the Black Mamba is short tempered, extremely fast, and a highly venomous snake. Its venom can be fatal within 20 minutes of a bite. It is also capable of short bursts of speed that can average up to 12 mph. If you take nothing away from this documentary remember to avoid these particularly nasty snakes that have been known to get pissed off and pursue those who have come across their paths. This is a wonderfully shot feature that provides incredible footage of mating rituals (the garter snake was pretty interesting), birthing, feeding, shedding skin, camera mounted viewpoint (from a snakes point of view) and more. These amazing animals are descended from early reptiles. They live in trees, on land or in the water and have adapted to existing in a multitude of environments. While we tend to look at them in a negative light, snakes are extremely important in keeping the rodent population under control. If you like documentary's and appreciate photographic excellence this is well worth checking out.








Parental Guide:

This may not be appropriate for young viewers as there are several sequences where furry little creatures meet their demise.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 72



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

The beauty of snakes comes to Blu-ray Disc from Genius Products featuring 1080i AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 mbps and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 channel audio that has a constant bitrate of 448 kbps.

This high definition video presentation looked good on HD cable but looks stunning on Blu-ray Disc. Colors are bold, deep and delineated. The plethora of bright hues, lush greens and earth tones look succulent. Textures are deep and detail is vivid as the various landscapes, small animals and environments captured by the camera have superb depth and lucid resolution. Blacks are deep and contrast is strong which gives images plenty of dynamic pop. There was some intermittent digital noise that was primarily visible against light backgrounds but it wasn't detrimental. The 5.1 channel Dolby sound quality was open, clear, and easily conveyed the dialogue rich elements of this documentary. The presentation remained front focused with Barnaby Taylor's music and Aoife McMahon's narration taking center stage. Dialogue was firmly entrenched in the center channel with the music flanking it through the mains with mild atmospheric ambience spread to the surrounds. This isn't a particularly engaging surround mix but I never felt it was lacking in any way.



Bonus Features:

There are no bonus features.






Final Thoughts:

The beauty of snakes is a documentary that offers an intriguing and visually arresting look at one of the most diverse, potentially dangerous and oldest species of reptile on the planet. This Blu-ray Disc presentation beautifully captures the essence of the high definition recording and looks incredible. If you are looking for a great way to show off your high definition display this documentary makes for a great conversation piece. Enjoy.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 04-06-2009, 01:58 PM
Senior Member
 
ilovenola2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Posts: 391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks, Ralph, for an informative (as usual!) review of what must be a fascinating title!

It certainly sounds like a great disc for showing off picture quality.

Besides, I have a friend coming to visit and this disc should scare the hell out of him!
ilovenola2 is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 04-06-2009, 02:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JamE55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
HHmmmm....
JamE55 is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 04-06-2009, 06:41 PM
AVS Special Member
 
butsu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Good review,Ralph.
butsu is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 04-06-2009, 08:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
geocab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 1,047
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Talk to me when Snakes on a Plane is available in blu.


Seriously though, might have to check this out.
geocab is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 04-06-2009, 08:38 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Dave Vaughn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 4,309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 69
Snakes give me the willies, but whenever they are featured on a TV show (documentary or the crock-hunter), I can't turn it off!

About 15 years ago, there police all over the San Francisco Bay Area were searching for a Black Mamba, that was supposedly imported into the country and was reported lost by the owner. I remember being on a golf course and looking up into every tree before walking under them, because these snakes were known to attack from above!!! Happily, it turned out to be a prank, but it showed how much I loved golf...I would risk my life to squeeze in a round!

Great review Ralph...this one is going into the Netflix queue...although i don't like their damn price increase!!!!!

David Vaughn

Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer

Sound & Vision Magazine (Print & Online)

Dave Vaughn is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 04-07-2009, 09:29 PM
Member
 
horrorfan2112's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: ballston spa ny
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Great review Ralph! This is one of my all time favorite programs that has aired on Discovery HD theater. It actually had a permanent residence on my DVR until a snafu by yours truly lost it forever... There is something hypnotizing about the image quality on some of the scenes that just transfixes anybody looking at the screen. By the time you know it you are fully into the program.

This is a show off your display disc indeed.
horrorfan2112 is offline  
Reply Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off