Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DVD Review - Life (2009)

Life (released on DVD June 1) is a nature documentary produced by BBC and yes, there are many of these out there. But before you groan about another one of these, hear me out. It's a documentary in the sense that it shows nature, real life, and that sort of thing. In another, it's a mystical, spellbinding journey that at times, seems almost foreign.

Life, as lived by us who spend hours and hours on a couch in front of a television, is nothing like the life portrayed in Life. Decisions we make rarely amount to more than getting what we desire, certainly not natural There are struggles of life and death from the smallest magnitude, the fly caught in a Venus flytrap to greater magnitudes, humpback whales racing frenetically for a mate. An octopus even dies so her young can be safe.

Lives are taken and lives are created at a blink of an eye, boiled down to less than a minute of footage, certainly hours and hours for the cameramen. These brief moments, mere glimpses into the lives of these animals are painstakingly recorded and it's mindboggling to even consider all the logistics behind the production. First, the locations vary from the Arctic where killer whales hunt seals to Africa where cheetah take down zebras. Second, the animals need to be found and the moments of action must be caught on camera, something the everyday person won't find simply by going to these places.

Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, Life provides just enough facts to let viewers know what's going on, but not excessive scientific jargon to bore viewers. Along with gaping in awe at the amazing visual spectacle, I learned a few things at the same time, not a bad way to spend a few hours at all.

Score: 9.5/10
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