Sacred Planet

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Rating: G

Starring:
Robert Redford as Narrator (voice)
Arapata McKay as Native Voice (voice)
Tsaan Ciqae as Native Voice (voice)
Mae Tui as Native Voice (voice)
Cy Peck Jr. as Native Voice (voice)
Mutang Urud as Native Voice (voice)

Special Features:
“Our Sacred Planet: Unseen Moments In Time” Music Video — With Never-Before-Seen Footage

“The Making Of Sacred Planet” Behind-The-Scenes Featurette

Feature Audio Commentary With The Director

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1) and Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Digtal Surround Sound
French Subtitles
Running Time: 47 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film was originally released as an IMAX or giant screen picture. The following is from the DVD cover:

“Narrated by Academy Award winner Robert Redford, Sacred Planet is a journey away from the hectic “world” we live in. Through stunning cinematography, it transports you to some of the most fascinating, exotic, and remote sites on Earth, giving you new insights into her diverse landscapes, peoples, and animals. You’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of these all-but-forgotten faraway places, the majesty of the creatures who live there, and the wisdom of the elders who hold the knowledge of the past. This magical around-the-world odyssey is an awe-inspiring wonder the entire family will enjoy.”

Sacred Planet is rated G.

The Movie:
Sacred Planet is a good example of how IMAX films don’t always translate well to the small screen. The scenery is absolutely stunning, but not nearly as much as it would have been if you had seen it on the big screen. The clever camera angles and tricks put you right in the middle of these wildernesses, yet that effect is totally lost in the home theater. What you’re left with is a series of pretty pictures and very little more.

The film is narrated by Robert Redford, but he has very few lines in the movie. What little narration there is by him and the various natives they highlight consists of admonitions for high tech society to listen to lessons from their primitive indigenous peoples. OK, that’s a nice idea, but most of what they have to say is, “We need to listen to the Earth”. OK, how. “Love the bear.” All right, but what if he just wants to eat fish?. “Canoe in the rainforest naked.” Eh? (OK, I made that last one up.) In short, it’s a lot of vague ideas with little to back it up. Natives in the forests may have the wisdom of the ages, but I’m sure they appreciate modern medical attention from time to time.

All that aside, it’s certainly a beautiful film. They feature Thailand, Alaska, Burma, Arizona, and other beautiful locations. There’s also some nice underwater footage. A number of animals are also shown including elephants, sea turtles, bears, and monkeys doing bellyflops from large trees. You know a movie is doing something right if it has bellyflopping monkeys.

If you like nature shows or if you saw Sacred Planet in theaters, then you might be interested in picking up Sacred Planet on DVD. Otherwise you might just want to pass on this and watch the National Geographic Channel.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD. Here are the highlights:

“Our Sacred Planet: Unseen Moments In Time” Music Video – This is a brief video featuring new age music from the film along with some cut scenes. It’s just more of the same from the film itself.

“The Making Of Sacred Planet” Behind-The-Scenes Featurette – This is a short “making of” feature containing interviews with the director and producers. They show behind the scenes footage of the shooting the film and other interesting stuff. I found it ironic that in the scenes with the natives, they were all wearing western clothing when not on camera. They were obviously fixed up to look more “native” for the movie.

Feature Audio Commentary With The Director – Director Jon Long gets heavy into the technical aspects of the making of the film. He does have a few tales from the set, but otherwise it’s pretty dry.

The Bottom Line:
Without the giant screen, Sacred Planet is little more than some pretty nature pictures. If you’re looking for more than that, you’ll probably want to check out another DVD instead.

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