Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Life (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
9 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Narrated by Oprah Winfrey

Special Features:
Life on Location

Deleted Scenes

"Music Only" Viewing Option

Other Info:
Widescreen
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Portuguese, French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 484 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the series:

"From the BBC and the Discovery Channel, producers of 'Planet Earth' and 'The Blue Planet: Seas of Life,' comes the newest landmark natural history series, Life. In 'Planet Earth,' we brought you the world as you've never seen it before. Now, get closer with Life. Four years in the making, filmed over 3000 days, across every continent and in every habitat, with breathtaking new high definition filming techniques not available for 'Planet Earth,' 'Life' presents 130 incredible stories from the frontiers of the natural world, 54 of which have never been filmed before. Packed with excitement, revelation and entertainment, this remarkable 11-part blockbuster, narrated by Oprah Winfrey, captures unprecedented, astonishingly beautiful sequences and demonstrates the spectacular and extraordinary tactics animals and plants have developed to stay alive."

"Life" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I generally rate a nature documentary on the quality of the cinematography and whether or not they show me something I've never seen before. "Life" delivers on both fronts. This documentary has some simply stunning footage. You see humpback whales racing through the ocean. You see starfish moving over the ocean floor in high speed photography. You see a plant in the rainforest that drops its seeds in the form of paper airplanes. You see a bird that attracts females by using interior decorating. Every single episode of this series has something that makes you go, "Wow!"

This was originally a BBC series, but it does have some editing issues in its American presentation. There are abrupt commercial cuts that seem to cut short the commentary. I've also seen online complaints about the commentary by Oprah Winfrey. Some of her lines seem a bit more geared toward kids. If you're watching with the whole family, it might be less annoying, but I do understand the complaints.

I used to watch nature documentaries with my family when I was a kid. We'd watch Jacques Cousteau, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, National Geographic specials, Cosmos, and more. I got that same feeling when I popped this Blu-ray in the PlayStation and watched it with my family. In fact, my kids have insisted on watching the entire series. That's pretty rare for them to do, so I think it speaks a lot towards how special this series is.

If you're really into nature documentaries, you might want to buy the original British version narrated by David Attenborough. But if you have kids that are more interested in the animals than the narrator, then this is a great addition to your collection.

The bonus features on this are fairly light, but they are good. You'll find a few deleted scenes and some 'making of' videos. It's quite interesting to see the lengths they went to in order to film this footage. It's a test of technology, patience, and luck. You'll certainly appreciate "Life" even more after seeing how they filmed it.

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