MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The BBC Earth team takes look at a nature documentary from a different angle. Rather than spotlighting the natural world, they spotlight how the human race has conquered it. This eight-episode series looks at the societies that live in the various environments Earth has to offer: Oceans, Deserts, Arctic, Jungles, Mountains, Grasslands, Rivers and Cities.
WHAT I LIKED
I have been a big fan of the BBC Earth series for a while, and once I bought a Blu-ray player and HDTV, the show popped even more. The cinematography of this series is not lacking at all, even though it’s focusing on the human element instead of just raw nature.
In this respect, there’s still plenty of nature spotlighted in this series. Most of the stories show how human beings work with nature and live in the extreme areas of the planet. Even if you’re into strictly the nature series element of BBC Earth, there’s a lot to be found here, from lions in Africa to whales in the ocean.
The parts of the BBC Earth series that have the greatest impact isn’t necessarily the animal elements, but rather the beautiful photography of nature itself. While this show deals with human civilizations, they are set among some of the most amazing backdrops, from snow-covered mountains to the deep expanses of the ocean.
A series like “Human Planet” helps put a lot of things in perspective. While I’m sitting at home worrying about gas prices, taxes and whether I’ll get all of my DVD and Blu-ray reviews written before their deadlines, it’s eye-opening to watch stories about people whose only concern is to find enough food from the natural world to keep their families alive.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Even though this Blu-ray set includes some of the most diverse locations on any of the BBC Earth series I’ve seen, I do still prefer the strictly nature documentary style of the rest of the show. Nothing against the cultures spotlighted in this series, but there does tend to be a little too much repetitive cross-over among the cultures profiled in the eight installments.
Each episode from “Human Planet” includes a ten-minute “Behind the Lens” tag at the end featuring behind-the-scenes information on the most challenging aspects of filming that general location. The third disc in the set includes two bonus “Behind the Lens” episodes, plus a link to a third via BD-Live.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who loves the BBC Earth series, particularly how it looks on Blu-ray.