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Earth is Great

Published April 25, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Disneynature
Earth Earth
I wouldn’t normally go see a nature documentary, but since it was part of my job, I actually discovered something surprisingly cool. Earth is a really compelling documentary.

Review: Earth

The footage is great. I haven’t seen the Planet Earth version but they certainly use the best for the movie. There’s no filler. It’s going to look great on Blu Ray with all the different scenes, like screen savers with overhead shots of gazelle migration, birds’ flight patterns, dolphins swimming, a walrus pile, whales’ bubble net and Aurora Australis.

Aww, arctic bears and cubs. Baby birds. Ducks learning to fly. Yeah, it’s really f***ing cute. I got to see weird creatures that I’d never see on my own. Other scenes are tense. Predatory animal chases really rev you up, although they cut before the kids would have to see the bloody kill. That would be reality.

It seems like a series of ministories. There’s no overall story like March of the Penguins, which is fine by me because I don’t really need to stay with one animal for 90 minutes. It’s highlights of all the cool animals. They keep returning to the bears but everyone else seems like a one hit wonder.

One thing that separates Earth from your standard Discovery Channel show is the A-list score. This sounds like a movie, not public domain files. And it’s 5.1 sound.

I can’t imagine sitting there with a camera waiting for these sequences to occur, or flying around for the sweeping epic shots. Doing time lapse with a moving camera blows my mind. The outtakes are awesome, showing how they did it and what went wrong.

James Earl Jones is the standard gravitas narrator. It’s not for me but I guess that’s how documentaries roll. Sometimes he tries too hard to comment on what’s going on. Honestly, there’s no real information in the narration anyway. They can just show the scenes. You can keep up.

I didn’t learn anything but it’s fun, which I didn’t expect. Animals do stuff. I don’t see how it’s an overall ecosystem but whatever. Maybe it’s that all animals migrate and that’s the life cycle? Oh wait, they said it’s about perseverance. I’m just happy I wasn’t bored.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Disneynature

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