Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Walt Disney Home Video presents
Sacred Planet (2004)

"Many people have never heard their voices. Now it may be time to listen."
- narrator Robert Redford, on the indigenous people featured in the film

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: April 05, 2005

Director: Jon Long

MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 00h:46m:39s
Release Date: April 05, 2005
UPC: 786936228922
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Unless you've got a television set the size of a garage door, films shot for and originally shown in the IMAX format are going to suffer when you watch them at home. The enveloping experience is so much what IMAX is about—huge images shot with piercing clarity and projected onto giant screens. (Each frame of IMAX film has something like four times the surface area as conventional 35 mm film, making for pictures of tremendously high resolution.) So on DVD isn't the optimal way to watch Sacred Planet—then again, you're reading this on a website devoted to DVDs, and it's fair to say that not everything gets lost in translation to the small screen.

The film crew has taken some glorious images from spots in the world that are largely pristine and without evidence of industrialization: Namibia, Thailand, British Columbia and Alaska, Borneo among them. There are lots and lots of pretty pictures: herds of antelope and zebras running wild, dolphins in pristine blue water, underwater photography, fantastical orange sunsets. The filmmakers also favor helicopter shots, swooping in and just over snowcapped mountains, for instance; time-lapse photography is another favored technique, so swirls of clouds rush by, hours and hours compressed to a few frames. Robert Redford provides the narration, which is very spare; we also see the indigenous people, living lives not much different than their forebears from centuries, even millennia, ago. We hear from them, too; but this is on voice-over, and is in English, which suggests that these are American actors dubbing in the words of these people. There's something a little bit imperial at work there, but it's easy to forgive, because the recurring theme is the importance of living in harmony with nature, and how an individual can thrive only in a culture of sharing.

There are the inevitable cutaways to the worst of contemporary life, with stop-motion photography of teeming shopping malls, unbearable traffic at rush hour, felled trees as evidence of the rape of the land. The not-so-subtle suggestion is that industrialization is evil; when I've been to see things like this at IMAX theaters, it's always been in the company of my son, and the screenings have been peppered with other children, so there's certainly a sense at work here that part of the film's job is to educate (or, depending on your perspective, indoctrinate) our youth about the political agenda of the environmental movement. Still, even the most ardent slash-and-burn industrialist would have to acknowledge how beautiful so many of the pictures in this film are, and that what some of us call progress never comes without a price.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - P&S
Original Aspect Ratioyesno

Image Transfer Review: As you might anticipate, in many respects the transfer is the best thing about this DVD. Images are crystal clear, colors are carefully modulated—it's all extraordinarily pretty to look at.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The musical scoring is a little heavy on the pan flute for my taste—paging Zamfir—and the heavily accented native narrators can occasionally be difficult to understand. Sounds fine overall, though.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Cinderella, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Tarzan II, America's Heart and Soul
2 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Jon Long
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Director Jon Long's commentary track is largely about the challenge of shooting in the IMAX format, and on how to control the images. He's especially funny talking about the reactions of the indigenous peoples to the truckloads of equipment from Hollywood, for they seemed to be baffled by the Westerners, their stuff, and its lack of utility: "If it doesn't keep you warm, what's the point?" Long is also featured prominently in a making-of featurette (11m:18s), as is his producer and wife, Karen Fernandez; they both agree that they wanted to "let the pictures do the talking, for the most part." And you can see more of those pictures in Our Sacred Planet: Unseen Moments in Time (06m:54s), more footage from the shoot, with musical scoring; the underwater shots are especially exquisite.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Beautiful images better seen on the big screen, but not without rewards at home. Unless you're planning that trip to Namibia some time soon, this is a worthy and politically aware substitute.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store