Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I have only seen one movie at the theatre this summer, and wish I hadn't, which is unusual for me since I love going to the movies so much...but...I refuse to spend my hard earned money on more summer sequels or movies I suspect were produced to simply make a buck. Two summers ago an article appeared in the local Bakersfield paper entitled the "summer of sequels" which documented the release of 22 movie sequels. I don't know how many sequels there are this summer but the trend has continued every summer now...and... I have had enough.....So what is a person to do, especially someone who loves films?...There are numerous options including looking for low budget, independent, off the radar screen, films at the local video store...but...this summer I have chosen to spend my money on two highly acclaimed video productions produced by the BBC. Over the past ten years the BBC has spent up to 75 million dollars to produce the Blue Planet and the Planet Earth series which, imo, are two of the greatest, if not the greatest, nature films ever produced. I originally discovered the Planet Earth series while channel surfing and watching television with my two sons...both my two sons were amazed and captivated by the incredible photography and narration of David Attenborough which is no small feat considering that my sons are 17 years old and lets just say haven't shown much interest in nature, documentaries, or educational related films, in general, over the past couple of years...so...I ponied up the 80 bucks and purchased the two series together on Amazon. Eighty bucks might be a bit much pocket change but the two series combined include 15 episodes which comes out to just over five bucks an episode...and...since I figure to watch these films over and over again in the years to come I consider this a real bargain. The Blue Planet series consists of four episodes of Ocean life covering the Coral Seas, Frozen Seas, Coasts, and the Ocean Deep. The Planet Earth series is a much more extensive series which includes eleven episodes covering everything from jungles,forests,mountains, the two poles, to life in caves...so...if you are looking for something to watch this summer and like me, you are fed up with the same old, Hollywood, let's make a buck approach to films you might consider checking out the world we live in by watching the Blue Planet or the Planet Earth series...important note... for anyone who might consider buying the Planet Earth series. There are apparently two different versions. One is narrated by Sigourney Weaver and the other by David Attenborough. The films are the same but the narrations different. I have seen episodes by both narrators and consider Attenborough far superior to Weaver. Weaver is very dry in her narration while Attenborough comes across as much more lively which is as expected considering he has been narrating nature films for decades now.

2 comments:

Dave said...

We watched these series pretty faithfully when they were broadcast for free on the Discovery Channel. Very impressive! I think it is seriously worth purchasing. Every so often, Barnes & Noble does a great "buy 2, get one free" DVD sale (they just ended one the other day, actually) and I think I'll keep this tip in mind. Weird about the two narrator versions... Attenborough is clearly the one to go with - he's an accomplished naturalist as well as a great voice artist.

Bilbo said...

Hi Dave,

I recently saw the series on sale at Costco for about 50 bucks which comes out to about five dollars an episode. Since I intend to watch the various episodes multiple times and use the series in my classroom it's a bargain....