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Absolutely gorgeous on HD DVD

  • Mar 7, 2008
  • by
I've always been very interested in the Galapagos...primarily the Giant Tortoises. So I eagerly snapped this HD DVD up, because I'm a new HD DVD player owner (and VERY disappointed in the death of the format...although my player is an OUTSTANDING upconverter...anyway, back to the subject at hand).

The visuals are absolutely stunning. No other word will do. The HD detail is magnificent and the beauty of these islands probably could never be captured better. Obviously, going there in person would be unbeatable...but until then, this disc will serve.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the discs from an educational level. I learned a lot about the geology and biology of the place, and "met" many creatures I was only glancingly familiar with. The footage of the Marine Iguanas diving below the choppy ocean to eat was a true high point in my lifetime exagerration. That acts of such awkward beauty take place regularly on our planet is pretty amazing to me.

Newly minted Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton provides suitable quiet, respectful, "vedy British" narration.

Only gripe: because this disc is actually several episodes, there is some repetition of material presented. You get to hear the geologic history of the islands a few times. It's a fairly minor quibble...and absolutely does not deter me from recommending.

When I watched episode 1, my 20 year old son was around. He was fixing to leave for the evening to hand out with friends...but ended up glued to the sofa for the whole episode. The next night, my 15 year old daughter griped and moaned about watching an episode...but sure enough...five minutes later she was entranced. This is really good stuff...made even more remarkable by HD.

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review by . December 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I've been to the Galapagos Islands and, as much as I love the BBC's wildlife unit, at first wondered whether I should bother with a documentary like Galapagos. However, this documentary was awesome and in many ways I saw more of the islands than I saw on my trip. The documentary is a decent length at 2.5 hours and covers the whole gamut of wildlife on the islands. It takes you under the oceans to watch bioluminescent invertebrates and face-to-face with marine iguanas (unfortunately, neither of which …
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I've got my own site,, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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About this movie


While its title may be superfluous,Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the Worldis a beautifully filmed journey into "the islands of the tortoise." Located due west of Ecuador, the Galapagos islands are full of gorgeous scenery and exotic wildlife. And this 150-minute documentary shows it all, thanks to stunning cinematography shot from all viewpoints--the air, sea and, of course, land. The collection is both soothing and exhilarating as it allows viewers to peek in on mating albatrosses (which are monogamous), penguins fishing, and surprisingly graceful giant tortoises swimming in the ocean. The filmmakers also manage to capture a ferocious volcanic eruption that is amazing in its clarity. The problem with many documentaries lies in the narration. A documentary filmmaker hits the jackpot when he is able to get someone like Sigourney Weaver, whose crisp narration fits in beautifully with the sweeping footage inPlanet Earth. While Tilda Swanton lends a relaxing quality toGalapagos, her voice at times is a bit too lulling to hold the viewer's interest. The writing also borders on melodramatic, with talk of the simmering sea and such. With visuals as stunning as this, hyperbole is unnecessary. Charles Darwin has described the Galapagos as a world within itself, and it is said that the islands were one of his inspirations for his bookThe Origin of Species. While the film doesn't clearly explain why the Galapagos are unlike any other place on earth, it does showcase a destination ...
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Genre: Television
DVD Release Date: October 2, 2007
Runtime: 150 minutes
Studio: BBC Warner

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