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Better than my trip to the Galapagos

  • Dec 1, 2009
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 are possible as a tourist). Furthermore, the blu-ray version is stunning - frankly, it reminded me how beautiful the area is and makes me want to return soon.

The narrative is generally good, although sometimes it tries too hard to dramatize the Galapagos (i.e., calling the generally lazy marine iguanas "dragons"). Tilda Swinton's narration can seem a bit slow - she's certainly no David Attenborough - but it's not too bad. Definitely don't let the fact that Attenborough didn't narrate this series discourage you from checking it out.

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review by . March 07, 2008
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 …
About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … 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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