Arabia (Large Format) (Blu-Ray)
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From the Academy AwardÂ®-nominated producers of Everest and Grand Canyon Adventure comes an all-new experience about the extraordinary culture and history of Arabia. With breathtaking cinematography, go deep into the heart of this exotic land to experience the great mystique of Arabia. Like riding a magic carpet, you will discover the lost city of Madain Saleh and explore its ancient tombs, travel along the early frankincense trade route, confront a wild desert sandstorm, and dive among the gorgeous coral reefs and ancient shipwrecks of the dazzling Red Sea. Plus, in a series of stunning time-lapse images, join the largest single human gathering on Earth for an incredible pilgrimage. Narrated by Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, this powerful and surprising tour de force offers a deeper understanding of a fascinating culture and way of life that has largely remained hidden, until now. The 3D Blu-ray will also play on a standard Blu-ray player in 2D.
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I appreciated the history lesson and background on the Arabian precursor culture, of the Nabateans whose empire at the time was extremely successful by any standards, as providers to the Roman Empire of special spices and frankincense which provided enough capital to build monuments and structures that still awe the observer with their beauty and endurance.
-- views of their magnificent ruins carved into sandstone in hidden places in the desert was all new information to me-- though the scientific and scholarly history during the "golden age of Islam" which sparked the European renaissance of the 15th century was familiar, but overall it was well organized and integrated.
I also enjoyed the underwater sequences in the Red Sea, along with the aspects of the archaelogical excavations ongoing-- Juxtaposed with the unbelievably impressive high-rise and construction boom that has taken place over the last few decades - quite astonishing to see how much of the society has managed to remain steadfast despite these rapid changes of their country over a short period of time.
I especially was interested in the enormous investments their govt has made into higher education and scholarly endeavors at a time the world needs more intellectual pursuit and less militaristic targets.
All in all I'd say the film gave me pretty much what I've come to expect from an IMAX journey film...high quality, thoughtful exposition and a good deal of cultural information as well as the typical types of information a 'travelogue' film tends to offer. McGillivrey and Freeman rock! and Helen Mirren's voice polished it nicely. Hamzah Jamjoon, the film student from DePaul Univ Chicago was adorable & a personable 'guide' during the film making in his homeland.
If you prefer to take the road less traveled you will enjoy this journey.
Nice eye candy for the price. Shortly before I took delivery of my new LG 3D TV from Amazon, I bought a bunch of these short themed DVDs. The IMAX productions are well presented and really pop.