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Discovery Atlas Set

Isabella Rossellini , Michael Lynch    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 89.99
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous scenery but minimal Dec 27 2011
By Cheryl TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
Though the blu-ray version is gorgeous, I wasn't familiar with this series and expected much more scenery, perhaps based on the title alone. There are some great visuals of Italy's natural beauty but as a whole the footage is too minimal, and instead the documentary focuses (intently) on a select number of personalities as each follows their chosen career aspirations. (The risk is the viewer may be completely disinterested in one or all of these individuals.) Though the professions profiled are well connected to Italy (gondolier, race car driver, fashion model etc.), I would have preferred more scenery and a broader representation, even with talking heads of past and present, to give a better overview. Though some footage is momentarily spectacular, narrator, Isabella Rossellini adds drama (bordering on melodrama) to the often repetitive script, in an attempt to build the viewer's interest in the events. (run time is a lengthy 1hr. 40min.) More interesting are the blu-ray extras which include a making-of HD, behind-the-scenes, trailers for other titles in the series, and photo gallery.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning tour of Italy June 7 2009
Format:Blu-ray
What a breathtaking panoramic tour of Italy this Blu-Ray dvd is.From the picturesque country side to the Grand canals of Venice a true vision of beauty.A remarkable horse race that has to be seen to be belived.This is truly an indepth look into Italy.A real "tour du force".From the Caesars to da Vinci and the cathedral of the Pope its all there.Paul Barrington.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A look at the lives of some interesting Italians April 2 2008
By D. Marshall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Do not buy this video if you wish to be shown the Colesseum, etc. etc. - all of the tourist attractions, it is not that type of video. It is more about capturing the mood of the country, some of its background, and the prospects for the future.
You will meet a man purusing his dream of becoming a gondolier in Venice; a volunteer rescue worker in the Italian Alps; we follow a member of the Missoni family preparing for their new collection; a horse jockey who hopes to participate in Siena's palio (a 90 second horserace which brings the neighbourhoods of Siena to a fever-pitch); a young Roman girl who hopes to be the country's first femae race car driver; and a young Sicilian man who is a free diver, hoping to become professional. Along the way we are told about the state of the Catholic church in modern Italy, and other vignettes of information about the country that we learn while we look in on these people's lives. And of course, Isabella Rosselini's voice is wonderful, I love it.

So you will not be told where to go and what to see in this DVD. But you will have a better sense of the country and its people, what makes them tick, where they came from, where they are going. For me that was fascinating. I did find the scene of Siena's palio a bit upsetting actually (when they say it is a dangerous race they mean it). In my mind all I could think was 'is it really worth it to risk your life for a horse race?' but this is something that is obviously very important to them.

I did not make this purchase expecting to get a tourist's tour of Italy. I borrowed it from the library first. Then I bought it knowing what I was getting. It is a DVD that I will enjoy having in my collection.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photography Nov. 24 2007
By Andrew Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:HD DVD|Verified Purchase
This is worth watching in HD for the stunning photography alone.

Contrary to some reviews, there is nothing wrong with the disc. Certain HD-DVD players have firmware bugs which have been fixed in newer versions, that keep them from showing several titles including this one. Connect your HD-DVD player to the internet and run the update utility under Settings.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary !! Jan. 27 2009
By Sergio V.....G...... - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is not a tipical Turisty view of Italy, it's more cultural. They manage to create an in depth documentary, focusing on people from a few specific areas of Italy. The images are outstanding.

Sergio V.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Human Stories of Italy July 17 2007
By John Woods - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This documentary covers a number of sites in Italy by picking a human subject in each of the locations, and telling us the story of a slice of life in that individual and its bonding with local culture and history. These narratives run in parallel, we are taken back and forth between the heroes, as their character story lines progress.

The main feature on this Blu-Ray disk is compressed more than what I've seen on Blu-Ray titles from other studios. The picture is a little washed out, especially where fast movement is shown. The quality of the camera work is exceptional for the most part; but some of less than stellar footage, with bad lighting and color fringing, was also mixed in.

This DVD has extras. But, when I started watching the first one, I immediately noticed that there were some mastering problems, showing bad digital artifacting, most noticeable at scene changes. Fortunately, the main feature does not suffer from this.

Overall this is a very interesting work: it takes the concept of a dry TV documentary and adds a lot of warm human touch to it. I wish the Discovery Atlas: Italy Revealed makers would have taken better advantage of features offered by the Blu-Ray format, but this is still a very interesting and great looking film.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bella! April 2 2007
By S. Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The only part that I was disappointed was was when it was all over. It not only shows the beautiful country of Italy in high definition, Discovery follows several Italians during a pivotal point in their lives. I'm sad to say that Discovery will probably not make another Italy exclusive in HD for quite awhile. I'm infatuated with the Italian culture and lifestyle as well as their geography, landscape, and architecture. The Discovery Atlas series is excellent if you're at all interested in worlds outside of ours.
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