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Last Chance to See [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Bfs Video
  • Release Date: July 6 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003LY66OQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,849 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Last Chance to See is a wildlife documentary first broadcast on BBC Two in the United Kingdom during September and October 2009. The series is a follow-up of the radio series, also called Last Chance to See, in which Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine set out to find endangered animals. In this updated television version, produced for the BBC, Stephen Fry and Carwardine revisit the animals originally featured to see how they're getting on almost 20 years later.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Corbett on Aug. 8 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this video so much I immediately pulled out my copy of Adam's book to read about the original series 20 years previous and then watched the dvd's over again. The wonderful give and take between the two hosts will keep you laughing while a lot of information is brought out. The nearly invisible film crew are always evident in the fabulous footage. They are not afraid to show the problems that come up in looking for rare creatures (cuts, food poisoning, broken bones). Though Frye seems to have near-physical withdrawal symptoms when separated from his wi-fi his delight when confronted with the endangered creatures is wonderful. Carwardine's explanations never become too dry and he seems willing to do anything to get closer to their quarry. There is also a wonderful globe between segments which opens to show a moving mechanical model of each animal. All the details are there and anyone in the family would love this dvd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hossiet on Jan. 13 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fry is a charming and witty host for the show. Lots of great biology is discussed. This is appropriate and educational for people with an interest in biology but any level of previous knowledge.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JEK on Aug. 14 2010
Format: DVD
I did not think that it is as amusingly clever as the book, but the photography is great. Don't buy this for Stephen Fry, but it is well worth it. The extra glimpses into other species (mountain gorillas, black robins) are a pleasant surprise.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Best tribute I can pay: Doug would have loved this. July 26 2010
By Saganite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A little more than 20 years ago, sci-fi/comedy writer Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, etc.) joined forces with zoologist Mark Carwardine and traveled the world looking for the "last chance to see" animals at the ragged cusp of extinction. The result was Last Chance to See, one of the finest books I've ever read, and easily the best work of nature/travel/conservation writing.

This BBC series of 6 shows, presented by actor and polymath Stephen Fry and the same zoologist who accompanied Adams, Carwardine, retraces the steps of the earlier expedition in an effort to see how the animals are now faring. I can think of no greater compliment to pay this effort than to proclaim that Adams, who died in May of 2001, would have been "over the moon" to see this movie--although he would undoubtedly be horrified to discover the state of some of the animals he came to cherish, not least the Yangtze river dolphin, which has since been declared officially extinct.

Fry, who was very good friends with Adams is a natural stand-in for the role of wry, wise, innocent, awe-struck and witty commentator that Adams formerly played. It is Fry's child-like enthusiasm, his touching vulnerability (wed to a remarkable gameness in the face of genuine dangers and discomforts), and his brilliant comments (could really have come up with "kiwi-pedia" on the spot when referring to a source of information about the flightless bird?) that make the series especially compelling. Ordinarily there is nothing I hate more that movies about nature that instead focus on people (where Steve Irwin really fell down, I think, is that his enthusiasm became his shtick and the chances he took belied a LACK of proper respect for nature, and he simply became more important through such excesses than the animals for whom he was presumably meant to be carnival barker). The Life (narrated by David Attenborough) [Blu-ray] BBC series gets things exactly right in this regard, I think, and allows the animals, plants, and natural settings and features stand largely on their own without a lot of human intervention to keep the story flowing.

But in this case one man's journey--Fry's that is--is as much the point as the animals themselves are. Because Fry is a perfect everyman. A bit clumsy (he trips on a boat on their first adventure, into the Amazon, breaking his arm badly and having to fly to Miami for extensive reconstructive surgery), not terribly knowledgeable, reluctant to give up the trappings of civilization, cautiously hopeful but poignantly realistic about wildlife's chances--he stands perfectly for an audience of people like most of us. He is Watson to Carwardine's Sherlock Holmes. It is a strikingly effective and entertaining human-centered view of conservation.

Besides Carwardine and Fry, the stars of this wonderful series include manatees, rhinos, Komodo dragons, whales, sea horses, kakapos (strange, plump flightless parrots), lemurs, and a cast of fascinating extras, with terrific cameos (like the one by a pygmy chameleon--an unbelievably tiny adult lizard).

I cannot recommend this series more highly, but I would add a strong suggestion: If you have not read Adams's book yet, read that first. It's far from necessary, but will add an extra layer of enjoyment to your viewing experience (and is well-worth the effort in any case). If you're not much of a reader, visit the BBC's Last Chance to See website for links to radio shows and other media presentations of Adams's original work related to the book. Understanding the context for this new series helps enrich your sense of tragedy and accomplishment as various conservation successes (Komodo dragon) and failures (northern white rhino) unfold.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
As good to watch as it was to read Aug. 9 2010
By Punatik - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Usually movies and tv shows that are based on good books never come close to being as good as the original books. Last Chance to See is one of those rare projects that proves that it's actually even possible to do so. Stephen Fry, Mark Carwardine and the others behind this project should be very proud, they did justice to Douglas Adams's adventurous, humorous, and truly poignant book. Mark Carwardine's knowledge and excitement is there to back up Stephen Fry's naivety about and enthusiasm for the world's animals, just as it was 20 yrs ago for Douglas Adams.

To come back, 20 yrs later, and see how the animals from the book have fared were in some cases, like the Yangtze river dolphin, incredibly sad and in others, like the kakapos, incredibly hopeful. Last Chance to See shows how easily and unthinkingly an entire species can be decimated, removing forest to plant palms for oil, but it also shows how hard and diligently people work to save a species. It saddens you to see the damage humans cause but in the end Last Chance to See leaves you with some hope.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A rare gem Nov. 2 2010
By John D. Muir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As someone who worked for some years as a volunteer in a zoo, I found Stephen Fry's expedition to try to find animals on the brink of extinction had an extra poignancy. The Species Survival Plan is doing a good job in making sure that zoos are able to preserve a number of rare animals, but this series shows that increasingly captivity is going to be the only place in which we see some of nature's most exotic creations.

Naturally, being Stephen Fry, the series is laced with humor, not all of which is intended. Fry is one of the few people to whom I can point as evidence that there are individuals more clumsy than myself. In the first episode he manages to fall into a boat and shatter his arm, and later, while attempting to entice an aye-aye (a nocturnal lemur) by offering it an egg, Fry ruins the treat when he treads on the egg. All his tribulations (living rough is not one of his preferred lifestyle choices) he endures with stoicism, while his partner, a naturalist, raves about the wonders of the jungle.

It's an educational and entertaining series. The only pity is that Douglas Adams, on whose book the trip was based, couldn't be there too. I'd have loved to see him and Fry on the trail together.
All the review are right, amazing June 27 2011
By RKC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
So I read all the review before getting the blu-ray. I'll admit if there are only a few reviews that I wonder if there's some bias in the reviews. Therefore I felt obligated to write a review to basically say, all the other reviews are right. This is am amazing disc. My family loves this blu-ray. I'll admit that we had never heard of this program until I just happened to find it on Amazon. We love nature documentaries. And we had seen the Into the Wild - John Cleese and Lemurs VHS and thought maybe this would be similar. It's been a very long time since we saw the VHS of Cleese as much as we loved that VHS, this blu-ray was so much better. Stephen and Mark are great together. It's a great mixture of information, emotion, humans, and nature. The other reviews in my opinion are spot on. We've only watched the first disc and really can't wait to start the next one. The only negative I can think of is there's no subtitles. It's not a huge deal but sometimes, there's a lot of background noise so it can be a little hard to hear what they are saying. But this, by no means, is a reason not to get this disc. If you like nature documentaries, regardless of style, you'll like this program.

But as most reviews are of the dvd, let me say that the blu-ray is very good. There are times where it's a little grainy for HD but not detracting. Most of the time it's understandable...evening shots, or when they are using their personal cameras (I'm guessing) for a "video diary." Most of the time the visuals are great. But maybe I'm more forgiving than others as I've seen grainy parts in all the blu-ray nature docs we own (recent more famous examples being Planet Earth, Life, and Human Planet). Though if I had to guess, there were slightly more grainy shots in this blu-ray than the other examples I've mentioned. But again, not detracting enough to make is less enjoyable. Still good visually.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Environmental education for "everyman" - loving it! March 21 2012
By Heather J. Keimig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Our family is really enjoying this show! My husband and I especially find ourselves bursting out in laughter at many of Stephen Fry's off-handed comments along the way. What an ideal pair these two are! A hit!

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