One Life Blu-ray + DVD Combo pack
Video: 1080p AVC encoded
Aspect ratio: 16x9 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (French 2.0 DTS-HD MA) - The DVD is 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English and French (SDH)
Running time: ~85mins
- Directors Commentary
- Behind the scened
- Animal Film Clips
- Making of One Life
- Making of (Featuring Daniel Craig)
One Life Blu-ray + DVD Combo pack review:
This is yet another amazing release from the BBC NHU (Natural History Unit), although it isn't narrated by David Attenborough (it's narrated by Daniel Craig). One Life comes in a 100% biodegradeable recycled cardboard package printed with soy ink and mine had an insert embedded with wildflower seeds that your suppose to plant as part of Earth Day.
Fans of the Planet Earth series will probably want to add this to their collection as well. What I really enjoyed about it is it's not just a rehash or 'clips show' of previous footage but features locations and animals not part of the Planet Earth series.
True to BBC form, the presentation is pretty fantastic and the super high-speed slow motion shots are pretty spectacular as well as the amazing detail on the close up shots. For instance, there is one scene where a monitor lizard is chasing a sengi and not only are the high speed shots fantastic the camera angles they are able to get are just amazing. Another example is the one where a lizard is running across the top of water but they have a fantastic high speed slow motion shot from under the waters surface (just imaging all the work to just get a thousands of a second high speed shot, yet they get it from the side, underneath and front etc) these are the kind of shots that continue to set the BBC NHU above all the others and it's clear the great pride they take in their production quality.
One Life showcases quite a few animals considering it's not a really long feature (~85mins), from snow monkeys soaking it up in the hot springs and fish that can spread their wings and fly (or glide at least), to giant Komodo dragons hunting large buffalo, an amazing chase up vertical rocky cliff faces with an ibex being hunted by a fox (the special feature with footage of them playing on these cliffs is pretty wild also), several very ingenious animals demonstrating survival techniques like birds dropping bones from high altitudes to get at bone marrow, to dolphins creating mud nets to fish, monkeys demonstrating impressive planning and techniques to get food these are just a few of the amazing things featured in this program.
Overall, the video quality lives up to the BBC HNUs exceptionaly high standard but there are a small handful of fast moving scenes that suffer from some jitter and ghosting where it looks like the frame rates are just not fast enough to keep up causing a trailing effect but these are usually kept to a minimum and for the most part wont hinder the otherwise fantastic presentation you will get with this title.
The BBC Natural History Unit proves yet again why they are second to none when it comes to capturing some of the most stunning nature shots ever filmed. The behind the scenes features shows just a small sample of what they go through to capture some of these shots. For example, carrying all this heavy camera and audio equipment (and generators etc) through a rain forest looking for a small frog the size of your finger nail, setting up this elaborate camera crane (being ever so careful not to disturb nature too much) while battling torrential downpours just to get a smooth camera shot of this little frog climbing a tree with its tadpole on its back then spending hours (if not days) sitting in a tree in the middle of a mosquito swarm waiting for this little frog to come back and feed its tadpole, all that just to get that one scene you see in the presentation.
One notable improvement I noticed in this over Planet Earth was they seemed to also try to capture the sounds of nature more in this. It was still mixed with the BBC Orchestra and foley audio overdubs but the live sounds of nature did seem to help create a more immersive surround environment (like the silver back gorilla howls that came through my rear surrounds), although the Darth Vader sounding octopus was a bit much (I don't think it quite sounds like that when propelling its self through the water LOL!).
In a nutshell, if your a fan of the Planet Earth series or other BBC NHU offerings then One Life comes highly recommended! I know it's one title I will watch over again a few times for sure.