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Tropical Rainforest [Blu-ray] [Import]

 Unrated   Blu-ray
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Product Description


This 40-minute documentary was one of the first commercially released DVDs. It should serve as a welcome introduction for those who are interested in but know little about the tropical rainforest and the process of deforestation. The script, however, provides little in the way of concrete information regarding the images on screen at any given time. The intended effect appears to be poetic (à la Henry David Thoreau), but the narration tends to veer toward the New Age. This could prove frustrating for those who would like to know exactly what species of plant or animal is being featured and what makes it unique to the rainforest. Further, indigenous peoples and their relationship to the world's rainforests is not explored.

The documentary is narrated by actor Geoffrey Holder (Ray the Sun from Bear in the Big Blue House), who has a deep voice with a pleasant tone, somewhat akin to that of James Earl Jones. His thick Trinidad accent, however, can be somewhat hard to understand despite the clear diction. A couple of scientists provide supplementary narration, but it is not sufficiently clear who they are or what their relationship is to the rainforest. The film ends with a fitting musical number, "Mbube (Wimoweh) (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" by the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. --Kathleen Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars COOL MUSIC AT THE END Nov. 13 2003
Wow, COOL music at the end of this film!
I just love this movie. I grew up in rain forests of South America and worked in them for several years as a geologist. It's just magical!
The film is made to joung audinces and viewrs. It is not made to sutisfy the EGO of those looking for too much scientific explanations. Just try to enjoy the film as something nice and useful. At least it teaches the horrible truth of deforestation. And we have to remember that these forests are consumed mainly by the rich and advanced countries. Most of what this planet produces (around 80%) is consumed by the rich countries (20% of the population) of North America and Europe. We, the human species are just a biological pest and a disease to the planet. And I am not "MR SMITH" of that stupid film THE MATRIX. I am just a scientist (geologist) who loves nature and the forests.
I love the film of THE TROPICAL RAINFOREST. The voice of the narrator is very funny, I think. And the music is cool! Chevere!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor MPEG transfer... Aug. 31 2000
By A Customer
It would be better advised if you rent this film from Netflix first before you make your purchase here. As the other reviewers have noted, the transfer from film to DVD can vary, and in this particular case, it was clearly poorly done. It's a terrible shame that this beautiful IMAX film was given such a second-rate transfer.
Normally I would end it here, but as some perceptive readers might have noticed, a vocal creationist has entered our midst, voicing his objections to the theory of evolution being used so matter-of-factly. Now I certainly don't want to belittle Dan, he can certainly believe or disbelieve whatever he wishes. However he went beyond just stating his discomfort with the theory and went out of his way to draw out a couple objections to Evolution, in effect distorted the evidence and philosophical foundations of the theory. Thus, here entails my problem.
Dan complains that the IMAX film, while giving references to evolution, never attempted to provide evidence that evolution had taken place. Is this really surprising? Perhaps Dan should ask himself if just conceivably that the theory might be so well established in modern biology, so well documented in scientific literature, that no rational person questions it today (i.e. such as cell theory, or population genetics), therefore any exposition on "proving" evolution would simply become superfluous. Just an idea Dan.
If Dan is so dissatisfied with the rather simplistic explanations given in the film, perhaps he should actually read some of the evolutionary literature that is readily available (here at Amazon no less). A great text would be Douglas J. Futuyma's _Evolutionary Biology_, or Ridley's _Evolution_, and a few excellent popular works would include Steve Jones' _Darwin's Ghost_, Kenneth Miller's _Finding Darwin's God_, Donald Johanson's _From Lucy to Language_, and anything by Steve Gould or Richard Dawkins.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Evolution of the Tropical Rain Forest March 17 2000
Compared to other IMAX DVDs, the sound quality isn't quite up there with Yellowstone, Antarctica, and others. Nevertheless, the great visuals make up for any real or imagined sound quality. You do feel a bit sorry for the animals who have been taken from such a lush setting and placed within a 2x3 foot aquarium. And it hurts to see these rainforests chopped down for the sake of business.
What bothered me most about the video, was its blatent credit to this wonderful area to evolution. Part of the problem is that we have a 40 minute video--not near long enough to have a good discussion on evolution even if the whole DVD was devoted to it--which it is not. Instead, we get these simplistic answers, such as, evolution did this, or that, or gave us a conscience, etc. But where did evolution come from? What caused its existance? How did an impersonal force with no personality give us a conscience? The movie never tells us, and "it just happened." For the thinking viewer, however, this will lead to more questions than answers. How can we evolve from one state to a better one when the rest of life tells us that things tend to break down? Where is the transitional evidence of evolution in the fossel record? There is none, but this DVD never touches on this. It just assumes that evolution is true, and everything just happened. What was its first cause? We aren't told. How does "Mother Nature," made up of trees, rocks, and other things, manage to make willful decisions? We aren't told. I don't believe evolution is true, but just throwing out evolutionary phrases in a 40 minute movie doesn't do justice to the topic. Despite this, there are some very beautiful scenes of plant life and animal life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst IMAX I ever saw Dec 27 2000
I felt so happy when I was able to return this DVD for a refund. I stopped collecting IMAX DVD's without renting them first after the experience I had with this one.
The things that are bad with this one: 1. Poor Video 2. Lousy narration(worst ever for an IMAX). 3. Not at all interesting
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1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money! March 18 2000
By A Customer
Completely useless piece of film making, why did IMAX bother? Picture quality bears no resemblance to other IMAX productions such as "Africa The Serengeti" and the transfer to DVD has been done very poorly. The background sounds of the rainforest are completely marred by a terribly delivered commentary which sounds as if it were intended for 5 year olds. Any adult of average intelligence will learn nothing from the commentary that they didn't already know. Don't waste your money.
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