Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yellowstone (Blu-ray Disc Review)

In getting a Blu-ray disc player, of course I needed a Blu-ray disc to watch. Most of the movies for sale, to me, either looked like pure crap or were too expensive. I'm finicky.

On the other hand, I'm not much for documentaries. Not that I don't like to learn, but they're not usually something worth watching more than once. That's a big problem for most video, in my opinion, unless it's something classic like The Three Stooges or five star movies.

But it didn't make much sense to buy the player and not have something to play on it. So I bought a few discs, including this one, Yellowstone, part of a Scenic National Parks series produced by Bellevue Entertainment and distributed by Questar.

It was filmed and mastered in High Def and is approximately 98 minutes. It is divided into two programs, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, with the latter being labeled a "Bonus Program."

There's quite a bit of scenery, wildlife, shots of geysers, and so forth. This is all stunning in appearance and quite nice. I liked to see it. The downside would be the documentary format. They're actually trying to teach you things about geology, the history of the places, etc., which means park rangers standing there explaining things. That's a big downside, because I do not want to see close ups of park rangers and geologists. They have one guy, apparently not filmed in high def, going on in between five to eight shots, and I just had to throw back my head in disgust, "Saints, preserve us!" Then we're going along nicely, watching the geysers, and suddenly, Park Ranger So and So is back for another teaching moment, which sucks.

The high def part on the park rangers has this benefit, you can clearly read their badges, so if you have any complaint about their boring information, it wouldn't be too hard to Google them and tell them about it. But they blurred out most license plate information, so if you have a complaint against a particular scene of a tourist van, you're on your own there. I have no real complaints against the park rangers. Their information is no doubt beneficial to most sixth graders. But for me, I'd like to see the scenery, hear the birds, watch the moose, thrill to the geysers without a lot of blah blah blather.

Great pictures, disappointing teaching crap. By the way, not everything is High Def. As I said, the one geologist guy. And other film they show along the way is not as clear as High Def. Historic footage, like Mt. St. Helens erupting, that's understandable, but non historic footage, just to make some geologist's point, that's not so understandable.

Give me scenery and wildlife and lots of it. None of this other stuff.

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