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    Released by: Fox
    Released on: June 5, 2009
    Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
    Cast: Glenn Close
    Year: 2009
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    The Movie:

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Home may look like a nature documentary on the outside, and in a sense, it is but what you won’t gather from the packaging is just how obnoxiously preachy this movie is. Narrated by an unfeeling and emotionless Glenn Close, this two hour seems to be going after the Planet Earth crowd but can’t compete with that granddaddy of all nature documentaries even if the visuals are just as impressive. Why? Because it’s dull.

    As the cameras travel the world and expose us to its natural beauty, and by turn to show us how humans have ruined much of that same beauty, Close’s narration warns us of encroaching environmental dangers and how foolhardy we have been as a race for the last half a century or so. Fair enough. Some very valid points are raised and early on we find we can buy into this – but then it doesn’t stop or go anywhere else, instead, it simply attempts to hammer home the same points over and over again. You’ll definitely learn a thing or two if you’re able to pay attention throughout, but pretty soon you’ll find yourself getting lost in the visuals and not caring what the narrator is going on about – which is a shame, as the message is an important one.

    As stunning as Home is to look at, it lacks the same catch that has made other ‘nature’ documentaries like the BBC’s Planet Earth so interesting. Since Home is about the environmental issues caused by global warming and the like, it eschews the kind of animalistic survival of the fittest tension that other similar documentaries have used to create tension and keep us interesting. The end result is that Close drones on and on and on about and admittedly important but unfortunately uninteresting subject. To be quite honest, about half an hour in I put on a Ramones CD and grabbed a beer just to keep from being lulled to sleep.

    What the filmmaker’s have captured here, in terms of the visuals, is pretty incredible and definitely worth looking at, it’s just a shame that they couldn’t come up with a more inventive way to package it or to make their overly preachy narration anything less than boring. You can’t help but feel as if you’re being talked down to by Close as she rehashes the message over and over again and it’s unfortunate as it really does take away from the experience. If you do opt to make your own multimedia presentation out of this disc by playing your own music over top of it, however, it can be a reasonably enjoyable way to kill some time and some brain cells.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Home looks absolutely beautiful in this 1080p 1.78.1 AVC encoded anamorphic widescreen transfer. Shot entirely with high definition cameras, this transfer is demo material through and through. There’s no dirt, debris or print damage to report and the detail levels are excellent. Blacks are strong throughout though shadow detail remains strong. There’s no evidence of compression artifacts or of edge enhancement to groan on about and really, there’s nothing to complain about here. This transfer is top notch in pretty much every possible way.

    The primary audio track on this disc is an English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, though an optional Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound track is included in French. Optional subtitles are provided in English only. This track is fairly simple, but it too is of very nice quality. Glenn Close’s narration comes at you almost entirely out of the front center speaker with the surrounds being used nicely to spread out the instrumental score. There’s some nice channel separation here and there but the bulk of the material comes at you from the front of the mix and a bit more rear channel action might have made things a bit more interesting. Regardless, what’s here sounds very good.

    Aside from a menu and chapter selection option, this release is barebones.

    The Final Word:

    While the picture quality is excellent and the photography quite beautiful, Home lacks any sort of hook and you’ll wind up watching this one with some music playing over top to drown out the sleep inducing narration. The Blu-ray transfer sure is pretty though…