User Ratings and Reviews
5 Stars top image quality
I need a disc to test my home theater. I purchased this Blu-ray disc because of its reputation of being the first 8K digital transfer from 65mm film. The picture quality is stunning. The music sounds great too, but there is not much audio special effects to test my sound system. Chronos was made by the same director. I've purchased that too, but Chronos is inferior compared to this.
The contents are amazing too. Great imagery from around the world. Some parts may scare young children. e.g. the stacks of human skulls in Cambodia and the open air cremation and a close up shot of a partially cremated human remain may bring nightmare to young kids.
5 Stars Beautiful
Recommended by CNET as one of the top choices for blu-ray. It doesn't disappoint. Filmed in the highest resolution available. It's more like a visual meditation than a coherent film. It takes you on a sort of spiritual earthly journey without any dialogue.
5 Stars Simply AMAZING
This Blu-ray version is simply outstanding, incredible, breathtaking and mesmerizing. I rarely recommend people buy a film but this one is truly worth every penny. If it were $50 or more I'd buy it. You can find many stories if you like in this film or none at all. I know it sounds shallow to simply watch it for the eye/ear candy but you can do that and walk away very satisfied. The cinematography, the editing, the music, the scenery, the flow is all beyond words. This is the way this film was meant to be. I bought the first DVD version years ago and it was a sheer piece of junk. I hesitated before purchasing this because some people had praised the first DVD and it was awful. This is the way the film was meant to be shown. The care and the quality that went into the scanning can be seen from the very first frame. So many older documentaries have been converted to Blu-ray and look horrible once you've seen the BBC's Planet Earth (many older films were not even properly cleaned so you see many artifacts like cracks, dust etc). Not in this version (ok, if you look very closely I think I found a few small dust artifacts in a couple of frames but barely noticeable).
Look, stop reading. Buy it and forget about it no matter the cost. This is the film I always imagined it should be. It is truly amazing that this film was shot in 1992. It looks like a modern BBC Hi-def production. Actually it's of an even better quality. You can tell that the people who did the re-mastering spent a great deal of time and effort to make this a reality. If I could give it 6 stars, this film would get it.
5 Stars Amazon Movie Reviews: An Exploration Into Our Consumer Culture
The critical reviews of this, one of my favorite films, have been thoroughly fascinating and illustrative of the range of intellect in our online consumer culture. This variation spans psychology and intellect, from a large group of viewers who felt the filmmaker was pushing a message about the evils of modern society to those that found his message too shallow and merely voyeuristic. Some were lost without the structure of narration or plot line. Amazon has included many reviews critical of the transfer and encoding, which were for the original, out-of-print, poorly-transferred DVD version under the listing for the Blu-Ray version, which is stunning. There is a negative review by a technology freak who has built himself a home theater and refined his technical knowledge beyond being able to enjoy a thing of beauty.
To these people I say: try turning off you're your feelings of inadequacy and stop projecting your own fears and discomfort onto the joy of experience and wonder. Although not beyond criticism, this disc offers you an uncommon opportunity to peer into a window of experience unlike any other. The Reggio films were great, and Frick has continued along that path with his own, alternate vision, refining and expanding the theme of using a visual transport to spiritual realm; looking at our world in a way that transcends time and mere cultural associations.
5 Stars Baraka: A Visual Exploration
Baraka is an absolute wonder to watch, especially in HD format where the picture and sound is as pristine and clear as if you were there experiencing live. Michael Sterns soundtrack is an audio treat in itself and lends support beautifully and in one instance heartbreakingly to Baraka's touching theme. One only has to begin watching the intro to know that what they are about to see is a powerful commentary narrated by music. The majesty, pagentry and human elements all combine to compliment each other in no way any other documentary can. An absolute must.