Full of sweeping scope and wondrous panorama, this IMAX presentation revels in the magnificent scenery of the American West. Barely scraping the broad abundance of historical material available concerning the general history of the West, the audience is present in France as Napoleon Bonaparte grants Jefferson his purchase of the majority of the American wilderness beyond the Mississippi River. Covering brief, picturesque moments in the life stories and moments of pioneers, native Americans, and colorful characters provides the usual IMAX abbreviated, yet intense experience. The photography is nothing short of spectacular, and for those of us who have been lucky enough to actually travel through some of these picture-postcard locations, the film delivers us once again to the thrilling moments when we could barely take in the splendor of scenery that most cameras simply can't capture. It brings tears to the eye and goosebumps to the arm. Attention to detail and historical accuracy is one of its strong suits, as the production designers obviously did their homework on both the costuming and recreation of personal events in the lives of people inextricably woven into the fabric of the land. Perhaps the only shortcoming is a fantasy presented by a storyteller at a trapper's rendezvous starring America's most famous bear, "Bart." Bart can be forgiven for obviously having great fun with his trainer. In the tradition of IMAX, this film can only be appreciated fully while viewed in full High Definition and Wide Screen format. For those who want a brief but intense dose of American landscape and pioneer resolve, this is a forty-five minute emotional tour not to be missed.
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