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Not too sure about Monty Halls ... not such an interesting guy or guide for that matter... but the camera man deserves an Oscar for this masterpiece...its beautiful. Really well done doc. thought out... and fascinating! You cannot take your eyes off it! Would watch again and again! Kids and adults alike will love it! Would recommend as a present... or just a nice addition to your documentary collection... Am off home to re-watch this again! My 8 year old son loves it, especially when it gets to the sharks... some great pieces on sharks... even a shark I have never heard of! Giving this a 10 out of 10 Hopefully the camera man gets the Oscar! :)
The filming of this material must have taken years, I don't think I have ever seen underwater stop motion photography before, seeing the coral grow is an amazing sight. It's good to see the latest techniques of cinematography brought to this area. The colours are vivid, the UV night-work was unique. Most definitely worth watching. Now the downside. I read that the BBC viewers were not happy with Monty Halls as their presenter. I'm not familiar with him, but for our presenter down here where the reef comes from we got Karl Stefanovic. Now Karl's a nice enough bloke and I enjoy his Larrikin behavior on morning TV but we enjoy David Attenborough providing narration because he makes us feel smart. Karl just makes me feel like a Bogan (Australian equivalent of the redneck or Chav) pretending to be smart. I know Bud Tingwell is sadly no longer with us but isn't there someone else who gets called on to play lawyers who can lend the dialog some style.
The quality of the camera work and the incredible diversity of marine
and shore life seen in this BBC video is world class, mostly in the
same league as "Planet Earth" (2006) and in some ways better. The sheer
profusion of life in the reef with the explosive dazzle of color and
the graceful dance and sway of the sea creatures is mesmerizing.
The presentation by Monty Hall who narrates and stars is not the best however. His underwater vocals are garbled and his presence in some places is artificial and forced. He does look the part however, healthy and macho, and he even lives up to his namesake with a bit of slapstick when he gets sand thrown sharply in his face from a green turtle covering her clutch of eggs.
The DVD is 185 minutes long and I hardly noticed the time flying by until I got to the final sixty minutes or so. Here the focus is mostly on the green turtles that lay their eggs in the sands of Raine Island in the reef's Queensland National Park. This part of the show may be a bit unsettling for some viewers especially when some of the turtles can't get back to the sea and die in the hot sun or when the tiger sharks rip apart their corpses when they are later washed out to sea. It is also not fun to watch the baby turtles scrambling over the sand to the ocean only to be snapped up, desperately wriggling in the beak of a Rufous Night Heron.
The video also shows us a bit of the life ashore near the reef including some footage of the mangrove swamps; and there's some history of the reef and how the reef affects the Australian mainland. There are many surprises including tiny pink sea horses a centimeter long, a shrimp and a fish living symbiotically together, and sea snakes that live in the anus of sea cucumbers.
I'm looking forward to watching this again...well except for the last part about the green turtles.
Dennis Littrell, author of "The World Is Not as We Think It Is"
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