BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003542Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
March of the Penguins (Limited Edition Gift Set)
DVD disk
Nov 20, 2009 By: JimmyO
March of the Penguins (Limited Edition Gift Set) order
Director:
Luc Jacquet

Actors:
Morgan Freeman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
March of the Penguins presents the struggle for a family of emperor penguins who must survive against vicious predators and below freezing temperatures. It is a documentary that reveals the harsh realities for these amazing animals and the challenges they face.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It took me a very long time to see March of the Penguins. I’d heard much about how sad it is, and how heartbreaking seeing the poor eggs freeze with a helpless mom and pop penguin looking down upon it. Maybe that was one of the reasons I hadn’t checked it out, but it is finally time. Now with all the hype surrounding this Oscar winner, I figured it must be pretty incredible. With narration by Morgan Freeman and such a massive landscape in Antarctica, I expected quite a bit. Yet I wasn’t originally moved, at least not in the beginning. But slowly, the trials and tribulations of the emperor penguins got to me. Their near impossible fight to keep their children alive, and the nine month relationship that the mother and father have, well it certainly made for a striking love story. While it didn’t hit me until about half way through, March of the Penguins is truly a beautiful piece of cinema.

What I found most interesting is how director Luc Jacquet certainly risk his life to follow these fascinating animals on their march. To say that the massive white Antarctica landscape is stunning is truly an understatement. It is hard to imagine the filmmakers going deep into the penguins world and finding such a captivating story. It can be a vicious world, and the fact that these animals face so many dangers is a powerful tale. My biggest complaint would be the fact that they needed to use Morgan Freeman as the narrator for the US version of the film. Don’t get me wrong, he does a terrific job. But for me, listening to the filmmaker on the special features talk about the challenges seemed to work better. I would’ve loved to have heard this brave fellow do the narration, as he actually lived alongside these animals, and therefore, he seems to be much more affected. But still, Freeman does a great job, and this story is so undeniably touching, that I am not at all surprised by the success this found.

As for the second documentary on this “Special Edition of March of the Penguins”, we are offered a second documentary. On The Wings Of Penguins which focuses on the African penguins. While this is also a nice film, it is nowhere near as heartbreaking nor as interesting as the first one. This feels like a more typical nature documentary. Part of that reason could be that it spends too much time focusing on the birds and their lives in a zoo or in captivity. While it does move away from this occasionally, I can’t say that this touched me nearly as much as March. The animals are certainly just as interesting, but for some reason, this second film lacks the emotional core and feels simply like something that might be on the Discovery Channel. Although with both films included on this DVD, it might be worth checking out if you’ve never heard this potent story, and would like to see two very different stories.
THE EXTRAS
While this DVD includes two discs, only March of the Penguins was the only one with Special Features. The first includes the terrific documentary of a documentary, Of Penguins and Man. All I can say is, WOW. It is hard to imagine spending nine months of your life taking on this challenging film. For me, this was easily as fascinating as the film itself. What a challenging experience that could’ve been disastrous. Good on them for sticking with this.

Next up is the overly cute, National Geographic’s Crittercam: Emperor Penguins. Don’t get me wrong, it is still fun, but not nearly on the level of the film itself or the previous documentary. But hey… aren’t these penguins adorable?

Are you a fan of Bugs Bunny? I am, and I enjoyed this Classic Looney Tunes Cartoon “8 Ball Bunny” about a penguin that finds it’s way into Bug’s care. Any chance I can watch a Bugs Bunny cartoon, I’d probably do it. A great addition to this DVD.

Finally, we have the Theatrical Trailer and more trailers for “Happy Feet”, “The Polar Express”, “”National Geographic’s Animal Holiday” and “Duma”. And for all you lucky people that buy this, you’d also receive a cute and cuddly little stuffed penguin. Come on, what could be cooler than that?
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
As much as I tried not to be moved, it is nearly impossible not to feel something strong watching March of the Penguins, and to a lesser extent On The Wings of Penguins. While nature documentaries come and go, there is something so brilliantly exciting and sublime which is brought to life by director Luc Jacquet. I highly recommend checking this double disc out if you don’t already have the original version of the film. It is a gorgeously shot film that is also quite thought-provoking. As for the Academy Award it won, it definitely deserves its recognition and praise.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!