Home > 2009 Movie Reviews > Earth Review

Earth Review


Earth features stunning pictures, but not much else. If you want a good nature show, watch the Planet Earth series.

My rating 3.0 Stars

In 2006 the BBC in a partnership with The Discovery Channel released a first of a kind, high definition nature show miniseries in over 130 countries. That series was called Planet Earth and it was one of the best nature series ever done. Viewers were in awe as they witnessed parts of a world rarely seen by human eyes, like the Bactrian camel of the Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, an animal so shy that even the sight of a person from far away makes them run for their lives, or the millions of wrinkle-lipped bats that dwell in the Gomantong Caves in Malaysia where one can find the largest pile of “guano” that is several meters high.

The series was stunning even if you didn’t have a high-def set. The compositions of the photography looked remarkable as though they poured their hearts and soul into this project and if you watched the series you know what I mean. I just got a new Hi-Def TV, I can’t wait to rent the Blu-Ray and check it out, if it’s a quarter of what the standard def was it should be incredible.

So why am I going on about some mini TV series?  Well, the makers of Planet Earth also made the movie Earth as some sort of sister project or a companion if you will. This article is about that movie. Since the two projects are related, it is only fitting that I bring up the series first. However, just because the series was outstanding, that doesn’t mean that the movie would be just that good.

Earth is a documentary and —unfortunately, it’s just an abbreviation of the Planet Earth series! They took footage from the Planet Earth and put it together in what seemed to be random cuts and then they hired James Earl Jones to do a witty voice over narration. Don’t get me wrong, the footage is incredible, hands down some of the best photography I’ve seen. I wish I had been able to see this movie in hi-def; standard def will have to do for now. However, I have already seen the footage in this movie in the series. I don’t believe there was anything new other than the voice over by James Earl Jones. If I had paid money to see this movie, I would’ve been upset. I would’ve felt cheated, like I was deceived in buying something that I already own.

Don’t misunderstand; if you have never seen the Planet Earth series and you have no intentions in spending 11 hours watching nature footage, but you still want to see some of it, then this movie is worth seeing. Think of Earth as a preview of the series or a shortened version of it because that’s basically what it is. As a documentary goes, it’s not the best. There is no real rhyme or reason for it, no story that they are telling, all they do is follow some animals around with no real purpose. They touched a little bit on climate change and how the polar bears are being affected, but they didn’t really follow up on it. In a sense, it was almost as if they were nagging but weren’t offering any real solutions. Granted that’s not what the documentary set out to do, but in that case, why bring it up in the first place? While Planet Earth was an outstanding worthwhile documentary, Earth was a bit of a disappointment. Don’t bother unless you’re a real James Earl Jones fan.

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