The Beauty of Snakes (2005) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Documentary
Genius Products || NR - 43 minutes - $21.95 || April 7, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-04-15


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

With the success of Warner's "Planet Earth" series on Blu-ray (and previously HD DVD), it seems every studio is trying to push out some sort of nature Blu-ray in hopes of catching the eye of new Blu-ray player owners. Why? Because when you spend $300 on a shiny new toy you just have to show it off to your friends and the best way to do that is by grabbing a nature disc that is sure to please the eye. With that, Genius has launched their own line of Blu-rays from Animal Planet & Discovery and first on their budget list is "The Beauty of Snakes" (43 Minutes).

Since I've seen this before I knew what to expect. This short documentary deal with the birth, death, life, breeding, feeding etc of snakes. In my opinion this is really a mixed bag. I enjoyed the history of Snakes as well as their breeding rituals (100+ male snakes to one female?!) but with the quick MTV-style edits it quickly got on my nerves. We were lead to believe some of the scenes in the film are actually taking place in "real life" when in fact they are clearly staged or in some circumstances shot out of order so it looks like a Snake is about to attack a horse but in reality they were filmed separately.

Given the low MSRP Genius is offering on these ($21.99 - so about $14 or so on Amazon) the price is not bad for a blind buy, but with "Planet Earth", a 10 hour+ series (and clearly superior in every single way - 1080p and TrueHD tracks) only $50 or so it makes this one a bit tougher to swallow. If the subject matter interests you then itís probably worth your money but if not I'd say pass. There is only so many nature films on Blu-ray that you can really enjoy.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

No features included.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

"The Beauty of Snakes" is presented in 1.78:1 (MPEG4; 1080i) on a 25GB Disc. Even though the disc is only 1080i it still looks really good (I had seen the HD broadcast before on TV and this is clearly superior). The snakes really jump out at you.

Genius has included an English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 track (English Subtitles only). Even with the lack of a HD Lossless track the 5.1 mix is still really good - better than some recent Blu-ray films I've watched. Rears remain active 90% of the documentary with some sort of background music. Still, a TrueHD track would have been nice and with 15GB+ free on the disc they really could have stepped it up a bit in this department.



.::OVERALL::.

If you like Snakes then I would say pick this Blu-ray up but if you are looking to show off your brand new Blu-ray player and HDTV then stick to Planet Earth. 1080i and Dolby Digital 5.1 have no place on Blu-ray in 2009 - period.