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UHD Review A few words about...™ National Parks Adventure & Dream Big -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Shout Factory continues to do things in the best interest of the consumer, packaging their releases inclusive of everything that the consumer might wish, and more.

    They're a class act!

    Want to see what the films look like in 4k with HDR, or without?

    In Blu-ray, in either 2 or 3D?

    Their newest offering are two more new large format documentaries, from MacGillivray Freeman Films, to me is the granddaddy of large format IMAX.

    When you see their involvement, you know that you're going to get something special.

    My initial large format experience with their work, was back in 1976 with To Fly, which I'd love to see make it to large format 4k via Shout.

    MF was well known for their second unit (helicopter) work on productions such as Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Shining.

    National Parks Adventure, narrated by Robert Redford, is precisely what one might presume it to be - gorgeously mounted, magnificent photographed, entertaining, and wait for it...

    Educational.

    Dream Big, which concerns the world of engineers and engineering feats (narrated by Jeff Bridges) is another beautiful production, that's far more entertaining than it may sound.

    Dolby Atmos helps to give one the feeling that you're seeing IMAX at home.

    Kudos to Shout Factory for keeping this series coming.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5 (Dolby Atmos)

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Highly Recommended

    RAH
     
    B-ROLL, DavidJ and PMF like this.
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yeah, I've been wondering about this 4K release and that one about engineering in Dream Big. I figured this one would look great in 4K, but not so for the latter release. I want to buy them, but at their current price point for only 42-43 minutes in length, I might wait for a more discounted price.
     
  3. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    Did like Ken Burns "The National Parks" and have the Blu-ray so will check out this new release at my local library.
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The National Parks UHD title has been on my wish list for awhile -- just waiting for a lower price, similar to Robert. My wife and I love the national parks, so having a 4K film on the subject in my collection is a must. I have several BDs and DVDs about specific parks already.

    BTW, we will be visiting Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota later this summer, ticking another park off our list.
     
  5. Bill Fisher

    Bill Fisher Auditioning

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    Mr. Harris. Not sure how to email you, so I address you here. Will you be reviewing Universal's blu ray of FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS any time soon? Thanks!
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This 4K/UHD release is on sale at Amazon for $15.11! I don't think that price lasts for long.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    You beat me to posting this, Robert. I just placed an order.
     
  9. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Thanks for the heads-up Robert!
     
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Thought about ordering these, but they seem to have pretty poor reviews on Amazon. Are they really worth it?
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You don't trust RAH's review?
     
  12. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I'm not sure PQ and technical specs are the concern. From one of the reviews:

    PQ might be awesome, but it sounds like other factors may be really annoying.
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I watched it on Saturday and thought the video and audio were very good. It was an educational experience for me about the history of the National Parks in America.
     
  14. Message #14 of 20 Jul 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
    sleroi

    sleroi Second Unit

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    These are both available on Netflix.

    National Parks was gorgeous. Not much of a story, but so what. I'm sure this would look even better with hdr applied. Ill probably pick this up for $15.

    Dream big on the other hand... It felt like a fluff piece from the end of a local news cast. The bit about the underwater robots was kind of interesting, but the rest was boring. Nothing in depth, nor particularly inspiring. And visually, not much there.

    Just my two cents, fwiw.
     
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  15. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Thanks. Maybe I'll check them out there before I decide if I need to own them.
     
  16. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Robert, if you haven't watched Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea yet, I *highly* recommend it. I think it's his best work.
     
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  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    As someone who loves and has visited many of our national parks (some numerous times), I think Burns more recent documentary on the Vietnam War is his best work. However, that doesn't diminish his national parks series, which is comprehensive look at the history of the parks and is very well done. If you have an interest in the subject, it's well worth your time.
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Peg and I watched this last night. We had been watching this week's broadcasts on the NatGeographic network of Yellowstone Live and totally underwhelmed by those (bad concept, bad execution). I figured this would be the perfect antidote: Beautifully shot images of our National Parks--done right--and skillfully presented.

    Unfortunately, it is anything but.

    While there were several beautiful shots of the parks (and you'd really have to go some given the beauty of the locations to come up short on that)...we did not find it educational AT ALL and completely clunky in its presentation.

    It was as if the production team didn't know how they wanted to present the material...as a straightforward documentary about the Parks, or a "holiday" travelogue (ala the old Cinerama films) or as a personal love letter from Robert Redford to the National Park Service. The script is pretty bad...including an overuse of quotes which were not as dramatic as they were meant to be.

    The inclusion of the three climbers adds absolutely nothing to the presentation and, instead, serves as a distraction (and HUGE waste of time). There were clunky reenactments featuring actors as John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt. Those didn't work. And, at one point, the script even allowed Redford to speak in the first person as he explained that Utah has 13 National Park sites in its borders, "so that's why I live there." I "get" that Redford is a big movie star and environmentalist, but that was a really poor choice in terms of the presentation.

    I also had to hold my remote during the entire thing as I could not find a good medium between Redford's narration and the music/sfx mix. At one point when we were taken surprise by an upsurge in the score and LFE Peg screamed, "you've GOT to turn this down!" :eek:

    I would have liked a doc on the Parks which showed us the highlights (the jewels) of the Parks system and some interesting information on them. I didn't feel like we got any of that here as the film jumps around rather haphazardly from place-to-place and spends way too much time watching the three weird climbers do rather mundane things like running, packing their gear, driving, taking pictures of themselves, and singing songs in their car...

    Total fail for us.
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  20. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    These are not 100% in 3D, many scenes in both are shot in 2D and then shown with a pushed-in effect, more so on National Parks. Also watched the 2D HDR versions and saw slight banding on them.
     

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