HTF REVIEW: "The Real Eve" (Discovery Channel) (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein

    Discovery Channel: The Real Eve

    Studio: Artisan
    Year: 2002
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 103 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)

    5 Billion People...From ONE Woman
    One of the things I am going to start doing over
    the next few weeks is to start reviewing Special
    Interest product from the likes of National
    Geographic, Nova and The Discovery Channel. Hopefully
    through these reviews I can help expand the knowledge
    of members of this forum in addition to my own.
    It's amazing what a diverse group of human beings
    we are, scattered all over the globe, coming in
    different shapes colors and sizes. Yet under our
    skin we are all alike - all coming from a very small
    gene pool. New scientific research suggest that
    every single one of us are descendents of one woman.
    That woman has been labeled Out of Africa Eve.
    Who was "the real eve"? What did she really look
    like, where did she live, and how did the human
    race really come to be? This new documentary
    narrated by Danny Glover explains it all.
    We go back 150,000 years ago to East Africa to
    the first humans. Their brains had all the necessary
    communication skills allowing them to think and
    plan, thus making them skillful hunters. These
    were the very first of their kind, and we will soon
    learn how they eventually populated the globe.
    The latest scientific discoveries that traced the
    genetic trail across the globe can be attributed to
    Mitochondrial DNA that gets passed on from woman to
    daughter (men cannot pass it on). We can use this
    DNA to trace history all the way back to the earliest
    women in Africa 150,000 years ago.
    A skull dating back 120,00 years is the best
    evidence of what Mitochondrial Eve may have looked
    like. By using computer technology, flesh and
    muscle is added to the skull base to provide us
    with the very first glimpse of how our genetic
    mother looked 150,000 years ago.
    Through dramatic actor recreations, we learn how
    early humans migrated, across Africa 80,000 years
    ago, through India, in a single southern route
    crossing. 10,000 years later, another major exodus
    brought the earliest humans across shark infested
    waters to Australia.
    Migrations continued for thousands of years to
    come as people migrated through Europe, meeting
    the Neanderthals of Germany who are thought to
    be more of a side branch of humans rather than
    ancestors. Within 10,000 years the Neanderthals
    became extinct as they couldn't adapt fast enough
    to the changing world around them.
    Looking back at our earliest ancestors would
    not be complete without looking at the ornaments,
    clothing and drawings they created. We are shown
    some fascinating statuette ornaments that date
    back 27,000 years ago. The detail of these ornaments
    suggest they were based on real people, most likely
    having religious significance. We also look at
    fabrics as well as beads made from Mammoth ivory.
    Caves show art dating back 35,000 years ago,
    painted on walls, depicting dangerous animals of
    the time.
    Our remarkable journey continues 10,000 miles
    across the globe and 6,000 years later as the
    invasion into the new world begins as people cross
    from Asia into America via the Bering Straits.
    This is the last great journey to populate the
    globe as the first Americans arrive.
    How is the transfer?
    Though I don't like rating these educational
    programs on the same scale as a theatrical
    presentation, this is one of the rare instances
    where I have watched a documentary in gorgeous
    widescreen. The 16x9 presentation adds great
    depth to the many gorgeous landscapes shown
    throughout the program. Picture quality is
    generally very good. Since this documentary
    visits so many locales under different lighting
    conditions, some shots can be a little unfocused
    or grainy.
    The Dolby surround track is quite good for a
    documentary. While Danny Glover's narration stays
    squarely in the center channel, the fronts come
    alive with strong bass-heavy sound. The documentary's
    musical score often sent deep rumblings through
    the LFE channel to my subwoofer. The rears provided
    a few sprinkles of ambience, particularly during
    rainfall sequences and others filmed on the shore
    that featured the sounds of crashing waves meeting
    the beach front.
    A warning: This DVD contains no subtitles nor has
    any indication of closed captioning. This is an
    awful way for Discovery Channel to market their
    product, totally ignoring the hearing impaired
    Special Features
    There are two rather short Behind The Scenes
    featurettes that play more as promotional spots
    than giving real insight into the total production.
    What we do get to see is brief glimpses of the
    actors being directed on location as well as the
    CGI that was added in post production. We also
    get to talk to filmmakers about the elements they
    felt were needed in this documentary to make it
    less preachy and more dramatic storytelling.
    Final Thoughts
    I could sit and review these sort of documentaries
    all day long. I think it's absolutely wonderful
    that the Discovery Channel is releasing such fine
    programming to DVD that manages to teach individuals
    without making it seem educational. Using live action
    and computer generated effects, you are virtually
    transported to another time period. By the time the
    ride is over, you have managed to store valuable
    information within your mind -- something to take
    to work with you the next day or pass on to your
    Another exceptional DVD from the folks at the
    Discovery Channel and Artisan DVD. Add it to your
    Release Date: Now
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Dec 11, 2000
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    Ron, thanks for the review. I find the topic of paleo-anthropology interesting so I'll have to pick this up. [​IMG]
  3. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

    Apr 14, 2002
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    The show is on the Discovery Channel tonight (8/21) at 9 and at midnight. If you want to "try before you buy" this is a good opportunity. For me, I'm buying. I've seen "The Real Eve" three times and it's wonderful. Thanks, Ron.
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    I forgot to mention this, but just added....

    This DVD contains no subtitles nor has any
    reference to closed captioning.

    This is an awful way for the Discovery Channel
    to have their products marketed as it totally
    ignores the needs of the hearing impaired community.

    As you all know, this is a major pet peeve for me.
  5. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

    Sep 29, 2000
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  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    It is absolutely 16x9 enhanced.

    Actually it looks 1.85:1 on my Toshiba as
    it plays the entire screen. However, when
    I brought it up on POWER DVD it looked smaller.

    Don't know why there was a difference between
    my Toshiba displaying it widescreen (filling the
    entire screen) and POWER DVD showing it as a
    smaller ratio.

    Because of the way it was shown on my TV
    I labeled it as a 1.85:1 transfer, though
    there is absolutely no indication of a ratio
    (other than widescreen) on the packaging.

    Wish I could be of more help in this.
  7. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

    Aug 19, 2001
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    Rhode Island
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    Great review Ron. Will definitely be picking this up as these type of documentaries fascinate me. Have you checked out Walking With Dinosaurs or Walking With Prehistoric Beasts ? Both are excellent and are 16x9 enhanced. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on them.
    Take Care,
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

    Sep 6, 2000
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    Hmmm, I was trying to watch the premiere episode of this series, but I was immediately turned off by the Jerry Bruckheimer-style of editing. The fast cuts, bombastic sound effects, and over-the-top computer animation sequences were really grating on my nerves!
    I switched channels after trying to deal with it for half-an-hour.
    Armageddon ruined the series for me! [​IMG]
  9. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

    Mar 8, 2001
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    I don't remember seeing this one advertised, but I'll be picking it up. The main one I'm really looking forward to is Neanderthal which is available on vhs but not DVD. Dawn Of Man is also another I'm waiting for the DVD's, that is already on vhs.

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