Studio: BlueMarvel [Release date: August 12, 2008]
Video: 16:9 color 1080p HD
Audio: DD 5.1, DD 2.0
Text options: Field guide information or inspirational quotations
Extras: Opening samples collage from future productions
Length: Two programs of 50+ minutes each
There’s not a great deal to say about this unusual Blu-ray disc. It grew out of a Discovery Channel series, “Sunrise Earth,” filmed around the world in beautiful locations. This is the first of a proposed series of meditational, relaxing, background-visuals Blu-rays. The first of these two programs was shot in Maui, Hawaii and the second was filmed where BlueMarvel’s headquarters are located – Camden, Maine. There is no plot or story and no actors – just long shots of the waves crashing against the rocks and black sand beaches of Maui plus various lush vegetation blowing in the winds, and for the Maine scenes view from a mountain overlooking Penobscot Bay, the sun coming up and reflecting off the picturesque buildings of the village, and so on.
The videos force the viewer to enter a different timeline – one that moves more slowly and observes nature doing its thing. It’s similar to the more leisurely pace demanded when listening to a Bruckner or Mahler Symphony, for example. The natural surround sounds are enveloping, but you could turn them off and play music if you wish. You would probably select the overlay of information tidbits or quotations only once – seems to me a rather distracting aspect of what is supposed to be a relaxing and centering experience. This would also be a striking background to have looping during a party. The image quality is highly detailed and beautifully filmed; you begin to feel as though you have actually been at these places. A fascinating use of large screens and hi-def images, to be sure!
– John Sunier