Google this title now while you can, before Robert Rodriguez completes his Predator sequel “Predators” forever consuming your search results.
This DVD is a mashing of three different Animal Planet programs, After the Attack, Up Close, and Dangerous and Wild Discovery, together to make a compilation that is dedicated to the world’s most dangerous animals (perhaps in an attempt to steal some of Shark Weeks thunder).
After the Attack (2 episodes):
This is a show that features victims who have been attacked by large animals not just tell their story but encounter the same beast and then recreate their attack for film. This is the most insane of the shows. What these victims do for the camera is boggling. Encountering something as dangerous as a Cougar or Bear is one thing (especially “trained“ ones with teams of assistants nearby), but to volunteer to relive their traumatic attack (one of the ones here left the victim with so little face that she has had three plastic surgeries for repairs, with more planned). I cannot process what happens in these shows and are certainly too fascinating to look away. It’s a form of bravery I have never heard of before.
Up Close and Dangerous:
As the programs on this DVD approach, the dignity of their presentations rises. The first program was edited together like many a sensationalist program that may appear on Spike TV, but here we have something that is closer related to National Geographic, albeit a low-rent version of such.
This is an often fascinating look at the cameramen who place themselves into ridiculous situations in order to get the amazing animal footage we have all seen and probably taken for granted. Snakes are extremely troublesome and almost all situations involving Lions become intense (even if they are simply lounging around the vehicles).
One episode entitled “Killer Crocs of Costa Rica” is highlighted. This is a very traditional nature special. The narrator has a warm, enlightened tone, the footage is clean and up close, and each animal gets its own miniature narrative, including the always tragic story of baby sea turtles tying to make it to sea after hatching that I have witnessed far too many times to admit.
Fullscreen 1.33:1. Although the final documentary about crocodiles does enter a more Widscreen format, as it was originally broadcast that way.
The quality increases as the shows advance; the first being clean enough for television and the last approaching closer to movie quality for some of its better nature shots. Overall not terribly polished for the DVD but certainly made with top-notch cameras.
Dolby Digital 2.0. I wished they sprang for 5.1 simply for the chance to get the immersion feeling during the nice landscape shots of the last program. Alas, since they were made for television it is not often prepared for the most enormous of sound qualities, but something more should have been there.
Subtitles available in English.
All in all, this is a nice sampler platter of the sorts of programs Animal Planet has to offer. They are more than just Documentary after Documentary but certainly have them if you want them. Great dedication went into the making of these programs and it does show. The material is always interesting, but when has danger not been?