Reviews by amy
You know those horrifying fish from the deepest parts of the ocean - the ones with lanterns dangling over their heads, massive teeth completely out of proportion to their size, and stunningly weird phosphorescence? You think you've seen them all? Well, you haven't. There are even weirder and more horrifying sea creatures on this video than you could ever imagine. Narrated by the godfather of natural history, David Attenborough.
Another solid NOVA effort exploring the science behind the puzzling 400-foot high, 3.5-mile Dry Falls in central Washington and how it came to be. It takes a while to suss out the full story, as the video takes its time with historical reenactments, contemporary interviews, and some of the sensationalized video production we've come to expect when revealing "secrets" and "mysteries" on film - spooky video effects and dramatic music leading up to the mind-blowing truth Soon To Be Revealed! And that mind-blowing truth - that all this peculiar geology was caused by the catastrophic collapse of an enormous ice-dam holding back the waters of the once-massive Glacier Lake Missoula 1,000 miles away - is just mind-blowing enough you'll happily sit through the animated sequence depicting the collapse of the damn several times.
This is wonderfully produced video with breathtaking visuals, not only of the astonishing images captured by the Hubble telescope, but of animated sequences that literally pick up and transport the earth to various locations within the Milky Way to illustrate what the sky would look like and what our experience would be from that vantage point, e.g. close to a globular cluster, a planetary nebula, or the Andromeda Galaxy. This is a clever and effective way of bringing home both the beauty and the power of these celestial objects/events. It's a rare video that can successfully translate mind-boggling science for a general audience, but this one does a great job. The narrator is a little melodramatic, but overall this video doesn't suffer from the hyper-kinetic visuals that mar many astronomy-themed videos.
Written in 1957 with a reverence for the mystery and wonder of nature and the quiet wisdom of a man approaching middle age, Eiseley's eloquent reflections on the origins of man, life, and the cosmos are still relevant and accessible today.
Jerry Wexler is the guy who gave "Mack the Knife" to Bobby Darin, "Under the Boardwalk" to the Drifters, and convinced Wilson Pickett to emphasize the second beat in "In the Midnight Hour." He championed the southern sounds of Muscle Shoals, nurtured the gospel roots of burgeoning soul artist Aretha Franklin, and brought Dusty to Memphis. This last act alone was reason enough to pique my interest in his autobiography, for Wexler had a reputation as a nurturing producer, beloved by many artists and admired by others in the industry for his knowledge of the business and his passion for music. Along with brothers Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun, he defined the golden years of Atlantic Records through the 50s, 60s and 70s. Like all good autobiographies (this is co-written with David Ritz), Wexler infuses a particular period of recent history with the drama of his own personal history. He doesn't shy away from the mistakes - or the tragedies - and surprises with a good ear for language.