Earth (Rated G)
Gavin Grade: B-
This is the first film in what is going to be a series of eco-themed movies from a new studio called Disney: Nature. The next one is called "Ocean" and it comes out next year on...you guessed it, Earth Day. I wanted to see this movie since the first time I saw the moving trailer for it, but it was disappointing that the trailer was far better. Disney teamed up with the BBC to make this film, but the BBC had basically already filmed most of it. In fact, you may have already seen it on TV under the name "Planet Earth." Now, that shouldn't take anything away from this considering that it's one of the most beautifully shot pieces of film I've seen in maybe a decade. The Time-Lapse photography is jaw-dropping in the way that it captures entire seasons as it shows everything from plants growing to entire landscapes changing. The craft that went into the use of High-Speed cameras to capture the Slow Motion shots of such things as a cheetah hunting, are stunning and gorgeous! But that leads me to the first problem, don't let the "G Rating" fool you; this is not a film for the whole family. An alternate title of this may by "Adorable Baby Animals Get Eaten for 90 Minutes." And since so much of the film follows families of animals, this makes parts of it really hard to watch with kids...or my 20-something year-old girlfriend for that matter. The other flaw with it is that it's kind of boring. Yes there are thrilling sequences of narrow escapes (or almost-escapes), amazing scenery that you would never see if these directors didn't show it to you and incredible stories of nature, but it doesn't move very well. James Earl Jones narrates it (of course) and at times he almost sounds bored. However it is an important movie to see. It doesn't get preachy about global warming, pollution or over-crowding at all. But it stands as a monument that this planet is punishing and rewarding; and that life is bigger and more connected than you can imagine.