Sound & Vision - - ENTERTAINMENT - Chris Chiarella

Re­mem­ber those A Day in the Life of… cof­fee ta­ble books that gave us glimpses of Hol­ly­wood and the So­viet Union and the like over a sin­gle 24-hour span? Imag­ine that same dy­namic ap­plied to some care­fully se­lected, hu­man-free lo­cales across the globe, and you start to get the idea be­hind Earth: One Amaz­ing Day. This se­quel to the 2007 na­ture doc­u­men­tary Earth takes us from the pre-dawn hours well into the night, re­veal­ing vi­sions of flora and fauna we’ve likely never seen be­fore. (Gi­raffe smack-down!) The sin­gle-ro­ta­tion con­struct does help to unify the dis­parate pro­ceed­ings, even if the voiceover some­times tries a bit too hard to entertain us.

The pro­duc­tion val­ues on the movie (and the disc) are top-notch, with Dolby Vi­sion high dy­namic range and Dolby Atmos di­men­sional sur­round en­hanc­ing this 4K Ul­tra HD pre­sen­ta­tion. Long shots as­tound, serv­ing up abun­dant de­tail at great dis­tances. Herds of var­i­ous an­i­mals are re­mark­ably in­di­vid­u­al­ized, with a throng of monochro­matic pen­guins truly pop­ping within the 16:9 frame. Rolling hills show ap­pre­cia­ble depth as they ex­tend to­ward the hori­zon, while strands of fur, blades of grass, flit­ting in­sects, and stars in the heav­ens are all read­ily dis­cernible. The col­ors of life are ex­pect­edly lush, and when sun­set ar­rives they be­come achingly beau­ti­ful. The stark play of light and dark as El Sol makes its first ap­pear­ance ben­e­fits from

HDR, par­tic­u­larly the solid sil­hou­ettes and the nu­ances vis­i­ble within a shad­owy val­ley.

Ref­er­enc­ing the Dolby Truehd 7.1 core of the Atmos track, the home theater teems with an­i­mals singing in hap­pier mo­ments and wail­ing when the go­ing gets dicey. Ef­fects are surely ex­ag­ger­ated for dra­matic pur­poses and al­most cer­tainly added out­right as well: A rag­ing ocean brings low-end power, and rain and thun­der fill the sur­rounds. This is sim­u­lated re­al­ism, in con­trast to the scrupu­lous on-lo­ca­tion pho­tog­ra­phy. The movie's ma­jes­tic or­ches­tral score is mixed wide and with im­pec­ca­ble clar­ity. As One Amaz­ing Day was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with China—yield­ing some oth­er­wise unattain­able footage—a Man­darin Dolby Dig­i­tal

5.1 track is also pro­vided, with nar­ra­tion by none other than Jackie Chan.

Ex­tras are rel­a­tively sparse: a talky be­hind-the-scenes vi­gnette plus brief fea­turettes that il­lu­mi­nate the mak­ing of five key seg­ments. An HD Blu-ray of all of the above is pro­vided as well.

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