Questar // 1999 // 854 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // May 2nd, 2009
Embark on the Journey of a Lifetime.
Planning a vacation and don't know where to go? Or, perhaps, you don't have the means to travel and are looking for a less expensive way to see the world. Well, either way, your search has ended, my friend. Must See Places Of The World is the answer...maybe. This 6-disc box set visits almost every corner of the globe. Let's start the journey!
"Magnificent Planet/Marvels of Mankind" (116 minutes): This two-part disc zigzags across the globe, touching down in such places as the Sahara, Alaska, Victoria Falls in South Africa, the Grand Canyon, Banff National Park, South America, Australia, Egypt, Spain, India, and the Great Wall of China.
"Wildlife Treasures" (58 minutes): More globetrotting is on the agenda for this installment, including the Ranthambore National Park in India for Bengal tigers, the varied animal species of the Galapagos Islands, the rainforests of Costa Rica, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Serengeti National Park.
"Journeys of a Lifetime" (170 minutes): This disc is comprised of three episodes. The first visits Africa and Asia, going to Kenya, Victoria Falls (again), the mountains of India, a Buddhist festival in the Himalayas, and the Great Wall (again). The second episode looks at Europe and the Middle East, taking in New Year's Eve in Paris, Carnival in Venice, Egypt (again), Jerusalem, and the ancient city of Petra in Jordan (Petra is also visited in Disc 1). The third episode treks to such places as the Great Barrier Reef (again), the Grand Canyon (again), the Colorado River, and the Andes.
"Australia the Beautiful" (170 minutes): This is another three-part series, featuring Australia. The wanderings across the continent include the Great Barrier Reef (yet again), Lake Eyre, King's Canyon, the Blue Mountains and Tasmania.
"Mysteries of the Ancient World" (170 minutes): This three-part disc explores the "ancient mysteries" of Europe and the Mediterranean (e.g., the pyramids and Stonehenge), the Orient (e.g., the ancient city of Catal Hoyuk in Turkey and Petra, yet again), and the Americas (e.g., Incan and Mayan civilization).
"Scenic Cruises of the World" (170 minutes): All right, the last one! This time around the focus is on coasts and islands. The three episodes survey the sights of the Nova Scotia, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Norway, Scotland, Greece, Easter Island, New Zealand, Fiji, and Hawaii.
Phew! That's the whole shebang! Reader's Digest produced all the series here. The production values are relatively low, the pacing slow, and the narration lethargic. It feels like something that would be shown at a primary school. This is unfortunate because it takes away from what should be exciting and awe inspiring natural wonders and human feats of engineering. Additionally, as is obvious from my summaries, there is plenty of repetition. At the same time, this is a fairly extensive box set of notable places to see.
The video is presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The picture quality is ok. The color is acceptable and there is a small amount of visible grain right through the set. Similarly, the audio is a simple stereo track that does its job.
There are no extras.
Must See Places Of The World is neither great nor terrible. It does what it sets out to do in a workmanlike manner without any bells or whistles.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 854 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* IMDb: Mysteries Of The Ancient World