Discovery Channel // 2010 // 129 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // March 12th, 2011
Beyond the limits of the human eye, life holds secrets we never imagined.
New to Discovery Channel, Speed of Life offers never-before-seen footage of predators and prey in action. The premise behind Speed of Life is a fairly simple one: until recently, many of nature's most fascinating animal behaviors happened so fast that the human eye couldn't perceive them, so we were missing out. Thanks to modern technology and innovations in cinematography, we're now able to slow and even stop time during these lightning-fast actions, to be able to see some incredible moments in the animal kingdom. Want to see a rattlesnake's tail up close or a chameleon's tongue lash out as it grabs its prey? It's all here kids.
This release focuses on the series' first three episodes to date: "Predators of the Southwest," "Central America," and "East Africa." Speed of Life covers the gamut of creatures, from large predatory cats to amphibians, reptiles and spiders. In this three-episode release, viewers also get a look at a wide range of natural habitats from around the globe. There's likely something to delight every nature documentary fan out there, but perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that Speed of Life has created and thoroughly filled its own sub-genre of nature documentary. While BBC nature series like Planet Earth and Life have used technology to deliver breathtaking natural wonders and beauty, the equipment functioned behind the scenes. In this series, the tech takes center stage, receiving near-equal billing with the animal behaviors themselves.
There's an absolute wealth of information crammed into this 129-minute release. Actor Erik Dellums (The Wire) brings just the right amount of drama and cheekiness to the narration, as he delivers amazing facts and info about animals and environments that matches the stunning footage perfectly. Speed of Life slows down just long enough to deliver a surprisingly better-than-average sight and sound experience, especially for an SD release -- likely due in part to the technology behind the production. Given the extra storage capacity to stretch its legs, it's very likely Speed of Life is an absolute jaw-dropper in HD. Unfortunately, the release leaves the extra features in the dust, with none to be found.
The only downside to Speed of Life is that, so far, only three
episodes have been released with no sign of any more to come. Based on the
energy and momentum of its debut, let's hope we'll see more of the series sooner
rather than later.
Review content copyright © 2011 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Discovery Channel
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 129 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated