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Case Number 01227

Traveling Through Great National Parks of America

BFS Video // 1996 // 135 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Norman Short (Retired) // June 28th, 2001

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All Rise...

The Charge

Everything you need to know before visiting these parks.

Opening Statement

From BFS Entertainment, the distributor that fills a niche of non-movie entertainment and information, comes Traveling Through Great National Parks of America, a look at six of our national parks with beautiful imagery and comprehensive detail. If hiking in unspoiled wilderness with the comfort of marked trails appeals to you, then this could be a must buy before making your vacation plans. This is a review of the first in a series of the travel themed discs, with others to come.

The Evidence

Sky-touching mountains. Interesting rock formations. Trails through woodlands crossed by clear, rushing mountain streams. All this and more is available to us through our national parks. I've had little opportunity to see many of them, and haven't even heard of a couple presented on this DVD. I have a greater appreciation for the parks in general and an interest in seeing others now that I've watched this disc.

The six parks covered are Arches, with its many arched rock formations, Bryce Canyon and its vista views, Olympia, on the shores of the Pacific in our Great Northwest, Glacier, and Acadia National Parks. Each section is about 20-25 minutes long, and takes you from the main gate and shows you all the parks have to offer. Mostly that includes trails to hike and landmarks to see. Each of those trails is covered in almost excruciating detail, giving the twists and turns, the different elevations you would traverse, along with the level of strenuous physical activity you will need to be prepared for. The narrator tells you what you need to bring, if there is drinking water on the trail, and where wheelchair access is available. More than that, you are watching people hike these trails and seeing beautiful scenic wonders along with them. It's the next best thing to being there, especially if a several-kilometer hike isn't something you're prepared for. The landmarks are explained in terms of how they came to be, how nature worked its magic to create this view.

Those images are gorgeous, of course. The DVD transfer is quite good, with great color and clarity. You can see the shimmering off the water of the mountain stream, the light shining past the top of the ridgeline, the cool serene greenery of the deep forest. The image is perhaps a bit soft, but at least it wasn't tampered with by introducing unwelcome edge enhancement. The audio is a 2 channel mix, but is entirely taken up by soft music in the background while the narrator talks from the center channel. You can clearly hear everything that is said, and as I said, the level of detail is astonishing.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

That level of detail can be a bit overwhelming at times, unfortunately. If it weren't for the pictures I'd have grown a bit tired of hearing about the eighth trail and how this one shows you something different from the first seven. I am glad that level of detail is there, but I found that it's best to watch one park at a time and take a break before the next one. The smooth voice of the narrator can become a bit hypnotic over the 135 minute running length taken all in one viewing.

Closing Statement

If you have a thought about visiting our national parks on a vacation, then this would be a great buy. If you just want to see what these parks have to offer it is a nice DVD as well, especially since the discs are inexpensively priced. I look forward to seeing more of these discs in the future.

The Verdict

The court commends our national park service for all they do to preserve our national heritage for mine and future generations.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 83
Extras: 0
Judgment: 87

Perp Profile

Studio: BFS Video
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 135 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genre:
• Documentary

Distinguishing Marks

• None








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