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Winged Migration (2003)

It seems that this was just in the theaters last week, yet on our last trolling through the pre-viewed cheapo surplus bins at the local Hollywood video rental chain store, we found a copy of this on sale, so we picked it up.

Here's the deal: it's entertaining, and visually arresting, but Koyaanisqatsi it isn't. At the beginning we thought it was going to be random pictures of birds flying around, set to music. They we marvelled at the amazing photography - just how did they get these pictures of birds migrating, nesting, swimming, doing their thing, at such amazing close up? And flying in formation in the air?

Then we realised that there is a kind of story - or more acurately, three or four stories as we followed various species of birds on their migratory paths around the world. It is spectacular, but then it becomes contrived. We realised that there is simply NO WAY to have obtained these shots unless there was some magic trick involved. So, for the rest of the film, we wondered what the trick was.

Like much magic, knowing how it was done rather spoils the enjoyment of the film. My recommendation: Don't watch the "making of" featurette on the DVD (but you won't be able to help yourself) and don't listen to the commentary - it's more boring than the music track. Still worth seeing, though. Three stars.

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