The Netflix Report

Movie reviews from my Netflix queue. Highly personal and opinionated!

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Microcosmos

This is a fairly short documentary focusing on insects and small animals in the countryside of France. It doesn’t have any story or narration aside from an inane intro and finale that run along the lines of: “A meadow, somewhere on Earth. Here, time takes on a different dimension. A moment is an hour. An hour is a day. And a day is a lifetime.” Ugh.

Fortunately, that stops after two minutes and the rest of the film is simply closeups of creatures you don’t usually watch in such detail. There is no attempt at identification or educational value. You just watch the critters doing whatever they do. Students of nature documentaries can test themselves by trying to identify the animals and their behaviors.

My favorite segment was a fierce battle between two stag beetles with an outcome that surprises them both. There is also excellent footage of a rainstorm from the perspective of a very small insect. Makes you wonder how any of them survive. The photography is often excellent. Some of the shots are of the type that make you wonder how the heck they happened to be in the right place at the right time. There are a few of those amazing point of view shots that always amaze me from inside an ant colony looking out.

Kids should love watching the animals, although you should be prepared to answer LOTS of questions about “What is that? What’s it doing?” Very small children may be alarmed at the grotesque appearance of some insects when viewed in closeup.

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