"It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man." – Theodore Roosevelt
There is nothing I enjoyed more growing up than spending times in the mountains, and for that I am thankful that these great and wonderful places have been preserved for us to enjoy and share with ourselves and to pass on to our children. In my adult life I haven't taken the time to really get back to nature, but as I watched this virtual tour it ignited my desire to take the time and get back to nature again and I look forward to setting aside sometime this summer to get to spend in one of the many state or national parks that surround me.
Yosemite: The High Sierras is a virtual tour, packed full of visual imagery of all of the places you can see throughout Yosemite and a variety of parks in the Sierras. And though they say pictures are worth a thousand words, these beautiful images still fail to compare with the actual feeling you will get when you visit any of these places in person, and you breathe in the fresh air and smell the natural aroma. Yet these images will still amaze you and leave you wanting for more, and if you’re like me and nowhere near the Yosemite National Park, this is a great way to be able to enjoy the park and see what it has to offer. So until I get a chance to visit the area this will have to do.
While the imagery is great, my favorite part of the film is the informative nature of Yosemite: The High Sierras, as they have gathered a variety of experts to come and share their knowledge with us throughout this presentation. They provide a lot of information and history of the various parks allowing for you to gain an appreciation of the parks and the preservation of them. They also cover a lot about what they have to offer people currently and what the tourists enjoy there. To me I think the most enticing site to see in the Sierras are the Sequoias. I have seen the Redwoods and was just amazed by their glory in person, and would love to see the Sequoias in person as well.
I was left in awe by the skill and dedication of the climbers that spend days scaling up the magnificent rocky face of the El Capitan Mountain. I can’t imagine spending up to a week climbing up a mountain sleeping in cots attached to the mountain face; their dedication is remarkable and inspirational.
Just like I mentioned in my earlier review of The Grand Canyon: A Wonder of the Natural World which is also from Mill Creek’s National Parks Exploration Series, I feel that this virtual tour provides an in depth look at places that may otherwise be unattainable for us on tight budgets or other various reasons. And through this we can still gain the experience and knowledge of visiting these great parks that have been preserved for our enjoyment, but for me it has also sparked a desire to take advantage of the sate and national parks that are near and reachable for me to visit.
Raw nature has a beauty of its own that offers a better backdrop than Hollywood can create, and Mill Creek Entertainment has taken advantage of that in Yosemite: The High Sierras as all of the scenes are very lush and colorful. The black levels held up well allowing for the details in the scenes to come off the screen. However, I did notice a lot of shaking of the camera on a lot of scenes when the camera was in play and also when they were panning over some of the photos used in telling the history of the parks. This was a little distracting from the images on the screen but given the environments they were filming in this can be forgiven.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track audio presentation will suffice for the material on this disc and walks you through this documentary/virtual tour. So I can understand and excuse that it is only 2.0, and it still sounded good on my system. It allowed all the voices to come through clearly throughout although the voices did at times come through a little too loud. My main complaint with the audio is that there was quite a bit of wind distortion that was picked up on the mikes but I suppose this again is related to the environment. The original audio track was mixed in well with the music and narration tracks allowing for nature’s own audio track to remain, providing a very tranquil effect.
There were no Extras included on this Blu-ray.
While watching this virtual tour, it will in no way replace the experience of visiting these majestic mountains in person, it will definitely be an experience you will appreciate and that you can share with your whole family. If you have visited or plan to visit the Sierras before then I think you will still benefit from the information provided on this tour. I would recommend picking this up and watching it with your family and then plan a family outing to your nearest state or national park.