Raw Nature (DVD Review)15 Feb, 2009 By: John Latchem
Prebook 2/17/09; Street 3/31/09
Stars Matt Renner, Mitch Tanen, Gianny Truttman, Anneli Gericke.
The brilliant Planet Earth showed us there is a certain beauty in the brutality of nature. “Raw Nature” puts that brutality front and center.
The Animal Planet series showcases four filmmakers, who are not animal experts, traveling the world to document the exploits of dedicated wildlife professionals with flashy graphics. Think “Crocodile Hunter” meets “The Amazing Race.” Each of the five episodes is broken down into segments for each filmmaker, focusing on a wide variety of animals from across the globe.
This is a show that puts nature on display for what it is, and it’s not the cute and cuddly Disney version. The images here may be disturbing to watch for some animal lovers. “Raw Nature” is not for the queasy; as its opening warning tells us, there’s a reason it’s not called “Sleepytime Nature” or “A Celebration of Everything That’s Boring About Nature.” For example, one episode features a pack of komodo dragons taking down and devouring a goat.
The tone of the segments are set by the subject. Some are hilarious, as when the komodo dragons, finished with their meal, think they can make dessert out of the camera crew, who scatter as fast as humanly possible. Some are sad, such as the case of the captive dancing bears of India. Others are just disturbing.
This is the basic lesson of “Raw Nature” — try as we might to contain the natural world, we should always respect it.