Posted: 08/17/2009


Visions of Britain & Ireland on Blu-Ray

by Del Harvey

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This DVD lives up to the press release’s promise of being a breathtaking aerial tour of Britain and Ireland. And in Blu-Ray the images are spectacular. Included in this set are the entire UK collection: Visions of England, Visions of Scotland, Visions of Ireland, and Visions of Wales. The bird’s eye view cinematography is awe-inspiring. Accompanying these amazing visuals are poetic narratives and soundtracks of popular, classical, and traditional music. All right, at times the music is a bit corny; but there is a ‘Mute’ button for that sort of thing. If you can do that, then this set is as good as being there.

Filmed in high definition from a helicopter-mounted camera, these programs afford you the most unusual and incredible views of places like Big Ben and Stonehenge, Loch Ness and Inverness, Belfast and Blarney Castle, Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey, and more. There are breathtaking views of legendary cities and lush landscapes, always accompanied by rich narrations and regional music. And it includes over an hour of bonus footage not seen on public television, totaling approximately 290 min. on 2 Blu-ray discs (or 4 DVDs).

The previously unseen program is of Wales. Few places on earth have so long a cultural history and so much dramatic landscape compressed into so few square miles as Wales. Visions of Wales offers astounding aerial views of this castle-filled country, traveling from the southern tip at Cardiff to the summit of Mount Snowdon. The vantage helicopter-mounted camera allows you to soar over coastal towns set against bustling cities, farms and pastureland which co-exist with the roaring sea, the haunting and religious grandeur of Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey, the untouched natural beauty of the River Dee tidal pools-all shrouded in mist, never too far removed from either the coastline or the past.

Shot in high definition and set to traditional music, including the famed Welsh men’s choruses, the DVD is loaded with informative narration about the region’s history and culture, Visions of Wales introduces the treasures of Great Britain’s western annex, including Chepstow Castle, Swansea, St. David’s, and Conwy.

Any lover of the U.K. will want this set; it’s sure to make you homesick.

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.

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