Plot: What’s it about?
Ever since I saw the cover of a Led Zeppelin album, I’ve been somewhat fascinated with the “Crop Circles” phenomenon. Evidently I’m not the only one as thousands of others around the world have become obsessed by these markings in fields around the world. Though they became “officially” recognized in the late 70’s by some, it wasn’t until the late 80’s and early 90’s that it really became the focus of scientific study. Most of these are located in Europe, England to be exact and it was thought that the waters around the area had something to do with these strange appearances. As they later started appearing in Candad, United States and other parts of the world; it became evident that this might not be a series of isolated incidents and hopefully not a hoax (though that theory is still debated). So what are crop circles and what do they mean? This is the question that the documentary Crop Circles: Quest for Truth tries to answer. While, admittedly, it doesn’t answer the question (there is really no answer as of yet) this is probably the definitive guide to the mysterious “acts of nature” that there is.
What fascinated me was the fact that the crop circles were analyzed from the ground and the air. Using the basic principles of geometry, we quickly learn that these aren’t just some freak acts of nature, but they’re based on Celtic religious items among other things. The idea that these may be a hoax is almost disposed of as they have been appearing for some 25 years, they’re all complete (there are no “half-finished” circles) and, most importantly, no one has ever been caught making them. Also, there have been sightings of a mysterious “ball of white light” associated with the circles. Though it certainly sounds like something out of a movie, this is frighteningly real. Those who thought that M. Night Shaymalan’s hit movie Signs, would give us some insight into the phenomenon were obviously as let down as I was, as the movie tended to be more of an alien story than anything else. If you want to know all about the mysterious crop circles, then look no further because short of going and checking these out yourself, you won’t get much more information than right here. Interesting and recommended.
Video: How does it look?
Presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer, this has the look and feel of a documentary. Interviews with experts from around the world and a majority of the footage is shot on home video (though high-end at that) which only adds to the allure of the mysterious crop circles. A majority of the documentary is shown with still pictures of the crop circles in the background, sometimes with some basic geology markings superimposed on them. Though I wasn’t expecting a lot in terms of video quality (as with any documentary, it’s kind of hit and miss in this department), I was a bit surprised. Though not “top notch”, I really had nothing to complain about here.
Audio: How does it sound?
Again, documentaries aren’t the place to go if you’re looking to blow the lid off your speakers. Presented in a Dolby Surround mix, 99% of the film is dialogue-driven with only the soundtrack adding any more depth to the audio. The majority of the experts are of English (British) descent, so to us Americans they are a bit hard to understand. But, on the whole, the audio is on par with the video. No real complaints here as you pretty much get what you expect.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There are three additional scenes included, though I hesitate to call them “deleted”, they do serve their purpose; but I suppose that the footage could be considered a bit redundant as all of the material had been covered in the main feature. A photo gallery of the crop circles is included, and it really is quite amazing at the detail that some of these have. The photo gallery shows each and can be selected with your remote. Also included is an interview with the Producer/Director of the film, William Gazecki. In it, he discusses the reasons for making the film as well as some other subjects as well (hoaxing). The scenes can be selected and played one at a time. It’s clear that Gazecki knows how to put together a good documentary film as he was Oscar-Nominated for his work Waco: Rules of Engagement. Rounding out the supplements is a trailer. All in all, this disc will give you a pretty good understanding of the crop circle phenomenon and for those who are interested, this will be to their liking.