Plot: What’s it about?
This documentary covers a lot of ground, actually water to be truthful and the journey includes over forty-three hundred nautical miles of the stuff. Now we’re used to traveling great distances over water, as we have large ships and planes, which cut the travel time down to a reasonable duration, but this adventure doesn’t use those luxuries. This is the story of biologist Thor Heyerdahl and his five crew members, who braved the ocean in an effort to rewrite history. Thor believed that outside settlers had shown up on the South Seas Islands, which seemed difficult to him, but by no means impossible. By using information on the trade winds and ocean currents, Heyerdahl developed a schematic which plotted the course from Peru to Polynesia, with the settlers aboard a simple balsa raft. But his peers balked at this idea and refused to believe that a primitive balsa raft could handle a voyage of that magnitude, so Heyerdahl decided to prove his theory the old fashioned way. He and his crew used traditional means to build a simple balsa raft and then from Peru, they set out to test Heyerdahl’s theory by taking the dangerous venture themselves.
I’d heard a lot about this documentary, but never taken the chance to look for myself. So when Image Entertainment released Kon-Tiki on our beloved format, I decided the time had come to discover this piece for myself. I knew this would be a solid feature, as it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, but I was surprised at how much I liked Kon-Tiki. I know some might not see the point in what these men do here, but if you have a sense of adventure, you’ll find a lot to like with this documentary. The story behind this expedition is a very interesting one and soon, I am sure I will look into further materials to learn more about this adventure. I liked what I saw with this motion picture, but I want to learn more about the background and after effects, which I think would be marvelous to read about. This documentary won’t be for all viewers, but if you’re at all interested in the story, then by all means, give this disc a look. I loved Kon-Tiki from start to finish and if I had a single complaint, I feel the piece was too short, as I wanted to see much more of this amazing adventure. I commend Image Entertainment for giving this film a release on DVD, so that we can all experience this historic story for ourselves.
Video: How does it look?
Kon-Tiki is presented in a full frame transfer, which is the intended viewing form. This is a documentary made in 1950 out on the Pacific Ocean, so don’t expect a pristine and film-like presentation here. The print used here is terrific though, very clean and much sharper than I expected from such a feature. Some specks and nicks surface, but not many and on the whole, this is a pleasant visual experience. The black & white image is sharp and well defined, which includes well balanced black levels, so the detail is as high as can be. A very solid presentation, especially when you consider the nature of this documentary.
Audio: How does it sound?
Aside from some musical score and the narrator, there isn’t much to discuss here. But the included mono track handles the present elements well, no complaints in the least to report. The narrator’s voice is crisp and clean, no signs of harshness or volume issues here. The music sounds good also, but of course, is less immersive than a normal surround track would be. This is a simple and basic track, but it is more than adequate for this material.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes no bonus materials.