Plot: What’s it about?
The Northwest Passage has been a treacherous path to travel, given the Arctic sea ice and other hazardous conditions. But as the area is impacted by climate changes, the trek is much different now. In The Polar Explorer, a three week scientific expedition cross the Northwest Passage on the icebreaker Amundsen (named after the first man to reach the South Pole) documents how much the area has been changed by climate shifts. Also examined are the ways the climate change results are different between the North and South poles, exploring both the positives and negatives of the situations. And a panel of expert scientists provide the analysis on their in-field research, which yields valuable insight. While other programs have tackled these topics, few have the depth of information and in-field documentation of The Polar Explorer. The film was also presented to delegates at the Climate Change Conference in 2010, thanks to the discoveries within.
Video: How does it look?
The Polar Explorer is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This program looks great in this release, with a clean, well detailed image. With all the beautiful scenes on showcase, I do wish there was an HD version, but even in standard resolution, it looks terrific. I found contrast to be consistent, which is important given all the white involved, while colors look natural in scope. A more than solid visual presentation all around.
Audio: How does it sound?
This Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack more than handles the needs of the material. The program doesn’t have much call for power or surround presence, but the track still sounds good. The interviews all have clear, clean vocals and the in-field footage sounds fine as well. This isn’t going to be a track that shakes the foundation, but it sounds good nonetheless. This disc also includes a Spanish language track, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a behind the scenes piece, as well as the film’s trailer.