Nature’s Fury

Nature’s Fury (2000)
Warner Home Video
Extras: Two bonus documentaries, Photo gallery, Disaster Map, Trivia

Distributed by Warner Home Video, The National Geographic Society has started to release some of its highly acclaimed documentaries on DVD. One of them is “Nature’s Fury, ” an incredible view on the devastating forces of natural disasters.

The DVD contains a fullframe presentation of this television production. The source material is of varying quality due to its nature. Much of it is taken from broadcasts and newscasts and hence flawed with numerous video artifacts and dropouts. Since this is authentic material in the heat of the action however, one would hardly expect flawless 35 mm material. The color reproduction is also a bit problematic given the nature of the source material, but the DVD does a great job in making it look as good as possible. The compression is adequate, although some artifacting is visible throughout the presentation, mostly in the form of pixelation. It is never overly distracting however, as the images you see on the screen make an impact of their own.

To my surprise, the disc actually contains a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track in English. However, since most of the material is authentic from newscast, there is only so much surround information available. Mostly the music comes through as a full engulfing mix with a wide sound stage that adds an additional dimension to the simpler mixes presented on TV.

National Geographic’s “Nature’s Fury” is a fascinating release that shows the savage power of our planet. Showing real images of earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, this documentary not only covers the destruction of these events but also the human side of it. Apart from the main attraction, you will also find two specials called “Tornado Hunters” and “When Lightning Strikes” on this disc, together with a photo gallery and information on many other National Geography releases.