While “Shark Week” started out innocently enough, it seems to be one of the more popular outings for the Discovery Channel each year. With a full spread of shows participating, there have been plenty of love given to the king of the oceans (well, maybe not king’s…but I certainly wouldn’t cross them) and now Image Entertainment and Discovery Channel have come together to pack in nearly six hours of content spanning six episodes of some of Discovery’s greatest shows.
Where in the world can you find the strangest and most deadly sharks? Why do sharks sometimes prey on humans? When are you most likely to be attacked? And what can you do to avoid becoming shark food? If you’re hungry for answers, join the experts and some of Discovery Channel’s bravest hosts as they go swimming with the ocean’s most feared predator to answer all your biting questions.
Discovery Channel is really just one of those stations where you can turn it on and almost always find something interesting to watch. It’s also home to one of my favorite shows (Mythbusters), so whenever a collection of Discovery productions comes down the pike, I’m eager to jump on board…especially when it’s in high definition. Shark Week has always been home to an exciting week of programming, especially considering I’m deathly afraid of them. Whenever someone asks me why I don’t like the water, I simply reply “it’s not the water; it’s the things in the water.” Of course shark encounters are rare and I’ve never actually even been in an ocean, but the fact remains: sharks scare the bejesus out of me and the substance in which they reside is, by proxy, equally as frightening.
Ok so that’s take it a bit far; if you can see through it, water is fine, but as Shark Week proves, these are formidable creatures that are not to be provoked in any way. The set starts out with a bang with the Survivorman episode in which we are instructed on how to survive a deadly shark attack, while “How Not to Become Shark Bait” and “Mysteries of the Shark Coast” are up next which again delve into the ocean to discover not only how easy it is to end up in a shark’s stomach, but also as to why they seem to be disappearing in areas that were once considered their greatest concentration.
Next up we have Mythbusters “Shark Special 2,” which contains some of the most fun and truly frightening elements I’ve ever seen from this show. The creation of a giant 16-foot robo shark was awesome, but the real highlight of the entire episode was seeing the trio of Kari, Grant, and Tori go underwater, at night, in an attempt to attract sharks. Pitch black in shark infested waters? I have nightmares about that. Next up we have “Day of the Shark” which again focuses on violating shark rules and ending up as a meal, while we wrap up the set with a Dirty Jobs look at a mysterious shark…via ice-fishing in Canada.
It’s a solid selection of episodes and if you’ve never seen them during their original run, then this is going to be your easiest (and commercial free) way of seeing them. Definitely Recommended, as you can never get enough of these majestic sea creatures…even if they do scare me to death.
Image Entertainment has brought this six episode set to Blu-ray in a standard Elite Blu-ray case with a reflective foil/embossed cardboard o-ring. The insert underneath is the same as the o-ring over it and retains the foil reflective surface…although my insert appears to be too long as the spine is quite off. In any case, it’s a nice presentation, with the interior presented with lengthier descriptions of the episodes contained within, cool disc art and a great splash of sharks behind it.
The AVC encoded 1080i presentation looks fantastic and replicates the original broadcast airing remarkably well. Of course, I shouldn’t say “replicate” since there’s no compression or cable artifacting and the entire image is pristine and clear across all six shows. There is some truly beautiful scenery here and while the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix may not have much to say in terms of surrounds or subwoofer output, it’s still a perfect marriage to the impeccable video.
Extras included three bonus episodes of “Shark Week” outings, including “Shark Attack Files IV: Summer of the Shark” and two additional “Dirty Jobs” episodes (what, no other “Mythbusters” Shark Week episode? Why all the “Dirty Jobs” love…). Unfortunately these are all presented in 4×3 480i for some reason (disc space issues, I guess), but they’re still there for your enjoyment.
Overall a solid release, but if you’ve seen these episodes all before then there is nothing new here. But Recommended if you haven’t.
Shark Week – The Great Bites Collection is now available on Blu-ray.