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Chip Power Says, in 1-25-2010 at 15:01:01 from     

This production is an excuse to show off computer graphics of stuff “blowin’ up real good!” Which they do ad nauseum in slow motion. Understand, if they didn’t have those simulations… no video would be produced. Nada. It’s cultural snuff porn. Other themes for these “science” producers:

1)What if Godzilla smushed a bunch of buildings? What would THAT look like? Whut? It’s been done!?

2)Okay ,what if the sun turned into a big marshmallow or no… flamed up so bright that all the peoples were blinded! Holy Jesus!

3)Robots gone mad. Oh…yeah…

It offers zero conjecture on its necessary underpinnng, the bizarrely immacuate unconception of humans, because science…need not apply, only computer programmers: “Uh, you ever made a video where somethin’ blowed up…? Uh huh, good. Okay, same thing, only it gotta crash down, and real good!”

The “demise of humans” scenario satisfies sadomachoistic cravings that are common enough to turn a profit for the production– just like most pornography. But that doesn’t make it laudable. Or interesting.
Rating: 1 / 5

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Bibliomaniac Says, in 1-25-2010 at 15:33:49 from     

The premise of this video sounds exactly like Alan Weisman’s book, The World Without Us, which was published a year earlier. I loved the book and hoped it would become a two- or three-part PBS documentary. Is this a ripoff of the author’s work or something original? I haven’t seen it yet (there is no “rating pending” option so I was obliged to give it an average rating).
Rating: 3 / 5

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Mark S. Edwards Says, in 1-25-2010 at 15:58:57 from     

Life After People entertained for awhile, but after awhile it just didn’t matter. 20 minutes into the film we got the idea. My kids felt bad about the fate of the pets, animals, and especially the dogs. They didn’t believe Earth could ever be depopulated; they said there will always be people on Earth because we reproduce like crazy.

I felt the video needed to start with some reason for the total absence of human life. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened to the bodies. The animals feasting on human bodies would be gruesome, but kids like gore. Under what conidtions would only humanity die off? It is the kind of story you can start anywhere. Regardless, I’m glad I bought the video.
Rating: 3 / 5

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Mark Larrimore Says, in 1-25-2010 at 16:07:44 from     

Don’t watch this: it’s bad for you. Instead, read Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us.” Weisman shows us as part of nature, affecting its cycles and processes and affected by them; the film revives obsolete tropes of a struggle for mastery between man and nature. The combat-mastery approach isn’t just misleading, it’s dangerous – for, as Weisman’s book (along with many others) shows, it is our inability to recognize that we are part of nature that makes us such a scourge. The film imagines all traces of human civilization (except perhaps Mount Rushmore) effaced, but Weisman reminds us that we will be survived by our plastics, our stainless steel, etc. “The world without us” points the way to a thoughtful ecological consciousness, “Life after people” points away from it, making the collapse of human civilization and the longterm scarring of nature more likely. And in the meantime, Weisman shows the way to enjoy being part of nature, and so to accept our inevitable disappearance not as a disaster and defeat but as but one part of the remarkable unfolding of chemical and biological histories on this remarkable planet.
Rating: 2 / 5

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Alexander M. Walker Says, in 1-25-2010 at 16:11:48 from     

Everyone dies eventually. No, we don’t mean each person as a living organism will inevitably face death, we mean everyone of us lumpy humans will one day be dead. And the world will be left here laughing at us. Not just laughing though, recovering too. You see, it turns out all of our plastics, smelting and constructing of high rises will have lasting effects on this blue and green marble spinning in space. What Life After People explores is just how long those effects will stick around. Right here and now: guess how long you think it will take for humanity’s presence to fade entirely from this planet. Chances are your guess was somewhere within the realm of reason…until you ask about Styrofoam, which is incidentally the material of doom.

Yes folks, it turns out it’s not our contributions to the skyline that will stand as testaments to humanity’s impact on this world, but the stuff you use to pack other things. You know what’s irksome about that truth? Life After People willfully misleads you into considering the premise from a solely metro centric point of view and doesn’t even mention that fact until you’ve sat through the first 9/10 of the feature. A bit devious wouldn’t you say?

Using CGI renderings of the world’s cities and its landmarks, the creators of Life After People gradually scale the planets recovery step by step. Starting with our immediate demise and working all the way past 10,000 years of human absence, the feature charts plant-growth, animal territory expansions and newfound terra-forming as all elements of nature take hold of human progress and tear it asunder. It’s as if the most vocal proponents of green-living got together in a room and had a joint wet-dream about what they wish would happen to humanity. That sounds overly pessimistic, but someone involved in this piece took great pleasure in imagining the planet’s recovery.

What makes the show remotely educational are the parallels drawn to current events and existing evidence backing up how each fingerprint of humankind will be wiped away. First to go? Our well-paved streets and sidewalks. Within months or even weeks plants will creep up between the cracks and begin laying waste to highways and walkways. As that happens domestic animals will either adapt to the new conditions or die starving and alone in the locked palaces of their homo sapiens. Months after that wilderness begins creeping back into the concrete jungles and plants take further strides in redominating the planet we stole away. To analyze what happens 10 or 20 years down the road, the program takes a look at a city abandoned after the events of Chernobyl and makes compelling arguments for the realism of the whole situation. Yes, humanity has abandoned its cities before and nature’s relapse is often quite immediate and forceful.

The CGI makes for interesting high definition viewing but it’s nothing so stunning that you’ll be lifting your jaw from the floor. What will ensnare you is the look at the substances we’ve created that have a lifetime far exceeding our own. The audio, comprised mainly of a straight-laced narrator, doesn’t take advantage of the format’s crisp sound but chances are you weren’t expecting it to. It’s an interesting piece, but its presence on a high-def disc begs questioning when it comes time for that purchase.

Blu-ray Extra Features:

Additional scenes supplement the tidings of doom and extinction that this special touts with great pride. Yes, we’re all going to die. When that happens mother earth seems all too willing to wipe the slate clean and start over. The additional scenes only go on to show the viewer the futility of man’s quest for eternal remembrance. Heck, as the special says itself, this review’s chances of being found by a future civilization has less of a chance than that copy of Dan Brown’s book you purchased (everyone did, don’t be embarrassed). If there was ever a valid argument against going completely digital versus printed media, you’ll find it in Life After People.
Rating: 3 / 5

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