|Life After People (History Channel)
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This explores the question - what will the world be like when mankind has vanished from the planet? Studio: A&e Home Video Release Date: 03/18/2008 Run time: 94 minutes
The very notion is deliciously ghoulish: What happens to earth if--or when--people suddenly vanished? The History Channel presents a dramatic, fascinating what-if scenario, part science fiction and part true natural science. "Welcome to Earth, Population: 0" is the catchy tagline, Life After People's 94 minutes are so gripping you nearly forget while you watch that you, yourself, will be gone too. It turns out that earth can go along very nicely without us. The hardest part of the special is probably in the first 15 minutes, when pet owners confront what likely will happen to their dogs (thankfully, the show follows those dogs who break out of their houses, and the prognosis for them to survive as scavengers is good). As the fictional days and weeks tick by, the process of nature's reclaiming the planet becomes less grim and more fascinating. The impact of the lack of people will be noticed right away, as most power grids shut down around the planet. The one holdout: Hoover Dam, whose hydro power lights up the American Southwest. Scientists say the dam can continue to operate on its own for months, maybe years, keeping the Vegas Strip alight. Only the eventual accumulation of quagga mussels, an invasive species, in the cooling pipes of the power plant--currently being cleaned by humans--will shut down the dam. Elsewhere, critters and plants will have their run of Manhattan and every other previously "civilized" spot. Inventive photography shows bears clambering out of subway stations, and vines pulling down brownstones, then skyscrapers. It may not be a surprise when the Eiffel Tower and Space Needle meet their eventual fates, but the scenes nonetheless provide a pleasant sting of shock. Life After People is humbling, yet exhilarating. -- A.T. Hurley
- Cutlural snuff porn
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. ...more info
- Beautiful and disturbing.
I remember seeing the commercial for this on tv but never actually saw the program.
So I decided to plunk down the money for the DVD.
All I can say is I'm impressed.
As soon as it was over I watched it again right after.
It's a somewhat disturbing take on what would happen if people just vanished.
I was very surprised that every trace of humanity would be more or less gone in about a thousand years.
I was even more surprised at what would happen within a few weeks.
The power going out and all that.
They never go into detail as to how the humans disappear but it really doesn't matter.
The awesome force of nature would pretty much eliminate everything we have done for thousands of years.
It's a film that really makes you think and is a definite eye opener.
It pointed out a lot of things I, along with the majority of people just don't give a whole lot of thought to.
The power going out.
The flooding of the subway systems.
London and Amsterday flooding into ruin.
I guess I never really realized how much effort man has put into reshaping the world around us and without us, how quickly everything would collapse.
A brilliant film.
Great narration, great pacing.
Zero complaints from me.
A must see for everyone.
- World Without Us?
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). ...more info
- basically about corrosion
I had high hopes for this video but in the end it was essentially all about how the lack of maintenance will affect the corrosion and decay of various types of structures - concrete, steel, etc. etc. I guess the feel was less apocalyptic than I had hoped. In defense I suppose this would have come off as too political if the film dealt more directly with long term environmental impacts from a scientific peerspective. They did visit a town abandoned in the aftermath of Chernobyl and talked about the dogs and cats (avoided discussion of what domestication does to plants and animals), but the film would have had more impact if it dealt with these issues....more info
- Not as good as it could have been
The computer simulations of NYC etc in 100 years after people are interesting, even if the buildings falling remind you of the WTC on 9/11. The speculation is about what it would like if people disappeared, a very pleasant thought, indeed. Evidently, house cats would take over, the film posits....more info
- Incomplete DVD but Fascinating look into a possible future Earth!
WARNING: I have watched the first two 1 hour episodes of Life After People which begun airing on the History Channel April 2009. The season is slated for a total of 10 hour long (including commercials) episodes, but this DVD is only 90 minutes. So I'm guessing you only get 2 episodes, which is a shame, as I would gladly buy the entire season based on my experience so far. However, knowing that, on to the review:
The premise is that some disease wipes humans completely off the planet, and the film begins 1 day after humans are gone. This leaves you on your own to ponder how this extermination could happen, and how likely it is. There was a fascinating book I heard about through the Daily Show/Colbert on this topic, but the cool thing about this History Channel special is that you get to visually experience what no human being would be able to see--dams crushing after the force of billions of gallons of water overwhelmed them, buildings collapsing after their steel rusted, animals escaping and running free, etc. Several experts were interviewed and they filmed on location in several interesting spots such as a deserted island in Japan that was once the most populous spot in the world, where you can see how the saltwater has attacked the large buildings and plants attacked roadways. It makes one think how quickly evidence of man would be removed. I hope the entire boxed set is released at a future date!
See also the earlier book The World Without Us...more info
- Sensationalistic ripoff of The World WIthout Us
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....more info
- Fascinating, very thought-provoking
I immensely enjoyed this documentary. The computer-generated images of decay and the ravages of time were well-done. The beginning of the movie was hard for me to watch (the discussion of the fate of household pets, for example) but this movie is thought-out and fascinating as it is informative. The CG graphics are worth renting or buying the movie for.
It could have used more though, since it was only 1.5 hours and it would be better as a series, there was so much to be talked about. This documentary mainly focused on the USA, with a bare mention of what happens in other countries. For example, the mold and decay and plant growth that would be prevalent in warmer parts of the world wouldn't be a concern in say, Northern Canada or Russia where much of the year is spent in ice.
And what of species that have been practically pushed to the brink of extinction? It was talked about a bit in the film (wolves, for example) but they just talked about wolves, and not anything about animals in other countries that have been poached for trophies and medicine (like in China)
There was no note made of the waste in landfills in the movie, or all the things that humans leave behind that don't decay so easily like jewelry, plastic items, treated metal items (so it won't rust), electronic equipment, what have you.
Also, what of all the man-made chemicals to be found everywhere, especially in factories where you have chemicals in huge vats? It's be interesting to have seen how they projected the effect of these chemicals once their holding vats or containers rot or fall apart, or what happens to all the drugs and pills to be found in homes, stories, and pharmacies. Still, this documentary was thrilling to watch....more info
- interesting look on our legacy
We have all wondered what our society's ruins would look like. Now with this dvd we call can. Very well made and covers all aspects of our human impact. ...more info
- Fascinating treatment
This was riveting, extremely well-done time-lapses. excellent video quality, and very reasonably-priced. Very informative and fact-filled. Definitely worth buying and watching....more info
- Facinating and thought provoking
I really enjoyed this video. I found it very plausable and the effects were very well done. It doesn't go into so much technical detail as, say, the book, "World Without Us" but this is a plus if you're looking for a short trip into the possible, this is a marvelous video.
- Makes you think...
I really enjoyed this show although I felt that after about an hour not much changed from hundreds of years after humans to thousands of years and it got a bit depressing on one hand but uplifting on the other. Mother Earth pretty much takes over and you can't even tell humans were ever on this planet. Worth watching though!...more info
- Surprisingly my family loved it!
Because I watch science and nature programs a lot, I was not as impressed with this program as I had hoped to be. What was surprising, was how much each of my family members loved it. One would watch it and recommend the others watch it. They are all over 22, and again it was fascinating to see how much they each thought it was interesting and cool. ...more info
- A brief comment
Although I enjoyed the visual presentation and the special effects, compared to the book, this is more eye-candy than anything really substantial about how our civilization might end. I would have preferred a bit more detail and in-depth analysis to the presentation, but what the heck, it's intended for the general public and you can't get too scientific, otherwise the viewing public will switch from your channel to something else that requires less of an attention span, and no one will see the sponsor's all-important commercials. It's fine for something entertaining but not too demanding to watch on a lazy night, but don't expect much more than that. If you're really interested in the subject I'd just get the book instead....more info
- Not as good as it could be
This program is made for television/ short-attention span piece of work. It is more formatted around time for commercials than for its overall flow as a documentary.
I ordered it after reading the book "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman. I was hoping for commentary by Alan Weisman but there was none. I feel like he did much better job in his work on an analysis of this scenario.
This effort by the history channel seems more like a Johnny-come-lately in comparison to Weisman's work and I was disappointed. ...more info