Filmmakers pack a bunch into ‘Earth’

While watching the new nature film, “Earth,” I kept waiting for the narrator to say, “Luke, this is your planet.”
James Earl Jones, who provided the voice of Darth Vader for the original three “Star Wars” movies, is our guide during a trip to the most remote places in the world. It takes a few minutes to adjust to the voice that terrorized Luke Skywalker, and I kept listening for the sound of Vader’s mechanical breathing.
But Jones does an admirable job as narrator, and he seems to be having fun as he describes a variety of creatures and critters in “Earth.”
We see a mother polar bear introducing her cubs to the idea of walking in snow. Ducklings take their first flights that could more accurately be described as falls. A mother and daughter humpback whale travel for thousands of miles from the Caribbean to Antarctica.
That’s a partial sampling of “Earth,” which also shows us the harrowing migration of elephants in Africa, the acrobatic eating habits of great white sharks and exotic courtship dances by birds of paradise.
There’s plenty more to add, which makes sense for a movie called “Earth.” A legion of filmmakers went to the four corners of the world for this Disneynature documentary. The movie packs a lot of life, and a significant amount of death, into an hour and a half.
You don’t see a human being in “Earth” until the end credits, when you learn some of what it took to get incredibly intimate footage of dangerous animals.
Still, I didn’t find the movie to be as engrossing as I would’ve hoped. My mind wandered several times, only to be brought back in line by stunning photography and real-life drama. Some of the footage felt familiar, which probably can be traced to a childhood filled with nature films on TV.
I give “Earth” a B.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo and Corinth.

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

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