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Beasts of Legend

Hunting Africa’s Dangerous Game with Ivan Carter
Precio: EUR 55,-
DVD9944, running time 2 hour, 45 minutes
Much has been made of Africa’s fabled Big Five, and while it is not exactly clear who used the term first, it is clear that it came into use between the world wars when the safari industry took hold in East Africa. Interestingly enough, it started out as the Big Four, and did not include the leopard. In the last two decades the Big Five has expanded to the Big Six with the inclusion of the hippo; it now looks as if the croc is about to make it the Big Seven. This new DVD covers all seven big-game animals. The hunting takes place in Tanzania, Botswana, and Zimbabwe for lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, elephant, croc, and hippo.

Ivan Carter, a Zimbabwean PH, hosts this presentation. Carter, a TV host and personality, has been a PH for several decades, and he has an excellent presence in front of the camera while he narrates and/or guides us along on a couple of dozen hunts for the Beast of Legend.

With the proliferation of good-quality, High-Definition cameras, the amount of footage of hunters on safari is now a-dime-to-a-dozen. Only if a hunting movie has superb footage, narration, sound, hosting, graphics, and pace is it still worth watching; otherwise, you essentially are dozing through a reality TV show on hunting that has been slapped together on the spot by some hack with a laptop and a Do-It-Yourself-You-Tube editing program.

Beast of Legend is an entire kettle of fish, however. It’s not a mere linear safari hunt from beginning to end but several segments of one species placed back to back into a well-crafted film that is worthy of airtime on the Discovery Channel. Several charges and close calls are shown on-camera as the buffalo or lion tries to make mincemeat of the humans who pursue him. While Ivan is on hand with his .600 Nitro Express in case things go wrong, the clients, by and large, are sharp shots, and we see a number of very good, one-shot kills.

We particularly like the fact that the filmmakers saw fit to give us captions when there is a conversation in low voices (in the presence of game). (As a general statement to the hunting-DVD manufacturers: Can you please provide us complete subtitling for all your DVDs for those of us who suffer from “Nitro Ears”?)

If you like action, this movie has it.
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