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Mystery of Easter Island(TV) (2012)
A team of scientists and volunteers test a theory on how the ancient stone statues were moved, using a 15-ton replica.
For more about Mystery of Easter Island and the Mystery of Easter Island Blu-ray release, see Mystery of Easter Island Blu-ray Review published by Brian Orndorf on January 8, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Terry Hunt, Carl Lipo
» See full cast & crew
Mystery of Easter Island Blu-ray Review
Discovering what Kevin Costner couldn't.
Reviewed by Brian Orndorf, January 8, 2013
Unless you happen to be an archaeologist or a closet fan of the 1994 adventure film, "Rapa Nui," there are plenty of mysteries left to examine when investigating the cryptic Polynesian location, Easter Island. Researchers and scientists have spent the last century attempting to deduce the experience of the island's indigenous people, with special concentration on monolithic human statues called "moai." These enormous ancestral tributes are catnip to those with a curiosity about the area, providing an irresistible puzzle of movement, with the impossibly heavy rock creations (weighing about 14 tons) scattered around the island, despite little evidence on how they were actually able to reach their final resting places atop "ahus," or sacred stone platforms.
Enter Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo, two archaeologists on a mission to investigate a specific method of moai movement that miraculously kept the statue upright, inched along the ground by a system of ropes and strong volunteers. After an extensive history and demonstrations of alternative theories concerning statue transportation, Lipo and Hunt were keen to offer their own explanation, requiring the manufacturing of their own moai for experimentation, built using computer modeling systems for accuracy and shipped to Hawaii to set the South Seas mood. Their goal was to prove that moai progression could be accomplished with the statue in a standing position. However, reaching this discovery isn't easy for the eager twosome, who encounter a series of frustrating setbacks as they struggle to prove their premise.
"Mystery of Easter Island" doesn't simply cover Hunt and Lipo's labor, extending to the life of the island itself, isolating the habits of its indigenous tribes as they faced extinction. This question of survival eats up half the program, with the production interviewing experts on topics such as deforestation and the depletion of the local bird population to better comprehend how these warring tribes wiped themselves off the map, leaving only the moai and a collection of battered skulls as evidence of their often violent society.
Mystery of Easter Island Blu-ray, Video Quality
The AVC encoded image (1.78:1 aspect ratio) presentation carries a wonderfully colored view of island activities and naturalistic beauty. Ocean blues and land greenery makes a crisp, settled impression, while additional hues pop off clothing and computer images. Some banding is detected. Blacks are in good shape, looking full and purposeful, while skintones are natural. Fine detail supplies a pleasing read of the porous stone used to create the moai, while human elements retain particulars of age and strain, and island expanse is easily surveyed.
Mystery of Easter Island Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The 2.0 DTS-HD MA sound mix is basic in design, using the front stage to deploy narration, which sounds full and direct, blended with island audio of the archaeologists conducting business. Voices are pronounced and group interplay is cleanly arranged, while scoring assists the mood without overwhelming the human elements. No distortion was detected.
Mystery of Easter Island Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
There is no supplementary material on this disc.
Mystery of Easter Island Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
In a smart move, the producers add a ticking clock element to Hunt and Lipo's challenge, finding their miscalculations leaving them with only a single day to execute their ambitious, physically daunting dream of moai movement. The rush adds suspense to an otherwise perfectly educational program designed to shed light on a persistent enigma, lifting the program to a level of excitement that encourages concentration on the details. "Mystery of Easter Island" is interesting and enlightening, but also terrific television, treating archeology with nail-biting tension that would make Indiana Jones proud.
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