Earth and Space (2007) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Documentary
New Video || NR - 1316 minutes - $79.95 || October 26, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-11-20


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Various
Writer(s): Various
Cast: Erik Thompson (narrator


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Documentary


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (PCM 2.0), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

“The Universe: The Complete Season One” – 4.5/5

Outline: As the Earth grapples with the effects of global warming, science has increasingly looked to outer space for answers to the glaring threats facing our world. Are there other planets in the universe with the unique ability to support life? This first season ventures into the uncharted territory of outer space through the visions, studies, and predictions of scientists and explorers, utilizing cutting-edge computer graphics and stunning footage to bring the universe down to Earth.

“How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season One” – 3.75/5

Outline: Spectacular on-location footage, evidence from geologists in the field, and clear, dramatic graphics combine in this stunning series to show how immensely powerful, and at times violent, forces of geology have formed our planet.

From the Great Lakes to Iceland, the San Andreas Fault to Krakatoa, this first season travels the globe to reveal the physical processes that have shaped some of the most well-known locations and geological phenomena in the world. With rocks as their clues and volcanoes, ice sheets and colliding continents as their suspects, scientists launch a forensic investigation that will help viewers visualize how the Earth as evolved and formed.

I decided to combine my review of the two mainly because while they offer up different subjects, they are both pretty much the same in terms of quality. That being said, it’s also, like in any review, is in the eye of the... viewer and for me I have far more fascination with outer space, its vast possibilities and the potential for other planets not unlike our own and just how far we would have to go just to have a close glimpse at it. Through some fantastic graphics and interviews with experts in various fields, I got to see the potential out there, how far space exploration has come since the 1950s and the invention of the Hubble telescope and yet how far we have yet to go just reach our own outer limits our solar system let alone the Milky Way Galaxy.

This is not to say “How the Earth Was Made” didn’t offer up some good and interesting information either. For anyone interested in geology or just a passing fascination with Earth formations and what other tid-bits might be discovered from any location on any continent, this is the series for you. Personally, I did find certain parts on the dull side (took me back to college and two geology summer courses), but other episodes such as the San Andreas Fault were of particular allure or appeal given I live in the Pacific Northwest and we have our own potential earthquakes to deal with.

Here are the episodes that are contained in this set since I know there are several releases out there and so you don’t double dip. I have placed asterisks next to my favorite episodes.

How the Earth Was Made:
01. San Andreas Fault*
02. The Deepest Place on Earth*
03. Krakatoa
04. Loch Ness
05. New York*
06. Driest Place on Earth
07. Great Lakes
08. Yellowstone*
09. Tsunami
10. Asteroids*
11. Iceland
12. Hawaii
13. The Alps

The Universe:
01. Secrets of the Sun*
02. Mars: The Red Planet
03. The End of Earth: Deep Space Threats to Our Planet*
04. Jupiter: The Giant Planet
05. The Moon*
06. Spaceship Earth
07. The Inner Planets: Mercury and Venus*
08. Saturn: Lord of the Rings
09. Alien Galaxies*
10. Life and Death of a Star*
11. The Outer Planets
12. The Most Dangerous Place in the Universe*
13. Search for ET*



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

A note on the packaging, both season sets come in two HD keep cases and both have 3-discs each inside a glossy outer box. The discs are the same as the individual releases but have new disc and cover artwork to match the “Earth and Space” label.

While “How the Earth Was Made” doesn’t come with any features, “The Universe” does have a great documentary entitled Beyond the Big Bang (1:29:56; HD) which chronicles the creation of the universe. I believe this was what started the series so it’s technically the pilot.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Both “The Universe” and “How the Earth Was Made” are presented in 1080i high-definition and its original 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio. Obviously the series’ mostly consist of computer graphics which makes the visuals pop out some mixed in with interview footage that, while not great, still is quite clear throughout.

“The Universe: The Complete Season One” comes with a standard PCM 2.0 lossless audio while “How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season One”, being the newer release, has a similar sounding DTS-HD MA 2.0 tack. Neither are brilliant by any stretch but I wasn’t really expecting much either. Since they both are stereo tracks, all audio come mainly from the center and front channels which may not lend itself to a fantastic aural experience, but for the source material and subject, it’s acceptable.



.::OVERALL::.

Overall, the “Earth and Space” two-pack has something for everybody, whether you have more interest in the elements on Earth or a fascination with the stuff the universe is made of. As I said before, I have more interest in “The Universe” but “How the Earth Was Made” offers some up some good information as well making it a worthwhile purchase.