Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Universe - The Complete Season Two |
Actor: History Channel
Director: Douglas Cohen (II)
Genres: Television, Documentary
We once considered ourselves to be at the center of the universe now we know that we are just a small spec in a giant cosmos. This season, HISTORY® ventures outsides of our solar system in another epic exploration of the u... more »
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Chloe Barker | Minnesota | 06/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have my DVR set to record whenever this show is on, so I have seen all of Season 1 and 2 to date. They are wonderful! There is so much fascinating information packed into these shows that you want to watch them over and over again!"
Lulu | Doh, Qat | 11/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I ordered this series with the thought 'what more can they do?' I seen it all in season one, it cannot top that. Was I wrong!
It was even better.
To realize that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old, and so vast, that it's totally beyond our comprehension and still expanding. A truly unimaginable thought, that.
There are so many amazing episodes, one of which shows the largest objects in space. They are seriously big, like the so-called "cosmic web" of galaxies, which is a hundred million billion times bigger than Earth. Then there's the fascinating Lunar transient phenomena, the pulsar planets, the hot Jupiters, the weather in space, dark matter, dark energy, and much more. Really mind-boggling stuff, this!
For instance it's estimated that the impact of the asteroid that landed on the Yucatan Peninsula about 65 million years ago, wiping out the dinosaurs, this was equal to that of dropping a Hiroshima-sized atomic bomb every second for 140 years!
And another mind-boggling thought, where did we really come from...hmmn. Still, I'd like to go to heaven eventually:)
This series had me riveted to my screen. The computer-generated imagery and other effects is so realistic. It makes one feel as if one is truly there experiencing this phenomenal aspects. And it's explained so simply that anyone can understand it.
My favourite episodes are:
Alien Planets, Dark Matter, Astrobiology
Space Travel,Unexplained Mysteries &
A truly awesome series! Enjoyed every bit of it."
Tremendous series, but still some room for improvement
Alexander M. Walker | Chicago, IL USA | 07/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The History Channel has an unfortunate though deserved reputation for showing way too many specials on World War II. If it involves Nazis, Stalin or the Luftwaffe you better believe the History Channel has picked it apart from every possible angle - which is why their programming that strays from those subjects comes like a breath of fresh air. The Universe, a show covering various galactic anomalies and phenomena, uses 3D composite models and animations to provide a visual context for lessons from leaders in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. The show's scope knows no bounds, so strap in for brilliant educational ride.
Assuming you believe the universe, as we know it, is older than 4,000-6,000 years old, there's so much about the great beyond that bears explaining. The show explores a commonly held belief one week while shedding light on cosmic occurrences you never knew existed (but will find enrapturing) the next. Each of the 18 episodes tackles a different topic; from "Alien Planets" to the harrowing prospects of "Cosmic Apocalypse" the show's ability to hold your attention never fails. To think that the discovery of a new earth is close to a reality should intrigue even the most diehard skeptics, especially in this field which seems to generate more questions than answers. Or maybe you're more interested in the future of space travel or colonization? Black holes? Or, my personal favorite title "Biggest Things in Space"? Come on, if you aren't slightly interested in the biggest things in that final frontier then you just can't be pleased. The History Channel has a really great thing going with this series and the second season keeps the pace with a nice supply of educational installments.
The one misstep of The Universe would seem to be some of the less than convincing "authorities" brought in on the subject. While each and every one of them may have a brilliant mind, hearing the opinion of what appears to be a college astronomy major sitting on some large rocks doesn't exactly fill the audience with confidence that every piece of information is to be taken at its word. The show has plenty of interesting things to say, but they really ought to have found slightly more credible sources (or at least had the sources they used appear professional) to put any contrarian arguments to rest. It's not a total failure on the show's part, but with so many astronomy experts out there it seems unnecessary to settle - even if they were just trying to inject a little bit of youth into the proceedings; the injection isn't necessary though. To think that an audience would take slight at a show exploring some of the deepest darkest secrets of our universe for not featuring a variety of ages amongst the experts just seems ridiculous. Just like any piece on World War II, the better is the most informed - age be damned.
On Blu-ray the 3D models achieve mixed appearances. In some instances the graphics look phenomenal and elevate the show to its proper scale. Other times, the renderings just don't quite meet the 1080p demands and a bit of pixilation becomes visible. Unlike a special effects slathered feature, this shortcoming isn't as damaging in a series of lectures on space; sure we notice, but the images are complementary to the words, not vice versa. Instead of being upset with the show for sometimes failing graphically, it's easier to marvel at the visual aids provided for such riveting material. As you might expect, the audio isn't really a factor that varies from episode to episode. The speech tracks are all equalized and crystal clear so you won't have to fidget with your remote.
Blu-ray Extra Features:
A singular featurette casts a spotlight on the grass root community of the astronomy field: "Backyard Astronomers". You might not be so moved as to go out and buy a telescope for your home, but the featurette is as interesting and compelling as the rest of the season and well worth your time."
Edutainment at its best
J. Salzenstein | Boston, MA | 09/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The History Channel knows science, and they're good at making complex systems and ideas easy to understand - and approachable - for the everyday observer. The Universe, Complete Season Two on Blu-ray is no exception. This four-disc set features all 18 episodes, nearly 15 hours of content, including covering topics like Dark Matter, Exoplanets, Cosmic Collisions, Supernovas, and more. And while episodes are only loosely tied together by the fact that the subjects covered are part of - or take place in - our universe, it doesn't seem overly odd or disjointed- especially for the younger viewers.
Fantastic phenomena and alien worlds are re-created through extremely realistic computer animation, which is shockingly detailed and stunningly beautiful. The visuals take viewers inside wonders that man has only viewed from afar, giving a close-up look at the fascinating inner workings of the cosmos around us.
The series also includes documentary style interviews with experts in the field, as well as footage from both past and current scientific exploration programs and an introduction to some of the tools and devices these scientists use to explore the universe. A nice contrast to the computer re-creations, this live-action documentary aspect of the series does a good job of providing balance, grounding the concepts and reminding viewers that there are actual people working to find answers and discover new information about the space around us- it's not simply Star Trek.
Whether used as an educational tool or simply for entertainment value, The Universe - Season Two on Blu-ray is interesting and enthralling.
There aren't a lot of "extras" on The Universe, but given the nature of the series - and the fact that it is a television series - that's not surprising. There is one Bonus Feature, a featurette called Backyard Astronomers, which explores the world of amateur star-gazers- men and women who spend their spare time learning about - and exploring - the universe... from their backyards.
The biggest benefit to the Blu-ray release lies in the presentation - true widescreen and HD.
And of course the subject matter itself."