Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery...133 Minutes of Boredom
Fredric Pierce | Huntington Beach, CA | 04/21/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I thought that since this DVD was produced by the ESA that it would be a thorough presentation of the development and observations of the great Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble is certainly one of the greatest scientific instruments ever constructed, but this film does nothing to communicate that splendor. The film is over 2 hours of Bob Fosbury talking, rather few Hubble images flying across the screen, and a very pretentious, overblown electronic soundtrack. I was especially disappointed in the paucity of Hubble images. The telescope has been working hard for 15 years, there must be a huge library of significant images to show, but we only see a handful. Very unimpressive. The only interesting images were a few Hubble generated "movies" of nebulae actually changing over many separate observations - cosmic timelapse photography. Almost none of the images are shown statically, so you can get a good look at them. Most are actually skewed and distorted as they slide across and away from the viewer, like home video scene transitions - very frustrating. There are a lot of very simplistic, rather crude computer animations of the telescope that really add nothing to the film. Fosbury is not a very animated, interesting speaker. His presentation is dull, dull and dull. He actually has his hands in his pants pockets through one static monologue.
The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most expensive, complex and most important unmanned spacecraft yet constructed. I expected a more detailed and professionally produced film publication from one of the major partners. Don't waste your money on this one."
Sadly this is mostly just a puff piece
Dennis Littrell | SoCal | 04/10/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was more than a little disappointed with this considering the fact that the Hubble telescope is one of humankind's most spectacular technological and scientific achievements. Instead of giving the viewer specific detail about what Hubble has achieved we get instead a kind of generalized, gee whiz hype about what a wonderful instrument it is. More--much more--information about how it was built and how it works and what its features are and what it has discovered and taught us could have been including in the narrative.
In fact, the narrative is dumbed down to an annoying degree. For example we are told that Hubble has discovered the most distant object ever seen, but we are not told how distant that object is. It's as though the narrative were written for people who just want to trip out on the images without being burdened with any specific knowledge.
Also annoying is the way the magnificent photos of the heavens are just displayed on the screen usually too quickly for any real contemplation and without detailed information about what is being shown or why it was photographed in the first place. ESA and NASA should have hired somebody knowledgeable to write an image-coordinated script for this that would inform and really entertain, and they should also have hired a professional to read the script, somebody with more enthusiasm and skill than Bob Fosbury displays. The images need to be explained so that we can understand what we are seeing. The clouds and nebulae, the points of light, the halos and the shapes are not self-explanatory. And when the images have been augmented or enhanced in some way, that needs to be explained as well. Some side by side contrasts between what is seen in the visual spectrum and, say, the infrared would be nice. Distances should be revealed.
There are two discs, one a DVD video, and another a CD audio which plays the soundtrack. There is a booklet full of statements like, "The planets of our Solar System have captured the imagination and interest of scientists and thinkers from the earliest times." Or, "Stars are social objects. They like to hang out together in star clusters or as large islands of stars..." This sort of empty expression or anthropomorphic nonsense is typical of what is heard on the video. It's as though the entire production was aimed at children. Actually what I think happened is the production was designed by a committee of ESA and NASA political types who just wanted to massage the public and were afraid that too many facts and numbers and ideas would simply turn them off.
It pains me to have to say this, because I love astronomy and cosmology, but shame on you ESA and NASA!"
Excellent must see
Nechama | USA | 06/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We loved the movie, an excellent family must see!!! The animation, imagry and sound effect were all excellent and each added to the other. We first saw the movie at our friends house, and thought we had to buy our own copy. Its interesting how much more there is to see the more times you watch it. The children were facinated by the animation and images. We all enjoy listening to the amazing soundtrack. Always when we listen to the soundtack in the car it gets us all into conversation of the movies amazing images and animation.
Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery has fascinating information
Jess | CA | 04/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was very pleased with information in this movie and how it was presented. The animations and images were fascinating. My kids and I watched it together, and we all learned a lot about both the Hubble and the history of the universe. The narration was a bit dry at times, but the soundtrack livened things up and added a lot to the film."
Douglas Odum | San Diego, CA | 05/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video is rich in content as well as spectacular visuals. The photos as well as the graphics are excellent. I use this DVD as a video lecture in my EarthSci/Astronomy class. The kids are impressed with its technical aspects as as well as the history, which they knew nothing of."