Real wrath of God type stuff here (not really, but it is fun
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 07/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I know what some of you are probably thinking. A documentary about some explosions? How good can that be when I've already seen dozens of cool explosions in the movies and on television? I felt this way too at first but there is a difference between seeing the real thing as it actually happens as compared to what Hollywood can create.
Don't get me wrong. Not all of the blasts featured in this show are the most amazing things you'll ever see but some of them are pretty incredible. From the historical footage shown, you might have even seen a little of this material before now.
The following is a brief description of what is offered here and in the order that it's shown in the program. I've included a grade for each segment showing how impressive I thought the footage was.
1. Seoul, South Korea - a liquefied petroleum gas station along with a tanker truck and several storage containers explodes multiple times. Good video footage from a helicopter. (A+)
2. Murdock, Illinois - 11 derailed train cars filled with petroleum gas explodes in a massive fireball and then at night the fire spreads to another car filled with Isobutene causing another huge blast. Decent coverage from a news crew. (A -)
3. Sao Paulo, Brazil - at an illegal festival, hot air balloons launch fireworks over the crowd. A malfunctioning balloon rains fireworks onto the ground where more are stored and they erupt into the audience. (C)
4. A series of controlled demolitions as a building is imploded by professionals and their techniques for carrying this out. (D) (Educational but not very exciting)
5. The decommissioned Royal Canadian Navy ships H.M.C.S. McKenzie and H.M.C.S. Columbia are sunk to create artificial reefs. They show the methods of doing this and the detonation processes. (D) (Interesting but again, not very exciting)
6. Mexico City, Mexico - a train with 30 passengers collides with a tanker truck carrying 3000 gallons of gasoline. The ensuing explosion, occurring after passengers were evacuated, is a major one and is well captured by a news helicopter. (A -)
7. Several different detonations of nuclear weapons being tested (Hiroshima and Nagasaki historical segments too) and the subsequent damage and effects caused by these blasts. (B - )
8. Aviation related sequences - the Hindenburg explosion and then staged detonations on a Lockheed L-1011, a Boeing 747, and a crash landing by a remotely piloted Boeing 707 - all of this is research by engineers to improve aircraft design and safety measures. (D+)
9. Several different rocket explosions (malfunctions during a launch or afterwards) including a rather extreme and dangerous one at about 1 to 2 thousand feet directly above Cape Canaveral, Florida moments after a liftoff. (B)
10. Henderson, Nevada - a production plant near the city manufactures Ammonium Perchlorate (a crucial ingredient in rocket fuel) and the plant is burning out of control. Stored on the property is a purported 9 million pounds of fuel. The initial explosion is massive in itself but the follow on blast is astonishing. It registers 3.5 on the Richter scale and vaporizes all surrounding structures. You can see the shock waves racing along the desert floor. This great video footage is captured from a work crew on a nearby hilltop with a birds-eye view of the plant. Due to this event, an estimated 7000 homes and businesses suffered blast damage and some of these structures were up to 2 miles away from ground zero. (A)
The quality of the video content is quite good throughout this production except in some of the historical clips where it is a little bit grainy. This is a minor distraction, if at all. The DVD bonus features are skill-testing questions, direct scene access, notes on implosion procedures, and several previews for other `world's most' types of documentaries. About the only thing that would have significantly improved on this show would have been additional clips of more explosions. Aside from that, this is entertaining stuff that rates a good 4 stars.