Wonders of the Universe (BLU-RAY)

Wonders of the Universe

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This is the second in a series of documentaries. The first being Wonders of the Solar System and its been rumored that the Wonders of Life will follow.

BBC’s Wonders of the Universe: Presented by Professor Brian Cox, is an often times confusing above your head type of program that is well delivered and captures some breathtaking visuals. Some of the program is very good indeed but I mark myself down as one of those people who, back in the olden days, would probably have stuck with the whole world is flat argument. I see a lot of information about space as a lot of guesstimation and flat out fabrication. I don’t deny that there are some educated equations being presented, but when I’m shown a picture and told it’s the oldest star in our solar system, well, I’m skeptical. Arguments like, “We can send a man to the moon but we can’t explore the furthest depths of our own oceans,” come to mind. Science fiction is fun and exciting but my Faith in Space Science just cannot reach a level of plausibility when so many unanswered questions still exist about our own planet.

Wonders of the Universe is presented in television HD (1080i), but it still looks pretty fantastic. Visualizations of space look amazing and colorful as does glaciers, the ocean, and the desert. Shots of the sun shifting shadows through the blinds of a run down building in sped up forward motion or the decay of a sand castle in the desert looks amazing and shots of a bluish white glacier with a black and white mountain range sitting in the background look surreal. Even a scene where Professor Brian Cox is sitting in the midst of darkness with only a bonfire lighting up a small percentage of the screen looks great. Black levels are steady, no grain, and it actually looks like you could reach in the screen and swat your hand around in the darkness of that scene. It really is a great picture only lessened by maybe lesser grade night camera’s (see turtles giving birth on the shoreline very early on in the program). All together though there isn’t much by way of archival footage, which is the thing that usually ruins documentary type shows, so all in all it’s a pretty solid release with a compatible audio track to provide you with every word in the series in fine clarity.


AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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