Blu-ray/DVD, Entertainment, Reviews

Journey of the Universe, a Creative View of the Big Bang (Video Review)

JOURNEY box art

 

In less than an hour Journey of the Universe with educate you, entertain and open your eyes to our world and the galaxy.  The fast paced easy to understand documentary has come to DVD for the first time.  It was entered into the Northern California Emmy Awards and the film won for best documentary.  

Take a look in the skies tonight or at least before you view this amazing DVD about our earth.  If you are not in a city where light from the buildings obstruct your view then you will see billions of stars, most of which are part of other galaxies.  How small we are among the vast universe, yet it’s still unknown if we are the only planet that’s inhabitable for humans.

Brian Swimme explains how our universe was born
Brian Swimme explains how our universe was born

The host of the hour long documentary Brian Thomas Swimme is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.  From the country of Greece, one of the oldest landmarks in the world, he walks you by examples of how the stars were born, our sun developed and how the earth was formed.  Once he lays his foundation he goes into how life began on earth from cells created by the sun, how animals came from the sea evolving from their DNA and the changes that went on that lead to the first man.

Cosmic Universe
Cosmic Universe

He teases his audience with amazing video in his interpretation of the essence of life, evolutionary dynamics of Earth and our alteration of the planet.  Here he talks about the irreversible destruction of Earth’s air through pollution, climate changes born from it, changes in our rivers, ocean damage to the coral and more. All of his findings are explained and examples shown in this nicely crated, simplified and well documented film.

I could go on and on about the interesting theories and realistic observations by Swimme, but that should be left for the viewer.  Without spoiling it for my readers, I will say that I was engrossed in the film and I have seen others before that do not rise to the work that Swimme has put in to his documentary. I found his film to be very educational in a very inviting way that intrigues and compels to the very end.

After watching the DVD there is another release available that would make a good companion piece called Journey of the Universe Conversations.  Please read the separate story in ACED Magazine Entertainment/Previews.

The picture quality of the documentary using my standard HD Television with the Widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio provided, is very good and fills my whole 16×9 big screen TV.  Swimme uses a lot of astonishing photography, close ups underwater, microscope video, colorful landscapes and outstanding universe shots with some CGI.  The documentary is meant to amaze and it certainly does.

The sound quality using the 5.1 Dolby Digital or even the 2.1 Dolby Digital provided comes across crystal clear with no distortion.  Swimme’s narration is easy to understand and his voice projects well through my television speakers.

There are no bonus features except for a web site that you can go to for additional information on the film and the companion piece.

Mary Evelyn TuckerPlease look in Aced Magazine under ENTERTAINMENT/PREVIEWS for the announcement about Journey of the Universe Conversations a 10 hour / 20-part / 4-disc series, hosted by co-writer Mary Evelyn Tucker a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University, integrates the perspectives of the sciences and the humanities into a retelling of our 14 billion year story. “Conversations” with scientists, historians, and environmentalists explores the unfolding story of Earth, the universe and the role of humans in responding to our present challenges.

Specifications and additional film information:

  • Narrated and Hosted by Brian Thomas Swimme
  • Directed by: David Kennard, Patsy Northcutt
  • MPAA Rating: Unrated
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Running Time: 56 min
  • Original Release Date: March 27, 2011
  • Street Date: June 4, 2013
  • Language: English
  • Format: DVD
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0
  • Video: Widescreen 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
  • Number of Discs: 1 Disc
  • Distributed by: Shelter Island

WRITER’S NOTE: Narrator and host Brian Thomas Swimme is Director of the Center for the Story of the Universe and a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon in 1978 for work in gravitational dynamics.

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com