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The Universe: 7 Wonders Of The Solar System 3D and The Universe Season 5 Blu-ray Reviews

 

While an enjoyable watch, “7 Wonders Of The Solar System 3D” does not warrant its own Blu-ray release.

“The Universe” season 5 has its moments, but it’s clear the series is running out of ideas.

In the 8 episode fifth season of “The Universe,” episode subjects include the 7 wonders of the solar system (as reviewed below), Mars (again), a Magnetic Storm, time travel (which has been discussed before), space probes, asteroid attack (also discussed several times), total eclipse, and the dark future of the sun. Interviews and CGI reenactments are included as per usual.

While watching the show’s fifth season, it becameclear that the showrunners were running out of ideas as subjects that have been discussed before are being discussed again. While there’s certainly more to talk about with these subjects, I don’t think I’m alone in not wanting to see repeated ideas. Thankfully, there are a few new ideas talked about here. The space probe and total eclipse episodes were clearly the most interesting here as they were not only full of facts, but actually real and not hypothetical. Now, I’m not knocking the hypothetical episodes like the time travel one or the future sun episode because they are fun to think about. But, as this is a History channel show, the series should be more about facts as that is what the audience would want and expect.

Summary: “The Universe” season 5 is a mixed bag, but it’s still worth a rent if you’re a fan of the series.

The widescreen picture quality, as usual, looks phenomenal on Blu-ray. It’s the only way to watch it quite frankly. With that said, some of the archival footage does look funny, but it’s really a minor complaint. As for the DTS-HD 2.0 audio track, it does what it needs to do. A “Transformers” like audio track isn’t required here since audio is only used minimally.

No extras on this set.

As I mentioned above, the “7 Wonders Of The Solar System” is actually an episode in the season 5 Blu-ray set. The reason it has its own release? The episode is presented in 3D. It should be noted, however, that only viewers with a 3D Blu-ray player and 3D glasses can watch this in 3D (3D glasses are not included with this disc). Additionally, if you only have a 2D Blu-ray player, the episode will only play in 2D.  

As for the episode itself, it is essentially like a ride across the galaxy as viewers learn about the geysers on Saturn’s icey moon Enceladus, the Rings Of Saturn, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, an Asteroid Belt, the Olympus Mons volcano on Mars, the Sun’s surface, and Planet Earth. As usual, there are interviews with experts talking about these wonders.

Even though this episode doesn’t deserve its own disc, this is a gorgeous looking episode. The visual f/x team went all out on the 3D CGI as it looks flat-out gorgeous (especially for a TV episode). It doesn’t hurt that you get to learn about some of the fascinating phenomenons in the galaxy either.  

Summary: While the 3D is a fun gimmick, there’s really no need to drop money on a single episode when you can have this episode plus 7 other episodes in the season 5 set.

Video/Audio:

As I mentioned above, the widescreen picture quality is gorgeous. I can’t imagine watching this on DVD.

The DTS-HD 5.1 audio track contains clear narration, dialogue from interviewees, sound f/x, and music. That’s all you can ask for with a show like this.

No extras have been included.

February 15, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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