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Criterion Collection: A Brief History of Time [Blu-ray] [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: March 18 2014
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B00HE00ZIQ
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Product Description

A Brief History of Time (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x99341330) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98926ed0) out of 5 stars Criterion's new Blu-ray looks and sounds great, but it's light on extras March 12 2014
By Randall F. Miller III - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Errol Morris' fantastic 1991 documentary about astrophysicist Stephen Hawking never made it to DVD, which makes Criterion/s new Blu-ray/DVD combo pack all the more impressive. The film itself is excellent, offering a unique look at one of modern history's greatest minds and his life's work up until that point. We get a pretty equal balance of input from Hawking, his friends and relatives and, of course, a look at the debilitating disease that ultimately left him almost completely paralyzed. The parallel between one man's fragile life against the backdrop of an ever-expanding universe makes this essential viewing. It's based on Hawking's own bestselling book, but Morris' addition of biographical elements usually works in the film's favor, even though it runs a bit short at less than 90 minutes.

Criterion's Blu-ray looks and sounds just about perfect, as the new 4k transfer (downsampled to 1080p) really brings out a lot of detail and the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix lets Philip Glass' score shine. The extras are definitely on the light side: we only get two interviews with Morris and cinematographer John Bailey, which only add up to about 50 minutes total. So the total disc running time is just over two hours, which makes this kind of a tough sell at $30-$40. The packaging is nice though, and includes a fat booklet with an excerpt from Hawking's original book and a chapter from his 2013 memoir.

Also: Criterion is also quietly releasing a DVD-only edition in April for roughly half price, so those who aren't sure about the film or don't care about high definition may want to go that route. But this Blu-ray, in my humble opinion, is still worth the price of admission.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98926f24) out of 5 stars I'm a nerd. Of course I loved it. April 23 2014
By Casey G. Hancock - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this film. I also really liked the way Criterion put it together.

The movie, in parallel, tells the story of both Hawking's life and the theory and work that he was an integral part of. It explains how circumstances of his life, particularly his health, were intertwined with his work and his success.

Again, I just really enjoyed it and I recommend it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x983b521c) out of 5 stars Excellent April 21 2014
By mathmac - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Beautifully excecuted. Like Hawking, we thought his mother was one of the stars of this movie.

Kudos to the producer and writers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x983b5114) out of 5 stars Life changing Jan. 29 2016
By C. Prescod-Weinstein - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
This documentary changed my life when I saw in the theater at age 10. Twenty-three years later I hold a PhD in theoretical physics and am a postdoc at MIT. This documentary set me on that course. All these years later, I still really enjoy it, even though the science described in it is no longer so mysterious to me.
HASH(0x983b5750) out of 5 stars Okay for what it is. March 30 2016
By Raisuli the Magnificent - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I still have the same critique as I did when I first saw this film; little of the math behind Hawking's theories is explained. And what we're given is more of a biopic with flourishes of science sprinkled in here and there.

I shrug my shoulders at this documentary. I mean it's okay for what it is, and is actually quite entertaining for what it is. But it's not an exploration of Hawking's work. It's merely documentary on his life with elements of his work. I guess the lay scientist will have to wait for someone else to pick up the ball and run with it.

A decent doc, but it has little to do with Time itself.

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