Acorn Media // 2012 // 231 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 21st, 2012
The hint for humanity's next great leap forward.
Science is pretty awesome, huh? That should have been the title for this set. Brave New World is essentially a Greatest Hits of all the cool stuff that's happening over a variety of scientific disciplines. If these monster-eggheads can pull off a quarter of what they're promising, we might just yet get flying cars and Holodecks.
Five episodes on two discs:
"Episode 1: Machines"
Cars that drive by themselves. Bionic limbs. And, most importantly, creepy Japanese robots that act like human babies.
"Episode 2: Health"
How do you stop a lethal virus in its tracks before it cause an epidemic? This episode highlights crack squads of researchers who travel aboard to curtail potential animal diseases that are ready to jump. Also: robot surgery!
"Episode 3: Technology"
A search for the ghost particle and an investigation into data mining that actually made me sort of uneasy. Maybe these science folks should dial it down a bit.
"Episode 4: Environment"
More cheer. The explosion of the human race threatens other animals. Thankfully, the research takes them toward preserving animal DNA instead of looking at the feasibility of...I don't know, blasting a quarter of the Earth's population into space.
"Episode 5: Biology"
Richard Dawkins drops by to do his curmudgeonly thing. There's a segment about biodiesel, but the real attraction here is the investigation into nuclear fusion, which is simply mind-blowing.
Cool series, slickly produced, and packed with gobs of information. You're looking at complex subject matter, made entertaining and accessible so that has to be considered a win. Even the experts who deliver the teaching come across as pleasant and engaging. Added bonus: Stephen Hawking delivers some light narration.
Athena's DVD is lean and clean: standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 2.0 stereo, English SDH subtitle, text bios of the experts, and a viewer's guide.
I didn't think I could get any more smart, but I did. Not Guilty.
Review content copyright © 2012 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 231 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Viewer's Guide