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Case Number 16443: Small Claims Court

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Hawaiian Starlight

CFH // 2009 // 43 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // May 23rd, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum went to Hawaii, and all he got was this lousy music video DVD of stars and symphonies.

The Charge

The summit of Mauna Kea (14,000 feet) offers the best viewing of the Cosmos in the northern hemisphere.

The Case

Hawaiian Starlight is an hour of great images of and from the telescopes on top of Mauna Kea which makes for impressive sights designed for any heavenly gazer's collection. Truly if astronomy and classical music is your bag then this is the perfect DVD to satiate both passions. There's not much else to this feature other than seven years worth of time lapse photography put to use to create a visual feast focusing on what the telescope sees as well as what it looks like in Hawaii. I was expecting simply images of the cosmos, but got a lot of cool looks at the island state and this scientific outpost located in it. In the end you get a healthy dose of landscapes mixed with starscapes all set to a symphonic score with no narration or explanation. Fans of astronomy or maybe those that just enjoy other people's vacation shots should be happy as clams to sit down and watch this one. It's relaxing and quite beautiful.

The DVD has great visuals, and the transfer does them justice. You also can choose to hear the score in full surround or simple stereo, so no problems with audio options. Extras are mainly text based with notes on physics, astrophysics, production details, and facts about the Mauna Kea telescope all presented in separate modules. Also included are two slide shows that run about ten minutes with score accompanying them, one is on Hawaii sights and the other on the telescopes. Overall it seems you get a lot of educational bang for your buck with this one when you read all the text.

Hawaiian Starlight is a pleasing hour of stargazing, making you wish you could be in Hawaii. If that sounds appealing then this DVD won't disappoint. It seems brief at forty-three minutes, and there isn't too much of value in the extras department other than the slideshows which provide some bonus content as well as the texts to describe the project. At the very least you get great photos of the stars and the Hawaiian telescopes that provide the best look at them. It's a groovy trip into space that takes you far out and back again.

The Verdict

Guilty of being a simple presentation of time lapse photography and music to go with it, Hawaiian Starlight delivers what it promises.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 78

Perp Profile

Studio: CFH
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 43 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Documentary
• Family

Distinguishing Marks

• Text Features
• Slideshows

Accomplices

• Mauna Kea Observatories
• CFH Telescope








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