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Dustin Putman

Dustin's Blu-ray Review
The Universe: Season 7 — Ancient Mysteries Solved  (2014)
Reviewed by Dustin Putman

The Film
3 Stars
(Release Date: May 27, 2014) – The acclaimed HISTORY Channel series "The Universe" makes a welcome return with "The Universe: Season 7 — Ancient Mysteries Solved." This is an abbreviated season—there are just four episodes included, totaling 176 minutes—but they are endlessly fascinating, delving upon new topics and exploring insightful territory. Interweaving talking-head interviews, beautiful stock footage and CGI, this long-running science documentary series moves quickly while providing a wealth of engaging information about scientific and historical corners of our planet and beyond.

"The Universe: Season 7 — Ancient Mysteries Solved" includes the following episodes:

1. Stonehenge (44:11, HD)
2. Pyramids (44:13, HD)
3. Heavenly Destruction (44:12, HD)
4. Star of Bethlehem (44:12, HD)

Blu-ray Picture/Sound

Considering "The Universe: Season 7 — Ancient Mysteries Solved" is made from multiple film sources of varying quality, its 1080p digital transfer is never less than handsome and fully accurate. A fine layer of grain can be glimpsed over much of the live-action footage, while a lot of the animations and effects shots pop with a colorful moodiness. There are sparse instances of slight but unobtrusive banding and the tiniest bit of noise, but these are negligible. This is a solid image with the dignity one hopes for from high-definition docs. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is not as dynamic as hoped, but for a dialogue-centric show it is a solid, if front-heavy, presentation.

Blu-ray Features

Bottom Line
As long as HISTORY Channel continues producing "The Universe," the series will be worth seeking out for science and history buffs looking to expand their knowledge and be entertained all at once. While there are no special features, the episodes themselves are special enough that this makes no difference. Providing the highest quality available, the Blu-ray of "The Universe: Season 7 — Ancient Mysteries Solved" is worth seeking out.

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© 2014 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman