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Atomic Journeys-Welcome to Ground Zero [VHS] (1999)

William Shatner , Peter Kuran  |  NR |  VHS Tape
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner
  • Directors: Peter Kuran
  • Writers: Peter Kuran
  • Producers: Peter Kuran, Jacqueline Zietlow
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Goldhill Home Media
  • VHS Release Date: January 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IML8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,599 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Our atomic heritage resides in sites all over the country--from the Trinity test area to natural-gas wells in Colorado--and many of them are open to the public. Plan your vacation with Atomic Journeys: Welcome to Ground Zero, a blast through memory lane narrated by the perfectly suited William Shatner. Never-before-seen footage of test explosions and top-secret and work labs explores the history of America's nuclear programs, and interviews with current and former atomic scientists and engineers give depth to sights such as "the most bombed place on Earth" in Nevada. Learn about nonmilitary uses of nuclear weapons, the rationales behind the different programs, and where you can find these strange places. The musical score is a special bonus, performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in a goodwill gesture of post-cold-war cooperation. --Rob Lightner

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kuran does it again! January 23, 2001
Trinity and Beyond, Peter Kuran's first atomic bomb documentary, was a marvel to behold. Atomic Journeys is a worthy followup that is special in its own right.
Let's be straightforward: Kuran could have cobbled a film together out of material left on the cutting room floor from Trinity, but instead he came up with a central concept and followed it up not only with beautifully restored archieval footage, but on-site filming and interviews with the people involved in the nuclear testing. This film is a great stand-alone, and shouldn't be written off either as a cheap follow-up or a "lesser" film. It is different than Trinity, but many of the aspects of Trinity that made it such a great film are also present here.
Atomic Journeys is kind of like a nuclear "On the Road," traveling from place to place in the US like nuke-tourists, staring at off-road historical markers that designate where different explosions took place. William Shatner's narration is perfect: his voice has a bass tone that compliments the steady rumble of the test-explosions.
DVD dirt -
The DVD version is actually a "collector's edition," and features many great special features. In addition to a killer 5.1 track, there is an insightful director's commentary as well as several short snippets from on-site shooting with Verne the Nuclear Tour Guide. There are detailed maps for the travel-minded viewer, but the real gems of this disc (besides the movie, of course!) are several short films produced in other countries about nuclear testing, including a Soviet "Civil Defense" movie about building canals with nuclear weapons, a British film honoring a ship they used in a nuclear test, and a French film of nuclear testing in the Sahara desert.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A RARE look at our Nuclear History !!! November 20, 2003
By AtomMan
Being someone who has worked with the Dept. of Energy ( D.O.E ), toured some of the rarest nuclear weapons sites, been a broadcast engineer/hobbist for 10 Years, and am creating my own special documentary about all things nuclear after 9 years of research; I have found Peter Kuran's work ABSOUTELY PERFECT in every detail, ESPECIALLY in his Film transfers to DVD. He has had access to some of the most recently declassified original films from the DOE archives. Most documentary's simply re-hash some of the same footage I've seen over and over again, but not Peter's. If you're interested in our nuclear history, I've seen all and would recommend ALL of the documentary's by [...]
In a side note, for the person looking for the expermental bunker.......It's called the GREENBRIER HOTEL. You can see some of it's history at: [...]
I hope that's what your looking for.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relive "Duck & Cover" in living color. September 2, 2005
A documentary that uses previously classified B&W and color footage and powerful symphonic music to fully express the forbidding destructive power of nuclear weapons, Welcome To Ground Zero is the second of four DVD's (that I'm aware of) dedicated to exposing the visual truth behind the testing of nuclear weapons from the mid-1940's through their banishment in the 1970's. Ground Zero concentrates on below ground nuclear tests, and the sight of entire islands rising 25 feet or more into the air and falling back to their foundations in a godlike thud can be quite sobering. This is not an anti-nuclear diatribe, nor is it pro nuclear power. Rather, it simply observes and describes what took place in the infancy of our nuclear life, leaving you to determine which end of the scale this branch of science rests: outrageously dangerous or benignly beneficial. Well worth the price of admission - and one way to prove to your friends how useless "Duck & Cover" would have been in a real nuclear blast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary/timeline on U.S. nuke tests! March 1, 2009
This is an excellent timeline newsreel documentary on some of the major U.S. secret nuke tests that took place across the U.S., unbeknownst to the public. In fact, more than 900 nuclear bombs were detonated, many of them underground. The impressive footage is excellent, and William Shatner's commentary compelling. There are even closeups of the various historic plaques that were placed at these sites to mark their occurence (you need to pause your DVD player to read them though). There are also some 'extras' footage of some of the atomic tests conducted by France, England, and The Soviet Union. This is a great DVD, that would make an excellent addition to anyone's collection of historic documentary films.
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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The squeamish need not view this one. July 9, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Mr. Kuran does another excellent job, putting together recently declassified information, in a gripping documentary. Many people know of nuclear testing. Not many kow of the details. The information in this movie is not only intriguing, but in my opinon, essential to all Americans. These actions are our legacy.
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