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A Brief History of Time (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) (1991)

 G |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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A Brief History of Time (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) + The Great Beauty (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2014
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00HE00ZIQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,477 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Errol Morris (The Fog of War) turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris's documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawking's body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination. Telling the man's incredible story through the voices of his colleagues and loved ones, while making dynamically accessible some of the theories in Hawking's best-selling book of the same name, A Brief History of Time is at once as small as a single life and as big as the ever-expanding universe.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a nerd. Of course I loved it. April 23, 2014
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent April 21, 2014
By mathmac
Verified Purchase
Beautifully excecuted. Like Hawking, we thought his mother was one of the stars of this movie.

Kudos to the producer and writers.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible June 20, 2014
Verified Purchase
I was a big fan of his book and him. But this dvd just about turned that all around. Awful waste of money and time.
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