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History of the World in Two Hours [Blu-ray] (2011)

Various , The History Channel  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: The History Channel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, Spanish, Dutch, Polish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006QVRW0S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,510 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

Did you know that 1% of the white noise you see on your television is actually background radiation from the Big Bang? From the formation of the earth and the emergence of life, to the advance of man and the growth of civilization, the CGI-driven special HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS offers viewers a rapid-fire view of 14 billion years of history - an epic story that reveals surprising connections to our daily lives, for the first time in majestic 3D!

The title is catchy, but if you take away the commercials, History of the World in Two Hours actually weighs in at a little under 90 minutes. Not a lot of time to present what's billed as "the whole story" of the past 13.7 billion years, but while this documentary is predictably short on detail, it's still pretty comprehensive. Proceeding from the Big Bang, the event that started it all (in the process creating space, time, and gravity), we rapidly review through the major developments of the universe's first six or eight billion years, helped along by a variety of talking heads and a kinetic parade of very deft visual effects. Those developments include the first atoms and elements such as hydrogen, helium, and iron, the birth of stars, the formation of the Earth (and, just as important, the Moon), the earliest signs of life, the evolution of plants, the emergence on land of oxygen-breathing amphibians, the separation of Pangaea into different continents, the age of dinosaurs, and so on… all of it leading to the appearance of primate-like hominids some seven billion years ago. About half of the program is devoted to human history, which, though it occupies but a small fraction of those 13.7 billion years, has seen our species disperse across the globe, harness fire, learn to use tools and language, invent farming, learn to think symbolically as well as practically, fight wars, foster massive empires, become largely monotheistic, transform civilization with the Industrial Revolution (leading to electricity, flight, the automobile, and so much more)…. It's exhausting merely to recount it, let alone stay focused as all of this information comes rushing by. It's also true that with little or no time to back up all the facts and figures offered here, those who remain skeptical of science and hew to a more "creationist" viewpoint are unlikely to have their opinions swayed. Still, History of the World in Two Hours is an excellent jumping off point for a more thorough examination of this enormous topic. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent summary December 5, 2011
I viewed this show on the History channel and found it to make a very complex subject understandable for most lay people. Excellent graphics along with good narration. The science presented was accurate aside from a few gaps in our understanding that was not covered. Very plausible ideas presented to give a good summary from the big bang to why are here on this planet today.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of History of the World(?universe) April 4, 2012
Critics of this video are a little misguided. Of course the theme is deserving more time, but the title explains that it is doing it in two hours - so why criticize it for being shorter. Also the critic who titles his review as a "half baked history of the world: seems to have an axe to grind as to the findings of modern science. Appeals to "other explanations" smacks of "everybody-has-a -right-to-their-opinion" half-baked (to use his/her phrase) post-modernism.

What the video does really well is place human history in a clear context. That Earth is possible is due to a series of remarkable events. That we, as a species, are here is also the result of a series of equally incredible events. That evolution could have shaped our brains and behavior to be the only species that could understand all this is something to be celebrated and a source of wonder, whether you are an atheist (as I am) or a believer in a higher deity (although I would hope that if you are so, that you would be open to a lager view of creation).

My view is that all journeys benefit from being viewed both close up and from afar. This macro-view helps the viewer that has only studied American History (the common experience of many Ameicans) gain a wider view of history. Standing back and and looking at the larger view, then focusing on the narrower view, has in my opinion, great intellectual and value.

In conclusion, this video enables viewers to have a truly global (if not universal view of history). There are many books that do the same , but they are tomes that require a great deal of time. Read then, but see this video first !!

For full disclosure, I am an academic. I give (will give ) grades to you or your offspring.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
With its bold promise and provocative title, the History Channel documentary "History of the World in Two Hours" has a lot to live up to. But seriously, anyone who thinks this will be a complete or comprehensive chronicle of almost 14 billion years is probably setting their expectations a little high. For one thing, as this aired on the History Channel with commercials--it actually boils down to 88 minutes from start to finish! Heck, who needs a full two hours? The title is a teaser, a novelty. This is a breezy and entertaining trip through history that starts with concepts related to the formation of earth and ends in contemporary society. In between, we hit certain highlights from the realms of chemistry, biology, astrophysics, paleontology, anthropology and history that help to overview key components that made life possible, sustainable, and able to evolve into its recognizable modern configuration. Certainly, this isn't an in-depth analysis of any one thing in particular, it's just a quick glimpse of important elements that were vital in shaping the earth as we know it.

Perhaps the strongest aspect of "History of the World in Two Hours" comes in its early segments when we're discussing how certain elements were formed that contributed to earth being a viable planet on which life could thrive. The sciences combine to form an intriguing tale of evolution and I like that the piece shows how the physical composition of the atmosphere changed, gives the reasons behind it, and points to future consequences. As the documentary progresses, however, the components can become a bit more hit or miss. And while it seems rather cursory and simplistic, the dispersal of humans, the growth of civilizations, and the union of the continents through exploration give one a lot to think about.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summary of our world history December 4, 2011
By Eddie
Just saw the show on the History Channel. Quite well done, though without the commercials and repeats it was more like history of the world in 60-70 minutes. It would have been much better had they cut down on repetitions and added more details on human history. They did talk about the role of religions in our development. Well done, entertaining and without any major fabricated parts and, as far as I could tell, everything was based on evidence at hand.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History of the World in Two Hours October 17, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I initially decided to watch the History Channel's documentary, 'History of the World in Two Hours' just to confirm my skepticism that it would not even come close to achieving its purpose.
Not only was I proven wrong; I was so impressed that I immediately went on-line and purchased the CD which, by eliminating the commercials, actually abridges 13.7 billion years of history into 1 hour and 28 minutes while managing to entertain, educate, and astound in such a clever, simple format that my adult children and adolescent grandchildren enjoyed it as much as I.
If you're curious to know why stars had to die so that we humans could live, the critical role bacteria played in the creation of life, or how fire and grass expedited human and social evolution, and many more such bits of scientific knowledge, I highly recommend that you invest an hour and a half of your time in watching this documentary.
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