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

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Filmmaker Errol Morris parallels the life and work of British physicist Stephen Hawking, who has Lou Gehrig's disease. Music by Philip Glass.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2014
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00HE00ZIQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,147 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Randall F. Miller III on March 12, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
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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Format: Blu-ray 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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I still have the same critique as I did when I first saw this film; little of the math behind Hawking's theories is explained. And what we're given is more of a biopic with flourishes of science sprinkled in here and there.

I shrug my shoulders at this documentary. I mean it's okay for what it is, and is actually quite entertaining for what it is. But it's not an exploration of Hawking's work. It's merely documentary on his life with elements of his work. I guess the lay scientist will have to wait for someone else to pick up the ball and run with it.

A decent doc, but it has little to do with Time itself.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Perhaps this film is too light for people who can really comprehend the science discussed, I certainly do not fall within that grouping. I found the film to be fascinating, though I may never venture into any of the details on my own.
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Format: Blu-ray
This documentary changed my life when I saw in the theater at age 10. Twenty-three years later I hold a PhD in theoretical physics and am a postdoc at MIT. This documentary set me on that course. All these years later, I still really enjoy it, even though the science described in it is no longer so mysterious to me.
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