The Sun/The Moon (2006)

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Released 12-Apr-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 120
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Sun/The Moon are a pair of recent BBC documentaries dealing with the two celestial bodies which have the greatest effect on our lives.

The documentaries are a perfect pair, and were made as such, and have similar qualities. In other words, they are equally enjoyable.

The documentaries consist mainly of stock footage bolstered by interviews and held together by a detailed voice-over narration. The narrator for The Sun is Andrew Lincoln and for The Moon it is Sean Pertwee. They are both pretty good voice actors and add greatly to the success of the shows. Dealing with grandiose lines like: "To understand the sun is to understand the forces that drive the universe" can't be easy but to the actors considerable credit they bring enthusiasm and drama to their tasks.

The structure of each show is fairly similar. After a general introduction each episode looks at the importance of the sun or the moon to early man. This involves visiting an archaeological site or two and looking at the way early man set up primitive temples to worship the sun and the moon. The episodes then deal with the history of the scientific attempts at exploring and understanding the subject.

In the case of the sun that means sending probes out and doing the best we can to understand the superheated ball of gas and molten rock. In the case of the moon it means following on from the Apollo missions to get mankind back on the surface. Plans are apparently underway to start up a moon base by 2018.

As well, there are a few humorous bits thrown in for good measure. In The Moon we meet a group of people who dedicate themselves to planning a moon shot and simulating moon-like conditions on Earth. The fact that they have no rocket and no money to ever get one presents no hindrance to their plans! In The Sun we see a village in Austria which due to a quirk of geography receives no sun during winter despite the fact that the nearby village gets bathed in glorious sunlight. Their solution sounds a little like something The Simpsons would dream up - stick up giant mirrors on the hillside! The documentaries are really pitched at the whole family. They are probably too simplistic for the genuine enthusiast but they are easily comprehended by pre-teens. Despite the wealth of information on offer the shows are never boring.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Both documentaries comprising The Sun/The Moon are presented in a 1.85:1 transfer consistent with the original widescreen TV presentation. The films are 16x9 enhanced.

The films look remarkably good considering that a large portion of the outer space shots are stock footage of varying degrees of quality and some of the footage is understandably very old. In the older footage artefacts and other defects are well in evidence but really present no distraction. I noticed a bit of edge enhancement here and there and I also noticed one moment in The Sun where the aspect ratio jumped to a 4:3 with black bands down the side for one piece of footage, but otherwise the team have done a nice job of stitching everything together.

Otherwise, the shows present well. The modern digital footage presents well and is crisp and clear. Even the old footage looks impressive, particularly when viewed on a large screen.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

  The sound for The Sun/The Moon is Dolby Digital 2.0 running at 224 Kb/s.

This is perfectly adequate for a show that consists of interview footage and voice-over narration. Both are very clear and easy to understand. The mix is quite expansive and the music and effects have a high quality sound.

The music by Charlie Jefferson is unobtrusive.

Audio sync presents no problem.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    It appears that this DVD is not available anywhere else in the World at the moment. So lap up the Region 4 release.

Summary

    The Sun/The Moon are an interesting and effective pair of documentaries.

The transfers are excellent despite the varied material.

The lack of extras represents no great omission.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DVR 630H-S, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TH-50PV60A 50' Plasma. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationOnkyo TX - SR603
SpeakersOnkyo 6.1 Surround

Other Reviews NONE
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