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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cosmic Voyage (IMAX)
Cosmic Voyage (IMAX)
Warner Bros. // Unrated // April 30, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted May 4, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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The Movie:

IMAX films have changed and grown over the years. While these large-format films were largely about educating the audience to the world around us, there are several films today that are more about entertainment. Some of these films have attempted to tell a story in the 35-minute IMAX running time and have largely failed. "Cosmic Voyage" is an interesting example of IMAX because, rather than simply focusing on space like many before it ("Mission to Mir", etc), the film tries to explain our place in the universe.

Starring with an overview of the "systems" that we go through every day, the the film goes all the way into space and back again, analyzing the smallest particles that share our world. The film is able to provide an entertaining and informative look at how the world began and offer an understandable discussion of the process. I suppose my only minor complaint is that the film bounces around a bit rather than simply focusing on the minor and then gradually expanding out to the vast reaches of the vast reaches of the universe. Overall, one of the better IMAX films that I've viewed; it's really able to pack a lot of information and entertainment in its 35-minute running time. Terrific narration is provided by Morgan Freeman.


The DVD

VIDEO: While the large-format IMAX films have been traditionally presented on video in 1.33:1 full-frame, Image Entertainment has recently begun to successfully present many of these films in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. While the image quality of Warner's IMAX efforts has seemed to get consistently better, they still present these films in 1.33:1 full-frame. "Cosmic Voyage"'s full-frame presentation generally was very pleasing to the eye. The picture didn't suffer from any noticable instances of softness and largely appeared crisp and well-defined.

A minor flaws were spotted here and there, but didn't cause major distraction. A little bit of edge enhancement and a trace or two of pixelation were noticed, but the print was largely clear and clean, with no marks or grain. The film's color palette
SOUND: IMAX films have become famous for their use of sound. Most of these films offer soundtracks that are highly agressive without being distracting, enveloping the viewer into whatever the film happens to be documenting at the time. "Cosmic Voyage" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, but I found it to be the least active of any of the IMAX soundtracks that I've ever heard. While there are some instances in the space sequences that have sounds whooshing past the viewer and a couple of scenes regarding the big bang that employ the surrounds, the rear speakers go largely unused.

MENUS: The backgrounds are basic, with static film-themed images.

EXTRAS: A quick "making of" and an IMAX trailer.

Final Thoughts: "Cosmic Voyage" is an entertaining and thought-provoking look at our place in the universe. Warner Brothers has produced a decent DVD edition, with fine audio/video, but nothing much in the way of supplements. Still, recommended.

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