Founding Fathers

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The men who formed the basis for this country are given a lot of real estate in textbooks, but those printed words don’t give the men much life. In this documentary from The History Channel however, men such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry are given more presence, thanks to a terrific presentation approach. This piece is broken up into four sections, each of which deals with a broad topic and the four come together to form a larger picture of the entire scope of the founding fathers. From the first rumblings of a revolution, the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the battles in the rebellion, the Constitution, Washington’s rise to power, the Boston Tea Party, all the way to the formation of America’s democracy, this piece covers it all, but not just the events. You’ll learn more about those points of course, but the focus seems to be on the men themselves, which is an interesting approach and one that makes this documentary stand out from the crowd. So if you want to see the whole picture, then by all means, check out Founding Fathers.

I love to watch documentaries anyway, but I really like how Founding Fathers takes a look at the men, as opposed to their work. I mean, I think we’ve all heard about the events they took part in, but the textbooks usually skim over the personal aspects, so I am pleased that is looked at more here. If you’ve seen other pieces on The History Channel, this follows the usual standard, which means various paintings, documents, landscape shots, and other visuals to supplement the voice actors, who bring the historical figures to life. In this case, the roster of talent is superb and I was very impressed indeed. Those involved include Hal Holbrook, Beau Bridges, Burt Reynolds, Michael York, James Woods, and many other gifted performers. The voices never seem out of place either, which I suppose could be a concern. The episodes are well done and also arranged in fine form, with four pieces that each run about fifty minutes. So each disc holds two episodes and in case you can’t add, that means a total of two hundred minutes of material to browse. If you’re a history buff or just want to learn more about our founding fathers, then this release is highly recommended.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are shown in full frame form, which is how they were presented on television. The images shown are usually stills, documents, and such, so don’t expect a reference level treatment here, but the image is sharper than television, which is all you ask for in this case. The colors seem strong and contrast is well balanced, not much else to discuss here. I do want to mention that I saw no evidence of compression errors, which is always good.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included stereo mix is much like the television counterpart, basic and more than adequate. The musical cues sound loud and clear, while the various background sound effects all surface in fine form, but remember that stereo is not that dynamic. The narration and speakers have the most presence here and that is how it should be, with crisp vocals and no volume problems in the least. This set contains English captions, but no other subtitle or language options.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This set includes no bonus materials.

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