Nostradamus: 2012 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While the quality varied dependent on the source, the show usually looked pretty good.
Sharpness depended on the nature of the footage. Much of the program used material shot with HD cameras, and those elements usually provided solid delineation. With some minor exceptions, those bits appeared concise and accurate.
However, when the show used material filmed with lower resolution cameras, the results weren’t as spiffy. Those sequences suffered from blockiness and a lack of much definition. However, they also tended to fly by pretty quickly. 2012 could use semi-frenetic editing, so the lower quality shots rarely lingered on screen.
Colors also varied, but they usually looked acceptably accurate and realistic. The show went with natural hues that demonstrated pretty positive reproduction. Blacks also appeared fairly deep and dark, while shadows – mainly found in ominous re-enactment shots – were clear and visible. The problems with some source footage affected my impression of the visuals, but this was still an attractive enough release for a “B”.
Don’t expect much from the DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack of 2012, though it seemed perfectly satisfactory for this kind of project. Actually, the soundfield opened up a bit more than I expected. The series used the various channels to create general ambience much of the time. None of this demonstrated very good localization, but at least the track showed some life. Music offered decent stereo imaging, and the surrounds bolstered the various sequences.
Audio quality was decent. Speech sounded natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music and effects appeared acceptable, though not particularly dynamic. I thought the track worked well enough for a “C”.
How did the picture and sound of this Blu-ray compare to the show’s DVD release? Audio remained very similar, as neither track impressed. However, visuals demonstrated big improvements. The DVD was non-anamorphic, so the boost in resolution found here made the documentary substantially more appealing in terms of picture quality.
In terms of extras, the Blu-ray includes a “bonus program”. The Lost Book of Nostradamus goes for one hour, 30 minutes, 43 seconds and includes notes from Nostradamus scholar Peter Lemesurier, metaphysical writer Scarlett Ross, Secrets of Alchemy author Jay Weidner, Monument to the End of Time co-author Vincent Bridges, psychic/author Ellie Crystal, Nostradamus Society of America president Victor Baines, journalist/Nostradamus researcher Dr. Robert Pinotti, Italian journalist Enza Massa, Art History Professor/Symbologist Ron Picco, Nostradamus: The Man Behind the Prophecies author Ian Wilson, Italian Central National Library librarian Livia Martinol, Italian Central National Library consultant Valentina Piccinin, National Italian Library director Osvaldo Avallone, Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France author Leonie Frieda, author/descendant of Nostradamus’s secretary Bernard Chevignard, bibliography/library science professor Maria Misiti, astro-psychologist/author Dr. Louis Turi, ink and color specialist Andrea Fortini, Nostradamus archivist Michel Chomarat and manuscript specialist Maria Fadiga.
The show looks at the 1990s discovery of a book possibly written by Nostradamus. Some of the program investigates its legitimacy, but most of the piece discusses the “prophecies” it contains.
Which makes the documentary a bit of a dud. It suffers from virtually all of the same problems that affect 2012 itself, as it comes without even the vaguest sign of skepticism or any attempts at scientific truth. It just allows the true believers to throw out their interpretations of the writings without any challenge. I really believe a good documentary about Nostradamus could be made, but it doesn’t show up on this Blu-ray.
In an odd move, the Blu-ray omits the only supplement from the DVD. The latter came with about 15 minutes of additional scenes. While I didn’t think these were valuable, I still don’t understand why the Blu-ray wouldn’t include them.
Do people really take the ramblings of a 16th century “seer” seriously? Apparently, as Nostradamus 2012 views its subject without the slightest hint of skepticism or scrutiny. That means it provides some intriguing thoughts but lacks the depth to become anything more than an idle curiosity.
The Blu-ray presents good picture and adequate audio along with one fairly substantial supplement. If you like this program, the Blu-ray is the superior release; when compared to the DVD, it offers improved visuals and more significant extras. However, I still think the documentary is a crock and can’t recommend it to anyone who hasn’t already imbibed the Nostradamus Kool-Aide.
To rate this film, visit the original review of NOSTRADAMUS 2012