Mankind: The Story of all of Us (BLU-RAY)

Mankind: The Story of all of Us

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Running Time: 
552 Minutes
Interesting Tidbits

The documentary stated that the Bubonic Plague started from fleas on black rats in the Mongolian Empire and spread across Asia and Europe.

“Mankind: The Story of all of Us” is a documentary from The History Channel that discusses the history of mankind itself. Everything is covered on this documentary from Mesopotamia to the Crusades to the Bubonic Plague and every other major event in history that has had an effect on mankind. The documentary set is comprised of 12 episodes on 3 Blu-ray disc and totals to about 12 hours of history goodness. Each episode showcases how the trials and tribulations of mankind’s history have had some influence on and shaped our modern society today. They divide the history into major categories such as inventors, empires, warriors, treasure, the new world, pioneers and several other major topics in mankind’s history. The entire documentary was narrated by Josh Brolin and included some surprise guest commentators such as Dr. Oz and Brian Williams. The History Channel has set the bench mark for history documentaries and “Mankind: The Story of all of Us” was on par with their past documentaries.  

Besides the great narrating by Josh Brolin and the guest commentators, the presentation of the material was very well done. The flow of the documentary and the pacing was just right for the amount of information that was covered over the 12 episodes. Also, the visuals and the re-enactments were a lot better than I had expected because of the high production value. Each brought so much more entertainment value to an otherwise dry subject. They helped me understand and remember the material a lot better than reading an actual book or sitting through history class making this documentary a great learning aid. I also liked how they divided both the grouped categories and the subjects within each episode. This allowed the viewers to watch what they wanted and not have to sit through the less interesting periods of the documentary.

However, I did find a couple of issues with this documentary. The first issue was the HD looked way better than their standard definition documentaries, but it was still not as sharp as other HD Blu-rays I have seen before. Also, this was a lot of material in the 12 hours of the documentary and not all of the topics were interesting enough to sit through. Some periods of times, as important as they were to mankind, gave me the urge to press the fast forward button on my remote control. Unless you are a history buff, there are going to be some parts that appeal more to you than others. The bonus material was actually really interesting thought and could have been included to replace the boring segments of the documentary.

“Mankind: The Story of all of Us” is a well done documentary, but it might not appeal to general audiences. The entertainment value might capture more viewers, but the less interesting topics might tempt them to zoom the 12 hours of information. If you like history, I do recommend this for you to buy and own. For those reasons, I am giving “Mankind: The Story of all of Us” a “B+” for making me feel like I am back in history class, but making me more learn a lot more than I did from my high school history teachers. 

Paul Arca
Review by Paul Arca
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