Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Speculation > TV > Documentary > History > Extra-terrestrials > Antiques > Collectibles > America’s Book Of Secrets (2012/A&E/History Channel DVD)/Best Of Ancient Aliens (2010 – 2012/A&E/History Channel Blu-ray)/Cajun Pawn Stars: Season One (2012)/Secret Access: The Presidency (2012/A&E/Hi

America’s Book Of Secrets (2012/A&E/History Channel DVD)/Best Of Ancient Aliens (2010 – 2012/A&E/History Channel Blu-ray)/Cajun Pawn Stars: Season One (2012)/Secret Access: The Presidency (2012/A&E/History Channel DVDs)


Picture: C+/B-/C+/C+     Sound: C+/B-/C+/C+     Extras: C/D/D/D     Main Programs: B-/C/C+/C+



For the fall home video season, A&E is issuing History Channel material that includes compilations of what we have seen before and a new series that is a spin-off of sorts of one of their biggest hits.



America’s Book Of Secrets (2012) is a 10-episode series that follows The President’s Book Of Secrets back in 2010 which we reviewed at this link:





Episodes cover The White House, Freemasons, Fort Knox, Area 51, The Playboy Mansion, Presidential Transports, The FBI, West Point, Black Ops and The Pentagon.  Though the slap-dash editing style (with silly sound to match) is clichéd and even annoying, each show is worth seeing if you are interested in the subject matter and is worth the time of anyone interested.  This was also shown on the H2 Channel and some information might be disputable, other items speculative, but it is not bad overall.  A special from the series on The Monuments across the U.S. is the only extra and one Alfred Hitchcock might have enjoyed.



Best Of Ancient Aliens (2010 – 2012/A&E/History Channel Blu-ray) compiles favorites from the first three seasons we covered at these links:













Not my favorite show, this serves as an intro Blu-ray for those interested in the show and is fine in that respect offering four episodes.  However, they are repetitive and not too convincing.  Now you can see for yourself shorthand.  There are no extras, but you can see what more than one of us thought of the show in those links.



Cajun Pawn Stars: Season One (2012) is a new series that happens to share a familiar name with the huge hit Pawn Stars show we have reviewed a few times on the site already.  The twist is that these dealers are in Louisiana and the items are more nature-based, folk and local in nature.  It even includes livestock, but that is the reason to do the show.  It reminds me of aspects of the original U.K. Antiques Roadshow in that the items are more often connected to the area’s history, with some more valuable items turning up less often.


We get eight half-hour shows here on a single DVD and there are no extras.



Last but not least is Secret Access: The Presidency (2012) which offers three shows on three DVDs: Air Force One, The White House Behind Closed Doors and already noted The President’s Book Of Secrets above.  It is very much in the same style as the other shows and is just fine, as long as you can put up with the formulaic approach.  There are no extras here either, but it is not a bad set.



The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Aliens is the best performer here by default being the only Blu-ray, but that makes it easier to watch, though the CG work is not great.  The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the rest of the DVDs is good for what they are, but also expect weak CG, detail issues, color limits and motion blur.  They also have some stock footage (analog video, film) that varies in quality.


The sound on Aliens is listed as PCM 2.0 uncompressed stereo, but it is actually DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo with some Pro Logic-type surrounds and is the best entry here sonically by default.  The DVDs all have lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that you can use Pro Logic on, but surround activity is very limited.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com