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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Science > Death By Design/The Life & Time Of Life & Times

Death By Design/The Life & Times Of Life & Times



Picture: C/C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Documentaries: C+/B



First Run has combined two short documentaries on science together on one DVD.  Death By Design (1995) runs about 75 minutes and is maybe over-obsessed with cells, dying cells and cell suicide.  The information presented is interesting, but it often feels like the producers were padding the project to give it a longer running time.


The Life & Times Of Life & Times (1998) fares much better in under an hour, examining and rethinking the idea of aging.  If we could break the genetic code for this least studied of biological subjects, people could live longer, healthier, and better.  Health care could become more affordable and steam cell research is not mentioned once in the entire program.  Instead, some of the top experts in the field discuss the possibilities of the why and what could be done to change that.  There is also the disturbing possibility that some idiots, as noted more kindly in the piece, could say doing this is “immoral” and stop it.  That would be a grave mistake, but other aspects of that are too much to go into for this review.


Even though I liked the latter better than the former, there is still more than enough good information here to recommend the entire DVD.  The 1.33 X 1 image on both programs are not the clearest, but Death By Design is simply fuzzier.  Both have Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, which is barely stereo at best, but is adequate for what is here.  Extras include text biographies of the filmmakers, the Mana – Beyond Belief trailer, trailers for five other First Run releases, a PDF DVD-ROM file essay Suicides Without Sadness.  Be sure to see this one for yourself and decide what you think.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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