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HBO presents
Too Hot Not To Handle (2006)

"You should care about global warming, because it's going to remake the face of the Earth."
- Michael Oppenheimer

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: September 11, 2006

Stars: Michael Oppenheimer, Donald Kennedy, Stephen Schneider, Laurence Kaulkstein, Richard Somerville, Daniel Schrag, Jonathan Patz, Tim Wigley, Kevin Trenberth, Paul Epstein, Jonathan Foley, William Collins, Scott Pattee, Michael Scott, Steve George, William Reisen, Lewis Ziska, Susan Hassol, Bruce Molnia, Harold Wanless, Steve Welsch, Dave Bassage, David Friedman, Kerry Emanuel, Terry L. Root, Martin Hoffret, Robert Barlow, Paul Dana, Ron Lamberty, Willie Nelson, Christopher Rowell, Kenneth Yates, James Gustave Speth, James E. Rogers, David Hawkins, Tom Potter, Howard Shapiro, John Emerick, William McDonough, Derek Smith, David Yudkin, Temple Dickinson, Greg Wortham
Director: Maryann DeLeo, Ellen Goosenberg Kent

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 53m:26s
Release Date: September 12, 2006
UPC: 026359372629
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

This 2006 HBO documentary, which runs just under an hour, looks at the subject of global warming from a U.S.-only perspective, buttressed by seemingly educated input from a large assortment of Ph.D's and other in-the-know types who all paint an inevitably grim picture of our world's not-too-distant future. And this isn't a bunch of crazy nutjobs proclaiming the end of days, these are well-educated folks who seem to know of what they speak, and the presentation of information makes what they say is coming seem pretty unpleasant.

The first three-quarters of the film is the gloom-and-doom portion, a scary mess of scenarios concerning many of the potential offshoots of increased warming, including heat waves, wild fires, animal extinctions, increased spread of certain viruses, stronger more frequent hurricanes, sea level changes and a general sense of "extreme weather" that will reshape the face of the Earth and force us puny humans to live very differently, if at all. We're told this is a "virtual certainty," and the reality that it is apparently coming whether we want to accept it or not.

The final section offers a few solutions of sorts, such as the promise of what hybrid cars can offer (I like that 100-miles-per-gallon feature) and the push for ethanol, biodiesel (touted here by none other than Willie Nelson) and the advent of turbines and wind power. The city of Portland, Oregon is represented nicely, as the mayor promotes their numerous "green friendly" alternatives, and it does give hope that changes can possibly be made for the better.

But that's where the futility of all this hits me, because while I can turn lights off when I'm not using them or minimize my driving when I can or recycle this or boycott that, I'm still bothered by the thought that if the masses aren't doing it, then my piddly efforts don't really add up to much. A lot of these changes, as witnessed by what is happening in Portland, need to come from the top down, with alternatives and options that are more readily affordable to the average citizen. Solar power? Sure the price on retrofitting your home is coming down, but it is still a whopper of a large expenditure for a concept that is often ridiculed as something akin to leftover hippie pipe dreams.

So I suppose it's mission accomplished as far as freaking me out is concerned, because after watching this, I want to do something.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The doc is presented in its original 1.33:1 transfer, and the print has consistently bright colors and even, natural fleshtones for the interview segments. There is a mixture of assorted archival weather-related footage that varies slightly in quality, but the material shot exclusively for the film looks quite good.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The principle audio choice is an English language 2.0 stereo mix, and for a doc that largely relies on talking head input there really isn't a compelling need for anything for more dynamic. Voice quality is clear, music elements sound full and the overall presentation is simplistically solid.

A 2.0 Spanish dub is also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 11 cues and remote access
Packaging: other
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Smart-looking presentation, with a thick, box-like custom case (made from recycled material with "a minimum of 30% post consumer waste") that opens to reveal the disc itself inside a cutout of a red-tinged Earth. The documentary is cut into 11 chapters, and the only extra is a one-page text screen promoting the website stopglobalwarming.org.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

The message painted here is very sobering, but I'm still left with a "what can I really do that will make a difference?" feeling. A lot of smart folks offer their interpretations of what will likely occur if things don't change, so I suppose at the very least this certainly worth a rental, considering we all live on the same rock.


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