Hamilton: Building America – DVD Review

Hamilton: Building America is a documentary that captures the life and times of one of our nation’s forgotten founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Exploring the iconic American political and financial institutions that he helped to create, from the US Mint and Wall Street to the two-party political system, this documentary examines his enormous influence that still resonates today. Ron Chernow, whose biography Alexander Hamilton served as the basis for the hit Broadway play, along with other notable names including Tom Brokaw and Maria Bartiromo, contribute to an all-encompassing look at one of our nation’s most accomplished leaders.

The Film Itself (4.5/5):

It’s not very often that I actually take time to sit down to watch a documentary, so when I saw Hamilton: Building America arrive at my doorstep, I was definitely looking forward to checking this out.  While I wasn’t completely knowledgeable on his life, I feel that this documentary does an absolutely fantastic job at presenting a good majority of his life and the astonishing achievements that he incurred throughout his life.  The overall flow of this feature went really well and it did not feel that it was an 84 minute experience; in fact, as it was ending, I felt that there should’ve been more coverage of the events that ultimately lead up to his death.

Picture Quality (3/5):

Being made available on DVD, Hamilton: Building America makes every effort to offer a crisp, clean look into the story that is Alexander Hamilton.  While the format doesn’t necessarily offer a comparable experience that would be had on Blu-ray, the overall presentation of this release was clean, clear and my wife and I were able to visually see and understand everything as it played onward.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Packaged with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track, Hamilton: Building America offers it presentation of Hamilton’s story in a really nice clean and clear style.  For a film like this, there really isn’t a need for an immersive experience that we would want to have with a standard movie release; and the included 2.0 audio track provided an ample experience.  As my wife and I watched through this feature, there was no distortion experienced, and we were able to completely hear and understand everything from the narrator to those who were being interviewed as part of this feature.

The Packaging (3/5):

Hamilton: Building America comes packaged in your standard single disc DVD case.  Within that case is the standard DVD copy of the film.  The disc does not feature any artwork whatsoever outside of the standard release text.  There are no digital copy redemption pamphlets included with this release, however there is a slipcover that’s been made available during the initial run of the release that features the same artwork as the case art.

  

Special Features:

Unfortunately, there are no special features included on the DVD release of Hamilton: Building America.  As a result, there is no rating for this section.

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: MPEG-2

Resolution: 480i (NTSC)

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio

English: Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles

English

Runtime

Original Film: 84 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I’m really glad that I was given the opportunity to review Hamilton: Building America.  It’s a rare occasion that I get the chance to sit down to watch something like this.  I felt that the overall presentation and experience of this DVD release was really nicely done, despite it lacking special features and being a DVD-only release.  Overall, the information that was provided felt that it encompassed a lot about his life, and included a lot of information that someone who isn’t involved in studying history can learn from.  The visual and audible presentation was clean and clear as my wife and I were able to watch through this without issue.

I should note, there is one discrepancy on the back of the case art, as the synopsis of the feature notes that it is two-hours in length when the actual feature is 84 minutes long; confirmed with both the specs listed at the bottom of the back of the case as well as the overall runtime displayed from my player.  While, this total runtime is likely what it was aired on the History Channel.  I just feel that this is a small oversight on the company who physically manufactured this release and someone shouldn’t be lead astray.  If you’re interested in checking this release out, I would definitely recommend grabbing it.  Hamilton: Building America will be available for purchase beginning on November 14.

Note: This DVD was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven’t heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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