“Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” takes six hours to tell the history of Cancer. A weave of intimate stories guides, as we see how a blip in Ancient Egyptian genetics has blossomed into one of the worst plagues in human history. The  lab work and breakthroughs are inspiring to see, but even the back of the Blu-Ray box reminds you of so many that have been lost in the process of finding a cure. Sometimes, you’ll watch and feel that we’re all grasping at straws. But, there are moments that inspire.

Terminal illness is hard to display outside of the personal connection. Unless you’ve been face-to-face with cancer, then very little sticks in one’s brain outside of second hand news or Shirley MacLaine demanding that her daughter be treated in “Terms of Endearment”. I appreciate that the documentary tries to mix clinical and personal together, but it feels rushed even at six hours. The documentary doesn’t promise answers, but you feel the need to find them throughout the offering.

The Blu-Ray comes with additional scenes as the special features. The A/V Quality is super strong. The 1080p transfer continues the amazing streak of Burns productions hitting HD. Yes, I know it’s technically a Barak Goodman film, but Burns’ fingerprints are all over the documentary. The DTS-HD 2.0 master audio track keeps everything upfront. In the end, it’s worth a purchase.

Release Date: 04/28/15

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