Benedict Cumberbatch narrates an IMAX documentary on Antarctica.
There is very little doubt that documentaries have changed a lot over the years. Gone are the days when i found myself sitting in a darkened science room while my teacher popped on a doco that looked like it had been made in the 1960s because he couldn’t be bothered teaching that day. The doco itself would have a boring monotone voiceover and be filled with lame looking graphics filled with so many facts and figures that it was impossible to take in.
One company changed all that – and that company is IMAX. With the arrival of IMAX, and most certainly IMAX3D, suddenly a doco release was a big budget release. Even better was the fact that it would look so good that even the most difficult school student would want to watch it and the 3D made you feel part of the film – and that certainly means that you are taking in everything that is on the screen in front of you… or around you as it feels.
It is for that reason that when I get an invite to review an IMAX doco I feel pure excitement. Not only am I going to be in for a truly amazing experience but I am going to be able to indulge in one of my favourite passions for the next hour – nature.
IMAX’s latest offering, Antarctica, is no different. The doco quickly draws you in with spectacular footage captured by director, Fredi Devas (Seven Worlds One Planet), and his cinematographer Rolf Steinmann (Wild Arabia). The fact that the crew here were working in some of the most inhospitable environments in the world is not evident throughout the film as they capture some truly amazing moments both above and below the ice.
Narrator Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness) points out a number of times that Antarctica is still today one of the most unexplored parts of our planet yet here the crew behind Antarctica capture some never before seen moments and deliver some truly amazing facts.
The great thing about this film is that it also doesn’t try to preach to its audience. Controversial topics such as climate change are looked at in the film but are viewed with science backing up what is being spoken about. The film shows what have been some of the things that have happened in Antarctica due to climate change but never speculates what caused it. Even better the film provides some answers to what we can do as humans to help our planet – including delivering some interesting facts about how whales could be one of the answers to help prevent climate change.
I found that with this documentary not only are you blown away by the visuals but you are also constantly learning something as the voice-over provides just the right amount of titbits of information when needed. As a nature lover what I learnt about seals, penguins and whales here is absolutely priceless – who knew that some baby seals have to deal with a blizzard as soon as they are born or that some fish have evolved to the point that they can live in the frozen Antarctic waters? Be warned though if you are an animal lover this doco will make sure that you become totally invested in the lives of the creatures that you are watching on screen which then leads to suspense as Mother Nature throws some obstacles up against them. It also becomes very clear while watching the film that the 3D only further enhances the viewing spectacle. When you add that to the amazing footage captured by Devas and Steinmann you soon feel like you are right there with them in Antarctica and that you can just reach out and touch whatever is in front of you at that time. One thing that is firmly on my bucket list is to travel to Antarctica one day why – I don’t know why other than from a very early age I have always had a fascination with penguins. I can spend hours standing and watching them at Melbourne Zoo, and now having seen this doco and seeing how penguins and seals interact with the visitors to Antarctica my want (or should that be need) to go is now even deeper.
Antarctica is a truly stunning doco that needs to be seen on the big screen and in 3D to get the full experience. This is the kind of doco that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Parents can sit back and take the true wonder of one of the world’s most special places while kids will constantly have that ‘WOW factor going as the critters and creatures of Antarctica appear on the screen in front of them. Like most docos I see at IMAX I simply can’t recommend this enough.