Big Movie Zone Blog Press Releases Teacher's Guides Community
Features and Reviews

BMZ Review: Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
By Ross Anthony

bigImage

Resting near the water hole, the male waits for the lioness to hunt his food. Photo credit: June Liversedge.

Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: November 8, 2007
Rating:  

     

Category: Reviews

I'd seen this picture in 2-D prior. It's magnificent. Knowing that the 3D wasn't true, that it must have been recreated with a computer or something, I half expected to be let down. To my surprise, the man-made 3D isn't a let down. It isn't great. It doesn't have the power and thrust of genuine two lens 3D -- but it did add something to the film. I'm not sure that something was a full dimension -- maybe half. Perhaps we should call it 2.5D. Images in the foreground do feel separated by space from the sky and background -- which appear quite flat. Remember the old view masters -- like that. Anyway, this is simply a good picture and the extra 1/2D doesn't subtract anything at all from it; in fact, it may help mask the graininess of the small film stock. (A silly aside: I challenge National Geographic to do a film on Squids and call it Roar of the Calamari.)

What follows is the review of the 2-D version of this film ...

Some large format films deliver a wide range of landscapes, visual subject matter, or span great distances around the globe. "Roar" focuses on a lone waterhole in the arid Kalahari, like a lioness on her prey.

The film follows an old king and the two lionesses he watches over. But there is a young male in the brush looking for a duel, the winner of which gains the kingdom. This provides a strong story plot to an otherwise visually impressive wildlife documentary.

Though much of the footage is shot on 35mm (instead of 70mm, which previously defined large format), you'll no doubt find the incredible live action imagery captured worth the drop in resolution. Grainier than the format standard with a slight drop off in color, still, who can argue with an amazing shot of a lioness literally snatching a hopping spring buck out of the air. Absolutely stunning. Some wildlife productions seem to place their best shots strategically, filling in the in-betweens with lots of landscape. But, "Roar" is chockfull of strong wildlife shots: zebras, spring buck, all in abundance, even a few elephants to stir up the lions. There are very few "in-betweens." A few shots catch the lions prowling in the tall grass under a starry sky. Shot during the day, then manipulated in post ... but still sweet.

A somewhat abrupt ending (with some hokie text) tops off an otherwise very well-paced, visually and mentally stimulating, production. A word of caution: though the lion "kills" aren't gory, these are still wild animals and there may be some viewers who will find the attack scenes perhaps too violent. Personally, I found them fascinating and educational.

Impressively filmed with good action, a compellingly dramatic (if a bit soapy) story line with simply great lion shots, "Roar" is worth the grain.
I spoke with producer Jini Durr at the screening and asked how a photographer could get so close to the lions without becoming lion food. She said, "Lions aren't very interested in eating people." She also said, "In the heat the lions even rested in the shade of the cameraman."

Lions 3d: Roar of the Kalahari. Copyright © 2007.
Grade..........................A (3.5/4)



Copyright © 1998-2004. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: www.RossAnthony.com. For Adult & Teen Novels written by Ross Anthony visit: www.RossAnthony.com/books.

Agree/Disagree With This Review?

Post Your Own Review | Read User Reviews | Check For Outside Reviews

Additional BMZ Reviews of Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari

Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari by Paula Tagle

Movie Reviews by Ross Anthony

National Parks Adventure
Journey to Space
Wild Africa
Space Next
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Flight of the Butterflies
To The Arctic 3D
Tornado Alley
Born to Be Wild
Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World
Hubble 3D
Resident Evil: Afterlife: An IMAX 3D Experience
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience
Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience
Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Arabia 3D
Molecules to the MAX!
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience
Shine a Light: The IMAX Experience
Beowulf: An IMAX 3D Experience
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Roving Mars
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Wild Safari 3D: A South African Adventure
Mystery of the Nile
Mystic India
Aliens of the Deep (3D)
Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
Extreme
Rolling Stones at the Max
Sharks 3D
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience
Roar: Lions of the Kalahari
Forces of Nature
Adventures in Animation (3D)
NASCAR: The IMAX Experience (3D/2D)
The Young Black Stallion
To Fly!
Silent Sky
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea
Texas: The Big Picture
Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
Ocean Wonderland (3D)
India: Kingdom of the Tiger
Straight Up!: Helicopters in Action
Coral Reef Adventure
Bugs! (3D/2D)
Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk
Ghosts of the Abyss (3D)
The Lion King (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees
Whales
Treasure Planet (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Star Wars Ep. II, Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience
Santa vs. the Snowman (3D/2D)
Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
Africa: The Serengeti
Horses: The Story of Equus
Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa
SkyDance
Australia: Land Beyond Time
Ultimate X
Space Station 3D
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West
Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition
The Human Body
Blue Planet
China: The Panda Adventure
Ocean Oasis
Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance
Everest
Bears
Ocean Men: Extreme Dive
Majestic White Horses
Amazing Journeys
Chronos
Ski to the Max
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure
NSync: Bigger Than Live
Super Speedway
Journey into Amazing Caves
ALL ACCESS: Front row, Backstage, LIVE!
Haunted Castle 3D
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (3D)
Wildfire: Feel the Heat
Encounter in the Third Dimension 3D
Galapagos
Fantasia/2000
Mysteries of Egypt
Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box (3D)
Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man (3D)
Michael Jordan to the Max
Cyberworld (3D)
Dolphins
Adventures in Wild California

Articles Archive: Newest to Oldest


Reviews Archive: Newest to Oldest