The front cover of this disc proudly displays a quote from a review that says : "The most fetching use of 3D technology since Avatar". But this is not an idle boast or exaggeration. There are some truly stunning images here and although there is some occasional use of computer-generated animation, these images are drawn from the real world.
We know from previous nature documentaries that time-lapse photography can produce some incredible, unexpected images; as we see plants sped up until we see them moving almost like insects or animals. But what about time-lapse photography in incredibly high definition and in 3D. Does it get any better than this?
Well apart from that, this film pioneers new techniques in 3D Macro Photography, to show unbelievable detail in close-up of plants. We also see images from electron microscopes,of pollen grains magnified seven thousand times, in 3D. Further than that, special camera techniques are used to show how insects see plants in the ultra violet spectrum.
There is such extraordinary variety on show here, that you forget that the vast majority of this was shot in one place in England - the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. But this also gives a serious scientific focus to the films. For example, we see how a species of water lily was saved from extinction by the work done at Kew.
Of course we know that anything David Attenborough puts his name to, will have the utmost integrity in terms of scientific rigour and this is no different. It is not the BBC, but it is the same team who made Flying Monsters (Blu-ray 3D)[Region Free
] and we have the same spectacular photography and attention to detail. Attenborough is keen to enthuse new generations with the miracles of evolution and conservation of life. He is also a big advocate of using 3D photography to give us new perspectives.
But even if you are not that interested in the subject and thought you didn't want another nature documentary, you cannot fail to be amazed at some of the images presented here - it is a visual spectacle of the highest order. It is also good value in that you get three and a half hours of material in this 2-disc package. Admittedly, 50 minutes is a "making of" documentary in 2D only. But considering some Blu Rays only last about 40-50 minutes in total, there is a huge amount more here, on which to feast your eyes.
It's also worth mentioning that the soundtrack is superb. The music is light and never gets in the way of the commentary - it sounds mostly like a chamber orchestra and adds to the atmosphere immensely in 5.1 Dolby surround. This is undoubtedly up there with the best that 3D TV has to offer - maybe the best so far and it is certainly a must-have purchase for anybody with a 3D TV. I cannot recommend this highly enough.