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article imageReview: Nothing looks as good as ‘Planet Earth II’ in 4K Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Mar 29, 2017 in Entertainment
The 4K release of ‘Planet Earth II’ delivers astonishing nature footage that amazingly exceeds its predecessor in mind-blowing beauty.
It’s been 10 years since the BBC first mesmerized audiences with its best-selling, Emmy Award-winning natural history series, Planet Earth. It was definitively one of the most striking depictions of wildlife and their surrounding environments — until they released the sequel, Planet Earth II, which is at minimum its equal in jaw-dropping beauty and spellbinding images. The series is comprised of six, hour-long episodes bursting with one-of-a-kind footage and interesting facts once again narrated by David Attenborough… and for the first time, it is also being released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.
When the original series was released on Blu-ray a decade ago and watched on HD TVs, it was thought to be one of the most stunning pictures to ever grace the screen and the most capable of showcasing the visual possibilities of the technology. Now, this is even truer of the 4K release, which is categorically the most gorgeous picture that has ever played on UHD home theatres. The contrasts of colours and visible, miniscule details of the creatures portrayed makes everything so lifelike, it often feels like you are there next to the cameras. Scenes that especially standout include the creation of the lava islands in the first episode with the molten reds popping off the screen against the charred blacks, and the tiny, unbelievably colourful Wilson’s bird of paradise in the “Jungles” episode whose mating dance is recorded from above for the first-time, giving audiences the same view as the female he’s attempting to attract.
That is just one of 17 filming firsts captured in the series. Others include the first images of the Araguaia dolphin, a new species discovered in the Amazon River in 2014; the most complete footage of snow leopard behaviour, having recorded four cats at one time as they hunt, mate and fight; the only visual record of a desert long-eared bat preying on a death stalker scorpion, one of the most poisonous in the world; images of catfish leaping out of the water to eat pigeons in France; and the first footage of urban leopards successfully hunting pigs in Mumbai, which was caught via military-grade thermal cameras.
The third disc in the set contains a 54-minute bonus feature, “Planet Earth Diaries”, which provides a behind-the-scenes look with each episode’s production team. Chronicling what appears to simultaneously be the most trying and rewarding job, it describes the extraordinary challenges they encountered, which often lead to their most incredible experiences as documentarians. Note on the Blu-ray, the diaries are presented as nine-minute bonus clips following each of the six episodes.
Planet Earth II on 4K UHD Blu-ray is available now.
More about Planet earth, David attenborough, BBC, Planet Earth II, Sir David attenborough
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