‘Encounters At The End of the World’ DVD Review
Director Werner Herzog has directed some amazing documentaries over the last few years. He finds himself in Antarctica in this latest release. This wouldn’t be possible without the National Science Foundation. Herzog receives the invitation bringing him to one of the coldest parts in the world. He narrates the entire film, which is nice seeing from his perspective as he speaks to people that live and work there.
Herzog is filming the research being down on the penguins and seals. No, this is not a film about the penguins again as some may fear. Herzog takes a lot of the focus to the people that are conducting the research. It is interesting on the various people that he meets and brings to life under the scope of the camera. Some of the people though aren’t as interesting and make you want to run the other direction.
There is some very stunning imagery and the atmosphere that Herzog brings to life with the camera. We go from the mountains filled with snow and ice to actual underwater dives. I was impressed at how beautiful the Antarctic looked. Herzog uses various kinds of imagery mixed in with the main content making for a very different presentation. The thing is that it gels together very well.
What is rather neat little fact is that Herzog visited the continent of Antarctica during the summer. I did not know this fact until doing some further research and viewing this documentary that the sun is out for 24 hours. That would be intense to think about if certain parts of the areas that we live in were similar in terms of night and day. It is amazing since the whole film was shot with the sun beating down so it helped make for some beautiful imagery.
I really enjoyed ‘Encounters At The End of the World’ a lot. To see Antarctica with such splendid camera work by Herzog was really a treat. The commentary by Herzog is the icing on the cake as always. I have read that some find his narration to be a bit too much, but not me.
Movie Content: 4/5
The print on DVD is presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. The film looks rather beautiful considering that the sun did play a huge role in providing a nice bright lighting. Colors are saturated and are very eye pleasing. With the use of digital cameras to film this documentary, the image looks good even on DVD with no compression or artifacts present.
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The surrounds get some good when we get sounds from Mother Nature. Also the score is well placed the rears. You can hear the gusting winds from the rears. Dialogue comes through the center very clear with Herzog’s narration.
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
DVD Special Features
“Under the Ice,” by Henry Kaiser, features 35 minutes of underwater footage
“Over the Ice” to the McMurdo Dry Valleys
“Seals & Men
“South Pole Exorcism” opens with Kaiser going “around the world”
Special Features: 4/5
The Final Word:
‘Encounters At The End of the World’ is a very good documentary from Werner Herzog. The interaction with the residents from Antarctica is also good and very informative. For fans of Herzog and of documentaries, this is well worth checking out.
Overall Rating: 4/5 (Purchase)