Cave of Forgotten Dreams 3D Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Stephen Withers, 29th December 2011.
This region free Blu-ray release of Cave of Forgotten Dreams contains the film on a single disc and is a fascinating documentary that brings to life cave paintings created over 30,000 years ago and provides an unforgettable glimpse into the very beginning of art itself. In Werner Herzog’s own unique way, he ruminates on the nature of humanity, the dreams of the past and the possible nightmares of the future.

The Blu-ray includes both versions of the film on a single disc, with the 1080p/24 2D version of the film encoded using the AVC codec and framed at 1.78:1 and the 1080p/24 3D version encoded using the MVC codec and also framed at 1.78:1. Since the film was shot digitally, the transfer for both the 2D and 3D versions is clean and is free of any unwanted manipulation. There are some problems with source material but given the conditions under which the film was made, we can forgive them. Whilst the 2D version is perfectly watchable, this is a film that really needs to be seen in 3D and the transfer on the Blu-ray perfectly reproduces Herzog's intent of showing us how the contours of the cave itself are an integral part of the paintings.

The Blu-ray of Cave of Forgotten Dreams comes with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack that is the same for both the 2D and 3D versions of the film. This is a lovely soundtrack that is both beautiful and subtle, perfectly capturing the tone of the film and helping to immerse the viewer in the 3D experience.

The extras are somewhat limited, consisting of a video of a Q & A with Herzog after the UK premiere of the film and the original theatrical trailer. However the Q & A is at least interesting, giving a valuable insight into Herzog’s thought processes. Ultimately Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a fantastic documentary that is worth seeing for that alone but if you’re a fan of 3D then it is an essential purchase.

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