Roar: Lions of the Kalahari

Rated 4.0 IMAX’s latest armchair safari is a sublime visit to Botswana’s famed desert, in which the central impending conflict between a reigning 10-foot-long, 500-pound pride king and a younger contender is dwarfed by the expansiveness of its setting and close-up images of day-to-day animal behavior. Filmmaker and honorary game warden Tim Liversedge has lived in the region for most of his life. He does a fair job at developing the story of evolving dominance. He does an even better job at turning the incredible gathering of the local animal kingdom at a small isolated waterhole into a compelling, informative epic of daily survival. The film soars over amazing landscapes by helicopter, captures elephants mud-bathing in the moonlight and pauses as giraffes struggle to lower themselves to within tongue reach of liquid replenishment. It is a stunning kaleidoscope of both life and death (the lions here do stalk and kill several prey) enhanced by the world’s most powerful theater sound system.