Big Movie Zone Blog Press Releases Teacher's Guides Community
Features and Reviews

BMZ Review: Ultimate X
By Ross Anthony

bigImage

Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

I'm an X-Fan
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: May 2002
Rating:  

     

Category: Reviews

(Note: This review reflects a screening of a reel yet to be color corrected. We were told the reel was 99.9% finished.)

A dirt motorcyclist myself, I was stoked for this film. Granted, more of a trail enthusiast, I'd never gotten my two wheels more than five feet off the ground, but that's exactly why I thirsted for this film. Just as "Space Station" takes the viewers out into orbit, I hoped to be up there with the true 2-stroke flyers, leaping off and then onto their bikes while in flight. And to some degree, "Ultimate X" delivers some of that experience.

The motor-gymnastics are left to close the show. Teases of several events comprise an appetizing intro. More or less first, the BMX-bikers tear up the dirt, taking to flight, somersaulting even ... these guys rock. Then came the skateboarders. Though infinitely graceful and almost hypnotically rhythmic in the half pipe, I couldn't help but long for the motorbikes.

Almost as an interlude, street-lugesters (athletes lay their backs on their boards and speed feet first) race down a winding road on the side of a hill. The break from the interviews (talking) to a more meditative music is welcome. While the segment is pleasant, it's not thrilling. And despite earlier claims that these guys can reach speeds of up to 80 mph, the displayed action feels more like 35 or 40.

Finally, the big event: poison-colored cycles soar fifty feet above the ground. Riders, so comfortable in flight, perform aerial acrobatics about their mechanical steeds sometimes letting go of them completely before returning to the seat, then Earth. Some of them occasionally land no-handed or with their legs up on the handlebars just to show off their prowess. All gorgeous. And though the slow motion photography offers a special insight into the feat, I think more "real-time" stunts ought to have been included to spark that element of speed/thrill. As for the big trick (of course, the aerial back-flip), three failed attempts are shown - all stunning and highly respectable; despite that fact that no one nails it.

While the finished product is still fun, never dull and the athletes themselves remarkable, inspired and apt, the production could have been improved in the following ways:

1. Cut the talking heads in half. (That said, I loved the well-edited bit where athletes list their injuries: "left hip, right shoulder, flat-lined twice ... etc."
2.  Vary the angles of the cameras just a tad more. And I know I'm asking a lot ... but I want that thing mounted to the bike while airborne, I want that camera in the hands of a skateboarder in the half pipe. I want to be in the experience, not just witnessing it. Put me in the event -- not the event in front of me. That said, the moments when athletes leap over and/or barely clear mounted cams - are wonderful.
3.  Loved the trick-bike cut at the end. Would have liked a full segment on that.

Ultimate X. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG.
* Starring: Bucky Lasek (Skateboarding), Dave Mirra (Bmx), Mat Hoffman (Bmx), Travis Pastrana (Moto X), Bob Burnquist (Skateboarding), Carey Hart (Moto X), Tony Hawk (Skateboard), Ryan Nyquist (Bmx Bike Park) And Many More.
*  Music includes: Black Sabbath, Incubus, Cypress Hill, 3rd Strike, P.O.D., The Suicide Machines, Handsome Devil, Grand Theft Auto, Fatboy Slim, Tricky, The Get Fresh Crew, OPM, Pennywise, Feeder, Guided by Voices, Moby, Foo Fighters, Janis Joplin, Sum 41.
*  Written and directed by Bruce Hendricks.
*  Directors of Photography: Reed Smoot, A.S.C., Rodney Taylor, C. Mitchell Amundsen.
*  Produced by Art Repola at Touchstone/ESPN.

Grade..........................B+



Copyright (C) 2002.
Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

Agree/Disagree With This Review?

Post Your Own Review | Read User Reviews | Check For Outside Reviews

Additional BMZ Reviews of Ultimate X

BMZ Review of Ultimate X by Herb Lash

Movie Reviews by Ross Anthony

National Parks Adventure
Journey to Space
Wild Africa
Space Next
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Flight of the Butterflies
To The Arctic 3D
Tornado Alley
Born to Be Wild
Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World
Hubble 3D
Resident Evil: Afterlife: An IMAX 3D Experience
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience
Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience
Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Arabia 3D
Molecules to the MAX!
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience
Shine a Light: The IMAX Experience
Beowulf: An IMAX 3D Experience
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Roving Mars
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Wild Safari 3D: A South African Adventure
Mystery of the Nile
Mystic India
Aliens of the Deep (3D)
Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
Extreme
Rolling Stones at the Max
Sharks 3D
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience
Roar: Lions of the Kalahari
Forces of Nature
Adventures in Animation (3D)
NASCAR: The IMAX Experience (3D/2D)
The Young Black Stallion
To Fly!
Silent Sky
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea
Texas: The Big Picture
Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
Ocean Wonderland (3D)
India: Kingdom of the Tiger
Straight Up!: Helicopters in Action
Coral Reef Adventure
Bugs! (3D/2D)
Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk
Ghosts of the Abyss (3D)
The Lion King (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees
Whales
Treasure Planet (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Star Wars Ep. II, Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience
Santa vs. the Snowman (3D/2D)
Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
Africa: The Serengeti
Horses: The Story of Equus
Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa
SkyDance
Australia: Land Beyond Time
Ultimate X
Space Station 3D
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West
Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition
The Human Body
Blue Planet
China: The Panda Adventure
Ocean Oasis
Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance
Everest
Bears
Ocean Men: Extreme Dive
Majestic White Horses
Amazing Journeys
Chronos
Ski to the Max
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure
NSync: Bigger Than Live
Super Speedway
Journey into Amazing Caves
ALL ACCESS: Front row, Backstage, LIVE!
Haunted Castle 3D
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (3D)
Wildfire: Feel the Heat
Encounter in the Third Dimension 3D
Galapagos
Fantasia/2000
Mysteries of Egypt
Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box (3D)
Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man (3D)
Michael Jordan to the Max
Cyberworld (3D)
Dolphins
Adventures in Wild California

Articles Archive: Newest to Oldest


Reviews Archive: Newest to Oldest