ESPN's Ultimate X: The Movie (2002)
Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Tony Hawk (4); Bob Burnquist (4); Bucky Lasek (4)
Easter Egg-Wrecks-Tra (4)
Featurette-Travis Pastrana (3); Brian Deegan (2); Carey Hart (2)
Featurette-Corey Nastazio; T.J. Lavin (2); Ryan Nyquist (3)
Featurette-Stephen Murray; Dave Mirra (3)
Featurette-2001 Downhill Finals Run; BMX Dirt Stunt; BMX Legends
Featurette-Street Luge (3)
Music Video-X-Gallery Mega Mix (6)
Featurette-Hits & Misses
Easter Egg-Vuja De
Featurette-Girls of the Games
Notes-Bonus Materials Song List
Easter Egg-DVD Credits
Active Subtitle Track-Ultimate Interactive Version
|Year Of Production||2002|
|Running Time||37:40 (Case: 71)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Bruce Hendricks|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Fabiola De Silva
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.44:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, Everywhere you look.|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Mankind has always played sports. Sometimes against others in the primal need to compete, to conquer, to dominate, while at other times to challenge one's self; to push the boundaries and to see 'what am I capable of'. Sometimes these two quests meet in a different fashion, where the competition becomes camaraderie and those who compete seek not only to push themselves to see what their limit is, but to push their peers to their extreme limits as well. This is the essence of the X Games, where the line between team-mate and competitor blur.
The X Games (or the Extreme Games as they were originally known) were conceived by the U.S. cable sports network ESPN in the early 90s as an experiment to create a competition highlighting some of the newer breeds of sports that had developed over the years. These would include bungee jumping, mountain biking, bicycle stunt riding, skateboarding, and skysurfing, amongst others. Whilst not orthodox television sports, the network thought that there could perhaps be a market for the broadcast of such sports that might be attractive to the younger viewer. They couldn't have been more right.
This film (shot to be seen in the IMAX format) demonstrates some of the fantastic talent that has developed over the years in some sports that many might not know even existed. From David Rogers in Street Luge to Bob Burnquist in Skateboarding to Travis Pastrana in Moto X, this is the cream of the crop that their respective sports have to offer and there are some truly extraordinary demonstrations of talent here.
This film covers the 2001 Summer X Games held in the U.S. city of Philadelphia. Here we have the best of the best performing at their peak including Carey Hart attempting to do the first backflip on a motorcycle. BMX? Sure, easy. Moto X? Well, perhaps not so easy. Another highlight includes skateboarder Bob Burnquist turning on the performance of a lifetime. If you have ever heard of an athlete being 'in the zone' but always wanted to see what it really meant, have a look at this as a prime example. Here we have Bob truly on fire and all you can say is 'Burn baby, Burn'. We have The Mad Lad Travis Pastrana proving again that he is unbeatable in the Freestyle competition with tricks and jumps that are just unbelievable. Someone forgot to tell this kid that you can't fly without wings and gravity can't be defeated and here Travis proves again and again that he can in fact do both. We also get to see Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk strutting his stuff and showing why he is one of the best in the world and the first skateboarder to successfully do a 900, a trick done in BMX but not in Skateboard until 1999.
This is a real showcase of the talents of a new breed of sportsman (sportsman is a gender neutral term so don't get me started) and quite a bit of fun if you are a fan of the new extreme sports that have come to the fore in the last 10 years. If you are a fan of the X Games and extreme sports that you can sometimes catch on a Sunday morning on television then this will be right up your alley. Push play, crank it up (this movie features a killer soundtrack and some great music), and sit back and enjoy. Great fun.
This film was originally filmed for the IMAX format with an original aspect ratio of 1.44:1. We have it here on disc in an aspect ratio of 1.33.1 and this seems to capture much of the original image quite well. As would be expected, there is no 16x9 enhancement. Some of the footage was originally filmed for television broadcast while some was filmed for this feature. Despite the intended destination of this film for the IMAX format, we have an image that does work well for the smaller screen.
The image is quite sharp for quite a bit of the film. There are some clarity issues with some of the supplementary material, but the main program is quite clear with a very good picture available. Much of this film takes place in bright light situations, but the times where there are some darker portions seen on screen show a quite reasonable level of shadow detail. Low level noise didn't appear to be a problem.
Colour during the main feature is good with quite a natural look throughout. Colour's depiction on this disc is also quite good with the appropriate colours committed and portrayed accurately.
MPEG artefacts didn't present any real problems during the main feature, but there are some slight compression artefacts visible during some of the supplementary features that can be found throughout the disc. These consist mainly of pixelization and some minor macro-blocking. Whilst unforgivable during a main feature, these are somewhat acceptable during some of the extras that are found on this disc. These never disrupt to such a degree that the image becomes distracting to watch, so I didn't worry about it too much. This is quite a good transfer with little of the expected problems including a surprising lack of edge enhancement. There is just the slightest bit there, but not enough to present a real problem. The print used to commit this film to disc is quite clean with only the slightest of film flecks visible during the main feature.
There are quite a number of subtitle options available on this disc with the English subtitles quite accurate and completely able to convey the gist and meaning of the dialogue during the feature.
This disc is RSDL-formatted, but I was unable to find any layer change during the main feature. As the film only lasts for 37:40, I really didn't expect to see any layer change and suspect that the second layer contains extras whilst the first is committed to the main program and some of the supplementary materials.
As this is a documentary feature, there is quite a bit of dialogue which is very clear and understandable during the main program. The audio and dialogue quality during some of the extra materials is not quite up to standard, but again, is not so bad as to detract from the subject itself. There is some slight overmike during some of the main program, such as that seen at 10:27, but it isn't too bad, it's just there. Audio sync is also very good during the main program, but the supplementary material can be a bit of a problem sometimes such as that seen during the Bucky & Bob feature where the sync is very much off the mark.
Music for the program comes from some popular bands including Pennywise, 3rd Strike, Fallen from Earth and The Full Nine among others (including Janis Joplin). This type of high energy music perfectly suits the material and drives the action seen on screen. It's as if this type of sport was made to be watched to music, and here we have the perfect match.
There is quite a bit of surround presence to be heard during this film and it is completely in the context of the subject matter. We do get some quite pronounced rear activity such as that heard at 23:43. The Dolby Digital mix works well, but the dts seems very well suited to this type of program with a full and weighty sound coming at the listener from all sides in an aural assault. Perhaps a bit bombastic for some programs, but completely appropriate for this film.
With the program material and soundtrack, one would expect quite a bit of LFE, and indeed there is quite a bit of it to be heard. There are some standout LFE moments during the film such as 11:19 with the flashbulbs as well as at 25:44 and these are especially noticeable with the dts track where everything seems just that little bit more expansive than the more subdued but adequate Dolby Digital track.
|Surround Channel Use|
This disc features a wealth of supplementary features that highlight many of the aspects and athletes of the X Games. Sometimes (frequently, even) these extras overlap and repeat themselves, but there is quite a bit here for anyone interested in this new breed of action sport.
After the initial Language Selection menu, copyright warnings and distributor's logos, we are taken to the disc's Main Menu. After quite a bit of animated intro, we finally get a menu screen. This features some symbol icons that represent different features of the disc. There is no traditional text to speak of on the main menu, so you have to learn what each symbol means. There are 5 options displayed on screen. At first look there appear to be six, but the symbol showing what looks to be a movie camera is unselectable. I got the feeling that this particular icon was originally meant to hold the page that allowed the selection the different ways this film could be watched, but this is just a guess.
Basically, we have the following options available in the Main Menu:
The main problem with the menu system on this disc is the fact that if you select any feature, you have to endure a lengthy animation process that can become quite tiresome if all you want is to go straight to a particular section. The menus are quite clever, but infuriatingly repetitive and annoying after even just a short time using them.
Main Feature: Ultimate Interactive Version - 37:40 (normal feature length)
By selecting this feature within the Set Up menu, the viewer is presented throughout the program with pop-up icons that lead to different short featurettes on the different sporting disciplines being highlighted in the main feature. These icons pop up in the lower left of the screen from time to time and offer such information as: Athlete Profiles, Medal Moments, Trick Breakouts and X-Tras.
Introduction to the Ultimate Interactive Version: Bob Burnquist - 1:08
Bob explains how the interactive features of the enhanced version of the film work.
Profile: David Rogers - 0:57
David highlights some of the aspects of the Street Luge sport with some interesting footage of a fast paced downhill race during the 2001 games.
Medal Moment - 1:07
David shows his stuff and demonstrates why he is a force within the Street Luge discipline.
X-Tras - 3:11
Highlights some aspects of the competition within the Street Luge sport.
Profile: Brian Deegan - 1:00
Brian is an up and comer in the Moto X sport and part of the 'Metal Mulisha' and here we have a bit about the man and his passion.
Medal Moment - 1:06
Brian riding his heart out and showing why he is regarded as well as he is.
Profile: Travis Pastrana - 1:04
Travis has never been beaten in a Freestyle competition and here he shows us why that is. The boy who flys without wings.
Medal Moment - 1:47
Another perfect performance from the Mad Lad that once again shows why Travis remains at the top of his game.
X-Tras - 4:11
More of this talented youngster at work (play).
Profile: Ryan Nyquist - 0:59
A short look at this athlete and his abilities on the bike.
Medal Moment - 1:25
Ryan and his run during the 2001 games that won him a medal.
Profile: T.J. Lavin - 0:55
Another influential athlete in the BMX world. A short look at the man.
Medal Moment - 1:25
More quality riding from T.J.
X-Tras - 3:55
More stunts and tricks from T.J.
Trick Breakouts - 0:53
T.J. gives us some hints as to how he is able to do the tricks he does.
Profile: Cory Nastazio - 0:54
Nicknamed 'Nasty' on the circuit because he has a few tats and also has a bit of 'rattitude', Nastazio has been at it for a few years after working in and becoming bored with the construction industry. He looks more at ease in the BMX sport and hopes to one day coach an up-and-comer in the sport.
Medal Moment: Stephen Murray - 0:59
Another award winning performance.
Medal Moment: The Downhill BMX Final - 1:22
Have a look at these guys as they go flat-out around banked corners and over jumps in a supreme effort to win gold. The race gets very close near the finish with interesting results.
Profile: Tony Hawk - 0:48
Tony Hawk: the man who became the first to complete the 900 (up the side of the ramp, three loops mid air before landing back on the board without falling) in 1999. One of the most recognizable stars of the X Games and extreme sports in general. Has had bit parts in some major Hollywood features including Gleaming the Cube in 1989 and xXx in 2002.
Medal Moment: Hawk & MacDonald - 1:39
Tony Hawk and popular skateboarder Andy MacDonald show how they do their stuff together and feed off each other's energy to push themselves to greater levels of achievement and skill.
X-tras: Old School - 4:34
Probably one of the most interesting features on this disc, this featurette covers the early history of skateboarding with the father of the modern sport, innovator Ray Flores who has been in the skateboard business in California for decades. Features some early footage of skaters doing some fairly extreme stuff for any era, let alone early 70s. I'd have loved this segment to have gone on for much longer and it would be nice if at some time this subject could be covered by our friends at the X Games and ESPN in a much more detailed manner.
X-Tras: Bucky & Bob - 5:04
Another example of how two skaters can feed off the energy of each other and turn in some exciting performances in the skateboard realm. Bucky Lasek and Bob Burnquist turn it on.
Profile: Bucky Lasek - 0:46
A short look at this exciting athlete.
Medal Moment - 0:59
Bucky at the top of his game.
Trick Breakouts - 1:20
More of how it's done.
Profile: Bob Burnquist - 0:54
A short biography and look at this champion skater.
Medal Moment - 1:33
This is it. This is Bob 'in the zone'. After falling down and almost losing his gold medal chance, it comes done to one last 45 second run and here Burnquist turns it on in a blistering performance that leaves everyone speechless. An amazing score of 98 (when he needed a 95.5) from the judges gives Bob an unbelievable win in his sport. A major highlight.
Trick Breakouts - 1:21
More of how it's done.
X-Tras: Hits & Misses - 2:13
In the world of extreme sports, it gets either extremely good or extremely bad and here we have highlights of both. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.
Profile: Carey Hart - 0:47
Carey has tried on some major stunts and the 2001 games were no exception. Never afraid to take on the hard tasks...sometimes with mixed results.
X-Tras: The Backflip - 3:43
An easy trick, really. Go up the jump, flip (loop) over and continue down the other side. Easy, and the BMX guys have been doing it for ages and have even mastered the double loop. But hop on a Moto X bike and you have a different story. Mad Lad Travis Pastrana has tried it on for size previously, but Carey Hart seems to have a real drive to do this envelope pushing trick.
X-Tras: Broken Bones - 4:21
As the tagline for this film says, "Flying is hard. Landing is harder", as sometimes these people don't really land at all. Here we have all the crashes, thuds, bangs and crunches that you would expect to see. My personal favourite is the Moto X rider trying to do the Superman seat grab trick, except he doesn't actually grab the seat which is quite important for the trick if you want to land actually on the bike instead of impacting onto the dirt some meters behind it. Man, that's gotta hurt!
X-Tras: BMX Legends - 4:21
This short segment details some of the influence that BMX superstars Mat Hoffman and Dave Mirra have had on their sport. While Dave Mirra is fairly big in the X Games circuit, Mat Hoffman represents the pioneering aspect of the sport as someone who has been at the forefront of the sport for more than a decade. We get to see some great archive footage of Mat in his younger years doing his thing. Dave Mirra shows why he has his own video game.
Trick Breakouts - 1:04
More from the guys as they demonstrate tricks that would have killed lesser men years before.
Profile: Dave Mirra - 0:51
A short look at Dave and why he is at the top of his game.
Medal Moment - 1:04
Dave wows the crowd again and takes a medal for his hard work.
X-Tras: Girls of the Games - 3:37
In an era of so-called equality, some sportsman (again, gender neutral, so be quiet) struggle for a place in competition. Over the years, minority groups such as Jews and Blacks have faced much discrimination by others in what should rightly be their peer group. Women have suffered this injustice as well. At a time when golfer Annika Sorenstam seeks to play directly against men in her chosen sport, there is still a great deal of discrimination and objection purely because of her gender. I'm sure that the 'Baby Boomers' thought that they would be the generation to wipe out this kind of attitude, and perhaps 'Generation X' thought the same thing, but perhaps it's up to the athletes of this era and these sports to really tear down the walls and make all welcome regardless of race, gender, colour or creed. Here we have some of the more influential women athletes in the X Games including Fabiola Da Silva, the In-Line skate legend, Pam Zoolalian in the Street Luge, and Dallas Friday and Tara Hamilton on the Skiboard (water). Sadly, we don't see much of these ladies during the main program (Fabiola only), but then their sports weren't covered in the film so this oversight is acceptable. It's nice to see their talents here.
This segment features separate icons leading to features on the sports of Skateboarding, Moto X, BMX and Street Luge. Much of these features are the same as those selectable during the Enhanced Version of the film.
Selecting this icon offers up the following selections:
Medal Moment: 1:00
Medal Moment: Hawk & MacDonald: 1:39
X-Tras: 1999 X Games Skateboarding Best Trick: 5:30
Here is Tony in his amazing attempt and success at completing the first skateboard 900.
Medal Moment: 1:33 (Bob in the zone)
X-Tras: Bocky & Bob: 5:04
Trick Breakouts: 1:21
Medal Moment: :59
X-Tras: Bucky & Bob: 5:04
Trick Breakouts: 1:20
Wrecks-Tra: :56 (More crash and burn. Don't you just love it!)
Selecting this icon gives us the following choices:
Medal Moment: 1:47
Medal Moment: 1:06
Wrecks-Tra: 1:09 (More madness, carnage and mayhem)
By selecting this icon, you have the following choices:
Medal Moment: 1:25
Medal Moment: 1:25
Medal Moment: 1:04
Trick Breakouts: 1:07
2001 Downhill Finals Run: 1:22
BMX Dirt Stunt: 3:55
BMX Legends: 4:21 (the one about Dave Mirra and Mat Hoffman)
A hidden feature that shows more thrills and spills.
Selecting this icon presents us with the following features:
Profile: David Rogers: :57
Medal Moment: 1:07
Vuja De: :53 (a compilation of X Games footage)
X-Gallery Mega Mix
This is a menu offering several music video clips with the appropriate X Game footage. There is a Play All icon hidden at the top left of this screen. Otherwise, we can select the following:
Hits & Misses - 2:13
Broken Bones - 4:21
Girls of the Games - 3:37
Bonus Material Song List over 5 pages
Hidden extra: DVD Credits, single page
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
As far as I am able to determine, we have the same package afforded our cousins in Region 1. However, we do get two extra language tracks, those being the Czech and Hungarian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded mixes. We also get several more subtitle options. The Region 1 disc features Spanish and French subtitles while we get many more European and Mediterranean subtitles. Overall, I'd call this one a draw with the only advantage to us being the extra language options for those for whom English isn't their first language
This is quite an interesting film that showcases some of the very impressive talents of a new breed of athlete. If you have been a fan of the X Games or extreme sport in general, then this film is probably just up your alley. Also worth a look is the Travis Pastrana disc Revelation 199 that features some more extreme Moto X excitement. The music is hot, the athletes are way cool and their performances are on fire. Sit back and turn it up. Great fun. The video is quite good during the main feature, but is a bit affected by some compression issues during the many extras available on the disc. The audio is first rate with a weighty dts mix that serves the material well as well as a good Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The extras are comprehensive, however they can be a bit repetitive. The menu system is also long, drawn out, cumbersome and irritating over a period (all too short, actually) of time.
The video is quite good during the main feature, but is a bit affected by some compression issues during the many extras available on the disc.
The audio is first rate with a weighty dts mix that serves the material well as well as a good Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.
The extras are comprehensive, however they can be a bit repetitive. The menu system is also long, drawn out, cumbersome and irritating over a period (all too short, actually) of time.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD RA-61, using S-Video output|
|Display||Beko TRW 325 / 32 SFT 10 76cm (32") 16x9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||VAF DC-X Fronts, VAF DC-6 Center, VAF DC-2 Rears, VAF LFE-07 Sub (Dual Amp. 80w x 2)|