MXA TEAM TESTED: “THE GREAT OUTDOORS: TEN? DVD
WHAT IS IT? The yearly 90-minute review of the 2011 AMA 250/450 National Championship from the men who brought you The Great Outdoors. This is the 16th video in The Great Outdoors collection. (Although it is only called “Ten” because they aren’t counting all the special editions.)
WHAT’S IT COST? $24.95.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with “The Great Outdoors: Ten” DVD.
(1) Critics’ review. Last year we were less than thrilled with “The Great Outdoors: Nine,” which was actually called “The Great Outdoors: Man the Machine.” That came on the heels of the MXA gang absolutely hating “The Great Outdoors: Eight” (better known as “American Summer”). Last year, we wondered if director Troy Adamitis had lost his mojo. We are glad to report that “The Great Outdoors” is back on the pipe. Ten is a masterful telling of the 2011 AMA 250/450 Nationals.
(2) Cinematography. “Ten” walks the filmmaker’s catwalk, balancing comprehensive race coverage, artistic filming and storytelling. “Ten” is divided into two parts: 450 Nationals and 250 Nationals. There is little doubt that the 450 National coverage is the gem of this film, but that is because the 2011 AMA 450 Nationals were tense, dramatic and action-packed. The mix of race action, rider interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and the comedy of the mechanics keeps you wanting more.
(3) Highlights. Everything is highlighted?from Mike Alessi’s crash at Hangtown, to Dungey’s fuel issues in Texas, to Kevin Windham’s philosophical take on getting old, to Villopoto’s Red Bud crash, to Chad’s infamous sky shot at Millville (from three angles), to Canard’s season-ending semi-scrub at Washougal, to Dungey’s issues with his bike not starting at Southwick. In the past two years, many TGO viewers were disappointed that the filmmakers missed all of the action. This year, they didn’t miss a thing.
(4) Announcing. Fake race-announcing is kind of like spinach?it’s good for the film, but hard to swallow. We would prefer a documentary-style narrator telling the story and filling in the action, but the voice-over announcing did keep the viewer in the game.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? There were no extras; there was no blooper reel, no denouement; “The Great Outdoors: Ten” just ended with Dean Wilson winning the 250 title in Steel City (no Pala footage was shown for the 250 class). It left us not just wanting more, but waiting for the final scene. We would have liked an emotional wrap-up on par with the way Kevin Windham talked about his abbreviated season.
Compared to the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes efforts of the last couple of years, “The Great Outdoors: Ten” is Gone with the Wind.