Friday, February 7, 2014

Warren Miller's Like There's No Tomorrow Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Scott Meyers
For the sixty second year in a row, Warren Miller Entertainment brings you snow, steeps, and the skiers and snowboarders who throw themselves into both with an abandon that amazes and inspires us all. Hosted by Jonny Moseley and shot on location in Colorado, Utah, California, New Zealand, Chile, Alaska and British Columbia, . . . Like There’s No Tomorrow is your annual reminder that Winter is on its way and, with it, months of an adrenaline-fueled dance with gravity. This is is a celebration of these moments, the ones that make up the winter for people who live for it. Join Chris Davenport, Daron Rahlves, Colby West, Andy Mahre, Seth Wescott, Julia Mancuso, and more as they drop into the runs we see in our dreams as we wait for the seasons to change.

Film (5 out of 5 stars) 
Let's put on some boots, clip on a pair of skis, grab your polls and head down the slopes. This film/documentary style film brings the fast-paced, action-packed world of downhill skiing to life right in your own living room. Warren Miller has been making these films since 1950 and they still bring the excitement and thrill to viewers. This film takes us all around the world starting off in India; then to Squaw Valley, CA; then to Tuckerman Ravine, NH; Norway; Portillo, Chile; Monashees, British Columbia; New Zealand; Salt Lake City, UT; and finally to Cordova, Alaska.

Each stop has professional skiers traveling to these locations and it starts off in Kashmir, India with to female stars: Mel and Lindsey where we first see the countryside (mountains and cities) where there is no snow. Then the ladies are helicoptered up 15,000 feet to places that have never been seen before. This is a very "spiritual destination" to ski. Next we are brought all the way to the United States, to Squaw Valley, California, where people are always bringing new adventures to. The locals love to wake up to ski patrol "bombing" the mountain to get the mountain ready for the skiers. Many locals grew up on this mountain and live to pass the torch onto the next generation skier; it is their home and they take pride in their home.

Now we travel cross-country to beautiful New England to a place called Tuckerman Ravine in New Hampshire. This mountain is much smaller than out west and they have lots of cross-country skiing here as well as downhill skiing. This place has a long history in the skiing world. From a place with a long history to a place that is very new, Hatveit Backyard Jam in Norway. Located 3 and a half hour Northwest of Oslo this location is very different than everything we have seen: this is someone's backyard. Andreas Hatveit built this park in his backyard because he wanted a place to unwind and skip school with the help from his brother, June. Andreas now holds competitions that riders come from all over Europe to compete in. He allows anyone to ride on his hill; his only rule is that you carry your own weight on the mountain.

Next we find ourselves in Portillo, Chile in the Andes Mountains. This place is much different than all the other places in this film, it is found in the Southern Hemisphere. This mountain finds all the great skiers from the Northern Hemisphere during their "off-season" because the Southern Hemisphere's winter season is during the Northern's summer season. Many use this for off-season training grounds as well as places to do photo shoots. Stop six finds us in Monashees, British Columbia, Canada, where they get deep soft snow that the skiers love to plow through on a daily basis. Everyday new snow seems to fall which allows the riders to ride the same lines everyday over and over. They talked about riding through "pillows" which are giant mounds of soft snow the skiers are able to blow right through and they just explode in a cloud of snow.

The last international location is New Zealand, a place where riders can go to get away from the crowds. This location has natural beauty from the mountains that pop out of the ground. The snow is so high up in the mountains that it does not reach all the way to the bottom of the mountain. Winter months the valley floor has a temperature of about 60 degrees and the sheep farmers are herding their sheep across the hills; yet there is plenty of fresh snow in the mountains. Riders must helicopter up the mountain to be able to ride down. Our second to last stop is in Salt Lake City, Utah, where no matter where you are from in the world every skier feels you should ski there at least once. Even the most experienced rider is in awe at how much snow Utah receives and stories are told that makes any rider jealous and want to go.

The final stop we find ourselves in is Cordova, Alaska; this is a mountain that you would have all to yourself, there would not be another person on your mountain. Along with all the stops the film had some extra topics; the first thing that was brought up was this idea of "Board Members" which is the next generation of mountain riders, which instead of riding on skis they are on snowboards. Everyone feels this is where the sport is progressing to. Another aspect of the sport of skiing is a new competition of Bonzai in which the best riders are going up to each other, head-to-head, to see who will make it down the mountain first. 

This competition basically has no rules, the only real rule is the riders must go through the gates, and see just who survives to the end on some of the most extreme terrain anyone will ever ride on. I really enjoyed the final bit where the riders talked about the "Terrain Transformers" which are riders who turn anything and everything into parts of their runs. From buildings and bridges to soccer goals, stair hand-rails, and pipes, to vehicles and even vertical walls; but they also create natural jumps on the sides of mountains and even carve out quarter pipes. They just love to push the envelope to the next level. I really enjoyed this film and its credo of "Tomorrow doesn't matter, live in the moment" which is how everyone in this film lives each day. 

Video (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Presented in 1080p with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio this film uses many types of footage, we have some handheld footage and some aerial video from helicopters. The film also includes some footage from rider-mounted go-pro camera to get some up-close first-person shots. The video was worth every part of the Blu-ray quality that you get. 

Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
With two options of either DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (default) or 2.0 PCM Stereo, most of the audio is the narration from world-renowned skier Jonny Moseley but also includes personal interviews and commentary from the other riders in the film. Music was added to the action sequence to make the footage much more exciting. Overall a good combination of dialogue and music to create an enjoyable film. 

Extras (1 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Teasers of locations - Short minute and a half video of the locations in the film, the people on the locations, and the equipment they used on location.

Denver Big Air Event -Sneak Peek of the competition where the best trick wins, just a clip of the event does not actually show event. 

Summary (4 out of 5 stars)
These riders are at the top of their profession and they make what they do easy. The footage at the end of the film shows the riders have fun off screen and it shows they love what they do and would not want to be doing anything else. The footage of the locations shows some beautiful scenery and has some amazing footage filmed in both the first and third person point of view. This video made me want to strap on a pair of skis and fly down the mountain. This video is a bucket list of a skier's paradise as well as just plain beautiful places to travel.

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