Westward Education and ultimate sports to the Imax
Wild Adventures in California
Review by Ross Anthony

Arriving late to the screening, I hurry into the darkness to see a skydiver boarding right toward me. Immediately my sense of balance escapes me and I reach for the railing.

If you think you've been spoiled by the glorious 3D Imax - think again. This 2D production still has the awesome power to suck you in and send you reeling.

Fantastic camera work. Imax cameras are no small machines ... and to find a way to strap them to ski's rushing along side a skier as he approaches the snow jump - that's remarkable. Well worth the effort. This film was so exciting, I returned to the theater to see it from the start.

Here's what you'll get:

  1. Maverick surfers taking on the West Coast's ultimate waves and braving a bed of rocks to do it.
  2. A couple of skysurfers strap on the 80 pound Imax camera and go for a jump - make that 30 jumps.
  3. A biologist climbs giant sequoia trees - the world's largest.
  4. Ironworkers pussyfoot the meter wide cables of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  5. A nimble marine biologist swims with otters.
  6. A look at Walt Disney and a stroll down Oscar lane.
  7. A rescued bald-eagle chick is returned to its cliff-peak nest.

The production team does an excellent job of weaving these stories together, using the seams to propel the audience instead of pause them. The music rocks and rolls with the images. And the idea of mixing conservative education with ultimate sports is a fine one.

So ... here's my only bone, and admittedly it is extremely nitpicky. A small clip of narration: "The early settler's first impulse was to cut the huge trees down." Now how can historians know what the first impulses of any group of people were?. Perhaps the early settlers had this to say to each other:

Settler 1
Holy ****! look at the size of those trees!
Settler 2
Yeah, they're gorgeous.
Settler 1
So, beauty then.
Settler 2
Yes, beauty, that's our first impulse.
Settler 1
Great, get the ax. We got to start making roads and houses and things, so environmentalists of the future can get all cozy and write nasty guesses at our first impulses after we just crossed hundres of miles of hostile land on our feet.

This segment is equally magnificent, and I'm not anti-environmentalist, they're important, in fact I'm grateful they're around. Thank you guys, only please try to be as considerate of people as you are of plants and animals.

But I digress. It's a small thing, just bugged me. Where was I? Oh yes...Wonderful mix of an uplifting score and upbeat pop music including Fleetwood Mac's "Go your own way." I loved this flick.

  • Wild Adventures in California. Copyright © 2000.
  • Narrated by Jimmy Smits
  • Starring Sue Cambell, Jeff Clark, Troy Hartman, Joe Jennings, Peter Sharpe, Steve Sillett.
  • Directed by Greg MacGillivray.
  • Written by Mark Krenzien.
  • DP: Brad Ohlund & Greg MacGillivray.
  • Editor: Jim Foster.
  • Score: Daniel May and Steve Wood.
  • Songs: Lindsey Buckingham.
  • Produced by Greg MacGillivray and Mark Krenzien and Alec Lorimore at MacGillivray/Freeman (c)2000.


Copyright © 2000. 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

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:50:02 PDT