||Gravity Games - Winter One (Skiing, Snowboarding, Chills & Spills)
From Mammoth Mountain in California comes a mountain of material from the inaugural Gravity Games, the hippest competition ever to hurtle downhill. This DVD, with a running time of more than 200 minutes, features elaborate coverage of events including Big Air, Superpipe, Boardercross, and Freestyle Snowboarding. Shot by a number of video and film cameras, the action footage is often stunning, and some high mountain panoramas that frame the competition scenes are gorgeous enough to look at home in a National Geographic nature documentary. Billed as a "winter lifestyle music and adrenaline sports festival," the two-week event attracted the most talented practitioners of what the narration calls "adrenaline sports." The creative presentation of the action suits the frenetic pace of the downhill events, and a soundtrack of rock and rap accompanies shots of snowboarders performing tricks high in the air.
Very brief profiles of the exuberant young athletes provide perspective on what sort of person would go rocketing down cliffs on a snowboard. "The feeling of fear turns me on," says one female high mountain snowboarder. "I don't feel any more happy than when I'm laying it on the line." This is a visually arresting and highly entertaining look at snowy sports that seem designed for a video extravaganza. In addition to the coverage of competition, a selection on the DVD aptly titled "Chills/Spills" contains about an hour of rock accompanying reckless stuff on skis and snowmobiles you don't even want to think about doing at home. --Robert J. McNamara