MOTO 4 THE MOVIE
PRICE: $27.95 (DVD) $29.95 (BLU-RAY)
WHAT IT IS:
Taylor Congdon is one of motorcycling’s most talented cinematographers, and he is also one of my good friends and mentors. Previously, Congdon produced the TransWorld Motocross Skills series of DVDs, as well as Stone Spray Sandwich, SIX, and WHY. Working alongside Congdon was always a good time, and he’s no slouch on the track, either! When Taylor’s time with TWMX came to an end four years ago, he launched what is now known as the Moto The Movie series, as well as www.MotoXCinema.com; an online video retail outlet. Following his departure, Taylor encouraged me to pick up a camera myself and set out to keep the video department at TWMX going. It’s been a fun journey, learning a craft that was completely foreign to me, and Taylor has been supportive and helpful every step of the way. For me, watching his work evolve over the years has been nothing short of amazing. As technology has improved, so have his filming techniques and production values. For kicks, I popped in Congdon’s first TWMX project – Stone Spray Sandwich – before I viewed the Moto 4 The Movie DVD. Comparing the two is ridiculous: SSS was shot on film with a hand-held camera, while M4 was created with the most advanced digital video cameras, cable cams, boom arms, dollies, and even choppers! Needless to say, Moto 4 The Movie is the most sophisticated movie dirt bikes have ever seen.
- Production value is amazing. The cinematography is absolute top-level, and Congdon and crew spare no expense or effort when it comes to getting the shot.
- Creativity abounds. Camera angles – especially the GoPro shots – are creative and intriguing. The swivel mount atop Kurt Caselli’s helmet is especially interesting.
- Soundtrack. The movie kicks off with “Radioactive” by The Imagine Dragons. The rest of the movie’s tunes are equally solid.
- Cast. As a dyed-in-the-wool motocrosser myself, I was pleased with the motocross clips with Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Dungey, Zach Osborne, Ken Roczen, Andrew Short, Eli Tomac, Jessy Nelson, and Chad Reed. Off-roaders include Taylor Robert, Kurt Caselli, Taddy Blazusiak, Robby Bell, and Kendall Norman.
- Intro clips. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I reference the internal engine component shots in the intro. One word: Amazing. Okay, two words: amazing and creative. I spoke to Taylor on the phone this morning, and when he explained how he got those shots, I about wet my pants laughing. You’ll have to check out the director’s commentary in the special features to hear for yourself, though!
- Well rounded. Like the legendary On Any Sunday, Moto 4 The Movie offers a glimpse at almost every interesting discipline in the sport of off-road motorcycling. Moto 4 The Movie is a nice package to share with non-enthusiasts as it presents a broad look at our world and presents it in an exciting, wholesome light.
I spoke with Taylor on the phone this morning after I watched Moto 4 The Movie, and he asked me to criticize it. Believe me: doing so felt almost blasphemous, as it is he that got me started in the whole video game. He wouldn’t relent, however, so it was these points that I offered up…
- Used in doses, the super slow motion shots from the Red camera are amazing and intriguing. Seeing the concurrent beauty and violence of a dirt bike at speed with a talented pilot at the controls is awe-inspiring, but the effect is a bit over-used in some of the segments. I lacked the impression of sheer speed in some of the motocross clips. (The off-road clips, however, certainly did not lack speed, and I found myself clenching my fists at times while watching Kendall Normal flying across the landscape.)
- Though I have dabbled in every form of off-road motorcycling – save for hillclimbing – and appreciate the skill it takes to race off-road, motocross is my first love and it is motocross that I want to watch, most of all. The off-road segments are exciting (Taddy Blazusiak’s is downright scary at times), but with a title like THE MOTO, I actually expected a higher ratio of MX content. And – love it or hate it – there is no denying the overall mainstream exposure that freestyle motocross has brought our sport in general. I would have liked to have seen at least one FMXer in the mix.
- Though some of the interview clips with the riders are quite insightful, they all had a very serious tone and their true personalities weren’t showcased as well as they could have been.
Moto 4 The Movie is a great watch, and one that can certainly be viewed over and over again. It is the most sophisticated dirt bike movie ever created when it comes to the technological aspects of film making, and it should not be missed. The movie is available in both DVD and Blu-Ray versions at www.MotoXCinema.com
Tell Taylor that his friends at TransWorld Motocross sent you!