NASCAR - The IMAX Experience
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NASCAR: The IMAX Experience (DVD)
Celebrating Warner Bros.' first foray into the IMAX arena, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience literally transports auto racing fans and other spectators into the driver's seat to experience all the heart-pounding thrills and intense drama of the unpredictable action on the track. This groundbreaking film also goes behind the scenes to uncover the science, technology and teamwork that fuel America's most popular spectator sport.]]>
Until you've seen NASCAR: The IMAX Experience, you haven't really seen NASCAR. Even without the advantage of a gigantic IMAX screen and 70-millimeter 3-D projection, this 48-minute IMAX film is a perfect primer for newcomers to the sport of stock-car racing. Like all IMAX films it's aimed at a mainstream audience (hardcore NASCAR fans won't learn anything new here), so it covers a broad spectrum of general history, technical information, and pure high-speed adrenaline, from NASCAR's origins in 1947 to the oval-track highlights of the 2003 season. While Lonesome Dove director Simon Wincer captures the action (including some amazing mid-pack and cockpit footage during actual races), Kiefer Sutherland narrates an informative survey of season-long activities, from car building and safety measures at Mooresville, North Carolina, to pit-crew practice, transportation logistics, constant danger and its effect on drivers' wives and families, and the aerodynamics of drafting. Interesting trivia (each tire costs $389!) is included along with driver profiles and a compilation of memorable race finishes, but it's the IMAX footage that makes this a thrill-a-minute DVD, perfect for anyone who's just beginning to enjoy the world's fastest (and fastest-growing) sport. --Jeff Shannon
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The movie is great to introduce NASCAR to people who are starting to have an interest but do not wish to read an encyclopedia about it. It's a 50-minute film with Kiefer Sutherland narrating. He definitely sounds like he's reading from the script that he doesn't exactly know where to put emotion or emphasis, but he gets the point across rather well.
The movie is dated. Since this thing was filmed, there have been many changes to NASCAR (car design, race format, Chase format, etc) but you get a nice taste of history and very good (albeit brief) overview of how NASCAR existed and exists today. If you *really* wanted to understand NASCAR, get out that encyclopedia and watch race after race after race.
My young son who is interested in NASCAR likes it and got a better idea of why daddy is glued to the TV set every Sunday (or Saturday night).
The soundtrack is pretty awesome if you're really into this type of stuff. I thought the music was very appropriate for the scenes and the camera angles were quite impressive.
I saw this when it came out in IMAX and it was sweet then. I understand it isn't IMAX on my TV but that doesn't detract from it.
Plus it's really funny to see how young some of the drivers were back when this was filmed...like Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman. Even Dale Jr looks like a young pup.
I recommend for people who are fans of NASCAR. I mean, if you really wanted great NASCAR films, you'd have to include this one with "3," "Days of Thunder," "Stroker Ace," "Six Pack" and even Pixar's "Cars."
I bought this DVD for my son for his birthday a couple of weeks ago. It's really interesting and well done. I watch it having already been brought up to speed on the sport; I know nearly all the drivers, their sponsors, and their car numbers. But I imagine this documentary would be nearly as fascinating to newbies, mostly because of the IMAX treatment -- cameras putting you "right there," in this case right down on the track as cars whip by.
The DVD includes a good history lesson and great explanations of how a track functions on race day. The pit crews get proper treatment, too. One criticism is that few individual races or drivers are highlighted; perhaps the filmmakers simply wanted to emphasize the "experience."
I wish I had seen this on an IMAX screen!
NASCAR - The IMAX Experience is a good place to start for those who have not followed NASCAR closely, or who have never attended a NASCAR race. The plot line of the movie briefly covers the history of NASCAR including its well-known roots in moonshine running all cleverly recreated, and then loosely follows the pre race prep of a typical team. Behind the scenes footage at this point is very good and the race scenes are also good. To get five stars I would have wished for much much more onboard footage and for cameras to be placed in strategic locations to open up the behind the scenes activities during the race. That's a lot to ask for but there it is.
Overall, a good film at a very reasonable price that would appeal to novice or younger NASCAR enthusiasts.