Release Date: April 1st (NYC-Regal Union Square 14) by IFC Films.
The Cast: Mario Andretti, Sal Fish, Ricky Johnson, Chad McQueen,Jimmy N. Roberts, Malcolm Smith
Basic Premise: A documentary about the annual Baja 1000 race.
Entertainment Value: The racing scenes are the high point of this documentary. Most of the racing scenes are breath-taking and occasionally suspenseful--especially given the danger behind the racing. There is a little touch of humor, but it is quickly taken over by the intense action. Some shots even make the viewer feel as if he or she is participating in the race as well. However, the excessive voice-over narration eventually drags the excitement down.
Spiritual Value: There isn't anything too profound or thought-provoking that is stated, whether on camera or through the voice-over narration. However, it is interesting how much guts it takes for these races to put their life on the line for glory.
Insult to your intelligence: The first insult is when one racer says that when other people besides the racers make mistakes at work, their lives are not literally at stake while the racers can injure themselves or even die while they race. That's not a very strong or considerate statement to make if you look at policemen, firemen, factory/construction workers, and soldiers who can also die any day if they make work-related mistakes. The second insult is the voice-over narration, which mostly states the obvious rather than enriching the documentary.
Number of times I checked my watch: 3
The Bottom Line: A well-shot documentary that starts off very exciting, but goes downhill eventually by the excessive voice-over narration and very little insight into the lives of the amazingly gutsy Baja 1000 racers.
Recommended Way to Watch: Fans of the race: Movie Theater (2nd Run) Non-fans of the race: VHS/DVD
The "D" Menu