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Rank (Unrated)

Release Date: June 28th, 2006 (IFC Center) by IFC Films.
Directed by John Hyams.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about bull riders competing for the Professional Bull Riding World Championship.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Each October, three finalists compete for the top prize of one million dollars and a gold belt buckle at the PBR World Championship held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The rules are simple: a rider must stay on the bull for at least 8 seconds or else he gets no points. Half of the points depend on the performance of the rider and the other half depends on the bullís performance. Director John Hyams does a great job of showing the inside of the professional bull riding world while introducing the three contestants: Adriano Moreas, Justin McBride, and Mike Leeóthe youngest at 21-years-old. Each rider has experienced many different injuries in the past ranging from broken ankles to head injuries. Itís amazing to watch them compete with the potential of imminent injury every second. Rank remains engaging to watch outside of the area with footage from the contestantsí lifeótheir family members, wives, children, and so on. Thereís also footage of the bull breeders and manufacturers, i.e. Dylan Page, who hopes to win the award of Stock Contractor of the Year which includes the prize of a Ford Pickup. During the competition, the cinematography and musical score captures the riveting tension of which contestant will ultimately get the most points during those crucial 8 seconds while their family and fans cheers them on in excitement.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, Rank doesnít explore what truly inspires these passionate bull riders to live this kind of lifestyle. They donít get paid too much money, unless they win the competition, so what drives them to continue on courageously while risking their life? More interviews with interesting questions would have helped those who arenít familiar with bull-riding understand what makes it so important to the professionals as well as to the fans.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Not enough insightful interviews.


IN A NUTSHELL: Fascinating and riveting! However, thereís not enough insight into the true passions and inspirations of the bull riders.


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