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February 5, 2013
Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
15/11/20123/12/2012Sony UniversalGregg Godfrey
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MNitro Circus Crew

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The Nitro Circus crew on top of the bus.

Admittedly franchises such as Jackass and Nitro Circus don't do too much for me, well at least they didn't a couple of years ago, but in more recent times I've come to enjoy some of the TV episodes - primarily of the former. When I heard that Nitro Circus were making a movie it generated interest - could the stuntmen put something together that amazed, inspired, or just plain entertained - and in 3D too? Well we've got the Blu-Ray and checked it out so here's our thoughts.

Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D doesn't have a story as such - it literally sees Travis Pastrana and his friends performing a series of stunts in "preparation" for a live show being launched in Las Vegas. These stunts are performed with limited safety gear which makes their appeal even higher - one mistake and there may not be any chance for a second take.

So what we have here is a series of stunts filmed in 3D with some background info on the people that make up the Nitro Circus crew. Stunts included in the film include a real-life version of Angry Birds with one of the crew members launched into a tower holding up to five others, another sees the team trying to do ride around a loop in Pastrana's back yard (including Wheelz - one of the crew who is wheelchair bound), and human golf where after launching from a ramp the participant attempts to land inside a large inflatable ball.

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Riding a motorbike across water.
The highlight of this film though involved two stunts in Panama - the first involves a base jump off the top of a building after being launched from a large air sack when two "Elvis" (or is that "Elvii") impersonators jump on the other end while the second is the conclusive stunt in the film which sees the stuntmen jumping from one building to another - 60 floors up. It's pretty riveting, although it's clear the stuntmen can easily make the distance. Still, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have the balls to attempt it.

Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D is much tamer then I expected actually. While Jackass involves more "idiodic" stuff, it can be funnier. The stunts pulled here are definitely cool, and dangerous, but it just falls flat. It builds up to a big live show in Las Vegas, and then shows almost nothing of it.

Perhaps fans of this group will get more out of this then me, but it's hardly a movie, and the stunts, while we can see the danger, aren't the most exciting, or entertaining we've seen on film. Disappointing.

Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D includes both the 2D and 3D versions of the film on a single disc. The 2D version is presented at HDTV screen-filling 1.78:1 aspect ratio using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. According to IMDB this was the original aspect ratio the film was displayed at in cinemas which is somewhat unusual (cinemas are usually 1.85:1). The video bitrate is actually quite low through much of the film - well below 20Mbps, but the variety of camera types and qualities (besides the Red Epic cameras), means the picture quality is quite variable. Fine detail levels are variable, colours are occasionally inaccurate and shadow detail sometimes lacks. Still, it's not a bad looking film by any stretch.

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This stunt is one of the films (few) highlights.
Looking at the 3D version of the film and there are moments when there is some nice 3D depth, but in terms of the 3D visuals the highlight is the opening 5 minutes of the film before the title comes up with the stunts being performed on motorcross/stunt track. Motorbikes and cars go flying around performing all manner of tricks. After this though the film never really provides the same level of extra dimensionality - one person performing a stunt, often by launching off a ramp, doesn't allow the most depth-perceptive scenes. There are also some stock footage scenes that don't make use of the extra dimension. Still, this 3D film has its moments so for a few dollars more than just the 2D version (and the 3D disc - which is a JB Hi-Fi exclusive in Australia at the moment - allows you to select from either), it might be worth the extra investment.

Audio on this Blu-Ray is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) and while there are some scenes with plenty of surround sound effects, or sub-woofer use, these are primarily the large crowd or scenes or opening scenes on the dirt track wtih the music. Much of the film though is front heavy with the members of Nitro Circus talking while each stunt is being setup or performed. Don't get me wrong it's not that the audio on this release is dull, it's just that the material doesn't provide for the most thrilling audio experience.

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This opening sequence is the best for 3D.
There are no other audio tracks on this disc and only a single English SDH subtitle track. We sampled the subtitle track in several locations and it was accurate to the on-screen dialogue, with text placed near the person talking.

There are only a few extras on this disc, but fans of Nitro Circus will want to check these out.

Intro (11:50/HD): Available from the Main Menu, or played before the main film, this is a new intro showing off some more crazy antics from the Nitro Circus crew that didn't make the final cut.

Trailer (2:22/HD): Here's the trailer for the film which pretty much shows the best stunts from the film - spoiler filled so skip this unless you want to see what it's all about.

Steve-O Interview (0:19/HD): Holy Shit!! What an interview and I feel ripped off as the credits run after 13 seconds. Man what an insight we get after 13 seconds! This is the worst, blatant rip-off marketing I have ever seen as this is posted on the back of the Blu-Ray cover as a Bonus Feature. Hell, it took me 5 times longer to type this then watch the whole interview (but I guarantee you'll get more enjoyment out of this too!).

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Yep, it's golf, using humans!
All Season Long (0:32/HD): Just as pointless as the interview, this is an advertisement for Red Bull All Season Long.

Gory Outtakes (7:18/HD): Hooray! A decent extra at last with the gory bits - and yes, there are some pretty gory moments. This extra, unlike the others, is worth a look (unless you're squeamish!).

Fans of Nitro Circus will likely enjoy this film, but for newcomers, or those looking for a great 3D experience may want to look elsewhere. Despite the back of the box the extras are near non-existent, and the audio visual quality isn't worth getting excited about. A rental at best.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Sony Universal. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.