If you were ever to pick an "armchair sportsfan" then I would be a perfect candidate. I don't get out and play sport, but I'll pretty much watch anything on TV (except synchronised swimming which isn't really a sport anyway). My passion is AFL, Cricket, Formula One, Soccer, V8 Supercars, and NFL, but if it's on, I'll watch it. Indeed over the years I've seen some limited coverage of the Isle of Man TT upon which this documentary was based so I was pretty keen to check it out. What I discovered though was a documentary which both sports fans, and non-sports fans alike, will enjoy.
TT3D: Closer to the Edge looks at the obsession with one of the most unique, and deadly, motorsports in the world - the Isle of Man TT which sees motorcyclists racing at almost 300km/hr around a street circuit. The documentary focuses on fan favourite Guy Martin in his efforts to take out his first win at the 2-week long event in 2010.
With a runtime of 104 minutes this is a fairly lengthy documentary and while it gets a little pedestrian at times this long runtime allows you to know the riders, particularly Guy, and go on the emotional journey with him through the 2010 Isle of Man event. Cinematography is occasionally lacking, but at other times it's absolutely astounding and you really do get a sense of the danger these riders face to achieve glory.
One thing that surprised, and disappointed a little is that while the documentary focuses on how much the racers risk their lives, few crashes are really shown and when they are, there's little close-up footage of the actual crash, and the aftermath - even for some of the major crashes featured in this documentary. Perhaps showing some of the medical attention given to the riders, the crowd reaction, the "wreckage" of the bikes could have been included. Sure, we understand that there are limited cameras covering a circuit running over 37 miles in length, but surely cameras could have been placed on more "key" corners. There are moments with riders crashing at key locations that are only shown from distant shots or as still images.
Whichever format you chose you'll find the quality of the footage to a bit of a mixture from visually stunning (mostly the racing scenes) to pretty dull interviews on locations such as in houses, garages, or around the circuit. The documentary also contains plenty of stock footage from previous years and the quality of that footage is, understandably, variable.
TT3D: Closer to the Edge on Blu-Ray contains only a single subtitle track which from the brief samples we went through was accurate to the on-screen dialogue.
The Blu-Ray release of TT3D includes plenty of additional features although there isn't a tremendous amount in substance.
Contributor interviews (16:17/HD): This extra contains extra interview clips with various participants in the documentary with additional details about the sport and their involvement.
Guy Martin (5:15/HD): This is a further series of clips filmed with Guy Martin.
Richard 'Milky' Quayle describes the TT course (21:52/HD): Racing fans will love this as we have a drive around the course with commentary about the different corners and how to handle the tricky corners.
Bridget Dobbs reflecting on TT2010 and the future (14:53/HD): The wife of one of the Isle of Man racers reflects on the 2010 event, what it was like with her husband for several years learning the circuit and loving the event. She then goes on to detail the events of his final race in 2010 which is quite emotional footage.
Stephen Davidson, Photographer and Author (5:58/HD): This is a fascinating look at a photographer from the race and what it takes to get the best shots during the event. There are some small issues with the old video footage used in this featurette.
John McGuinness & his Father (4:21/HD): A brief conversation between John and his father in which they recall various moments from the Isle of Man TT.
Jenny Tinmouth (4:02/HD): One of the few female racers, and the current record holder for speed is interviewed briefly.
Nick Crowe, Sidecar champion (2:53/HD): This is a short look one of the major sidecar incidents as detailed in the documentary.
Connor Cummins Road To Recovery (10:34/HD): This featurette looks at the recovery Conner went through after his crash at the 2010 event.
Review By: Dave Warner