Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Long Way Down The Complete Series|
PAL/Region 0. Three disc special edition. It contains the complete 10 episode extended series, previously unseen extras and includes The Missing Face documentary - the story of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's first vi... more »
Not nearly as good as Long Way Round or Race to Dakar
Timothy Sedor | 05/15/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like many of you who have seen or even own "Long Way Round" and "Race to Dakar", I'm sure you were excited when it was announced Charlie, Ewan, and crew were getting together once again for another adventure. Unfortunately, LWD (Long Way Down) does not live up to the hype (and certainly did/does not justify the "paid" membership to their website). Complaints are as follows:
Charlie and Ewan spend a good part of the trip complaining about being "rushed". This equates to a negative attitude from the participants throughout the trip and more importantly, we the viewer see little of Africa. The focus is more on staying on a set schedule, which the complaining participants created, rather than a motorcycle adventure. Don't get me wrong, Charlie & Ewan do get off their bikes, but the majority of the series could've been shot anywhere as we are subjugated to far too numerous helmet cam shots and close-ups plus the endless setting up for camp & camping footage.
Wrong bikes for the series. There is no need to use the big BMW GS when a more off-road capable bike and more reliable (for fun, count the number of shocks that break) would do - especially when a support vehicle is never more than an hour away. Unlike the Long Way Round series, Charlie and Ewan spend 90% of their time in Africa with the film crew just out of range of the cameras. Of course, at the beginning of each episode we are told that the film and support crew would only meet up at borders but that is far from the truth. We the viewer, get tired of Ewan complaining about how difficult the roads are to navigate - and his love for pavement - suggestion - go tour Germany.
Long Way Round was a buddy movie. LWD is a Ewan McGregor family adventure. Pops and brother join Ewan on the first leg of the journey and mom meets up towards the end. Not too bad, most would say, but wait ... Ewan's wife joins the gang for 11 days in Africa. Nothing like a high-maintenance zero-personality female sidekick WHO HAS NEVER RIDDEN A MOTORCYCLE to further ruin the harmony of the group. You can see it in Charlie's reactions and Ewan's ambivalence to the feelings of all the members of the group.
Odds are, it was Ewan's name that drew financial support for this project. As a result, the camera is focused on him the majority of the time and yes, like the first series, he name drops the movies he has been in throughout the filming in LWD. I, like many, will get a good laugh when Charlie and Ewan visits the set of the original Star Wars movie in Tunisia and not one single tourist recognizes him.
The one disappointment that will stick in my mind is the lack of respect Charlie and Ewan show towards the President of Rwanda. They are invited to attend a local wedding and while there, receive an invitation to meet with president. The group goes out and purchases cheesy suits and shoes and treats the visit as a joke, even trying to drop a funny line "I love what you've done to the place" prior to leaving. This segment is placed between visiting two separate scenes that focused on people who were killed during the genocide. I was not offended, just disappointed in their level of maturity which makes me question their level of sincerity regarding Unicef.
I'm giving this series a generous 3 stars. It could've been worse, but certainly could've been much better -
More camera time for Charlie
Make the support crew invisible
Drop Ewan's wife
Slow down and enjoy the scenery
Give Ewan a reality check - dude your not Brad Pitt
Read a copy of Lonely Planet or two and be a bit more prepared for the different cultures you will meet
Teach Ewan how to ride a motorcycle off-road
Stop yelling "woo hoo" - it got old fast
On a positive note -
Watching Charlie have fun was great
Dai, the team's doctor, helping locals - good job
Ruins in Libya - a real treat for us Americans
New BMW's breaking down - who would've thought
Ewan's wife - make's me appreciate mine even more
For those who may think I may be the lone cranky reviewer, I encourage you to visit Amazon.com sites around the world, especially the United Kingdom, to see the huge amount of poor ratings this series has received. [...]
Donate to Unicef directly rather than purchase from the Long Way Down website. The kids get all your money rather than a portion of it."
Hopefully South America's Next
Bayne Wagner | Calgary, Alberta, Canada | 07/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I, for one, was hesitant to purchase this 10 episode series after some of the reviews I've read recently. But after buying it, my wife and I were happy to discover that it's just as memorable and enjoyable as 'Long Way Round'. Sure the trip itself isn't as epic, and the first half is rushed due to a tough timetable, but if you enjoyed the sense of adventure, humour and sincerity of the first series, you won't be disappointed. By the time we were watching the last episode, we were as sad as Charlie and Ewan that the adventure was ending. Even when Ewan's wife joined the boys for 10 days during the final leg of the trip the show remained enjoyable. She brought a nice change to the fantastic dynamic that will hopefully not be the last 'Long Way' series. Like Ewan says when his bike is being driven off back to BMW, "See you in South America.""
The Next Best thing To Taking The Adventure Yourself
Andrew J. Stunich | Eureka, California | 06/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love to explore and love motorcycles, do not start watching this documentary until Friday after work so that you will have the entire week-end to finish. Otherwise, you might be MIA (missing in action) at work because you cannot pull yourself away. I wish someone had warned me in advance. I could not stop watching. I felt like I was able to vicariously enjoy their adventure. Now, If only I could afford a BMW R1200 GS Adventure (the type of motorcycle used in the documentary), my face might appear on milk cartons because I would go exploring. This was far more entertaining than you might imagine. I highly recommend it. My only caveat is that my copy came in some type of European format that my DVD player could not read. I had to have a friend make a copy in the U.S. format for me so be careful when you order."
Long Way Down
L. Whealy | Northeastern Arizona, USA | 12/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long Way Down: Complete TV Series
A fantastic journey which delights all. Travel lovers will relish this production, along with those who just love adventure from their living rooms. A treat for all, just verify the format when received; it is necessary to have the correct format depending on where you live in this great big world!"