In the beginning of this filmed extravaganza featuring snowboarding, ice climbing, and "extreme skiing," the director appears in front of the camera to explain why he traveled to Alaska with an IMAX camera crew. This unu... more »sual behind- the-scenes approach continues through Extreme Winter, and the viewer not only is treated to spectacular footage of people risking life and limb on impossibly steep terrain but is also shown exactly how the footage was captured on film. For instance, in one segment a champion snowboarder hurtles downhill, and she is closely followed by a cameraman who's performing the tricky stunt of snowboarding while also holding and aiming a 50-pound IMAX camera. The intrusion of the camera people thus begins to make sense, as one can honestly wonder who should be the star of the proceedings. The film is a tribute to Alaska itself, and some of the footage of snow-covered mountains would be spectacular treats for the eyes even if maniacs weren't snowboarding perilously close to enormous cliffs or clinging to and climbing up forbidding walls of ice. The various athletes filmed doing their risky feats on the mountains speak in interview segments, giving some insight into what possesses them to, as one aptly puts it, "face my fears." This is an exciting and highly entertaining blend of gorgeous photography and extreme sports. --Robert J. McNamara« less
"The magic of the IMAX big screen is somewhat lost. The skiing is great but the camera work is very basic. There is little to no point-of-view material. Following a skier with a helicopter or sitting back a mile away with a telephoto lens doesn't capture the real thing for a small screen. The skiing is also limited to long takes of slaloming movement which everyone has seen. Then again, maybe I just need a bigger TV."
R. Yu | Canada | 06/27/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It confounds me that the makers of this film decided to separate this whole IMAX film EXTREME into two parts - winter & summer - in its DVD release. Nevertheless, the film is just magnificent when shown in a widescreen or giant screen TV although nothing compares to the IMAX experience. A lot of its impact is lost on your own home since it's just jaw-dropping to see how majestic and incredible the mountains of Juneau, Alaska. The snowboarding & skiing footages are shot mostly from a chopper hovering above, and there's only one shot of a rider with a camera trailing behind (due to the fact that the runs are very steep and the camera weights around 50 pounds). The ice-climbing is quite tedious but shows how dangerous the climb is. Overall, an above-average effort. The EXTREME summer edition shows more adrenaline though."
Great movie, bad transfer to DVD...
toddjb123 | germantown, md United States | 11/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The cinematography of this movie is amazing. Great shots, beautiful runs, amazing athletes and a committed film crew. The transfer to DVD, though, is very poor. I find it hard to believe that they went through so much effort to capture this beautiful photography and the DVD transfer is obviously an afterthought. It is pretty grainy and on a 61 inch rear projection widescreen I may as well be watching VHS. I really hope they re-release this as a digitally remastered DVD. I'd buy it again just to have these pictures in the media quality they deserve. On the up side, it has convinced me that I should book a spring skiing/snowboarding trip to Alaska. :)"
toddjb123 | 03/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is just so beautifully shot. Not only is the photography amazing, but the Alaska scenery will live on in your memory, and the music is fantastic too. The CD soundtrack from this film is restful and unusual, and is one of my favourites. I'm not even an athlete, and wouldn't have thought a film about snowboarding, skiing, surfing and ice-climbing would appeal to me at all. But all I can say is this is truly a work of art."
toddjb123 | 01/10/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a ski or snowboard or an 'extreme' sport movie. It is a making of a movie. And it therefore is horrible. This is essentially the making of the IMAX movie EXTREME. You learn about lighting and how to put together a camera boom. Yipppeee! There is this repetitive tribal beat in the background that gets really annoying. And guess what? It gets even better. There is a making of bonus section! You get the making of ... the making of EXTREME for IMAX. Don't waste your money on this. I personally will never buy another movie from this production company."