Only 60% shot in high definition
M. Dawson | 11/11/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Great movie, but if you are buying the blu ray, be aware that 40% of the movie is shot in standard definition, very disappointed as this is the only reason i bought it was for high definition action.
still the action is great."
Warren Miller's Playground - Great Footage, But The Intervie
Mark | East Coast | 01/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Playground is kind of a high water mark for Warren Miller documentaries. Several segments features crisp camera work that seems improved. All of the locations are amazing, and it's definitely something I plan to watch again. We have Dubai, Sweden, and Aspen among the many locations. But if you're looking for the maximum amount of actual skiing and snowboarding footage, most of his previous movies have more.
This documentary represents a significant departure from his successful formula. All of the same elements are here. We get great ski and snowboard footage collected by a common theme. We also have some comedic moments and wipe-out footage. And of course there are plenty of interviews with the athletes.
The difference really is mostly in the ratio of those elements. In the past the interview and introductory clips for each location were mostly quick segments that were lightly peppered into large amounts of actual riding footage featuring crazy vertical drops and long runs. Here, the interviews feel like they are much longer than in the past.
And the portions describing the various locations are also much longer, or at least they seem that way. That in and of itself could be forgiven. After all the actual theme of this video seems to center around premium locations, so describing them a little bit more is probably to be expected.
Interestingly enough, some of the best footage is the Utah clips. Utah has definitely been featured in previous Warren Miller videos, but here we get beautiful shots of tons of power flying up into the riders' faces. It's almost like a Utah tourism video. Perhaps those clips were shot in HD, since some of those shots seemed much crisper than some of the other footage. Whatever the reason, there is still some great footage here. I just wish there was much more.
One of the cuter segments focuses on a group of young kids as they free-ride and tear up a terrain park. Some of those kids are actually pretty impressive.
As in all Warren Miller videos, this is ski entertainment and not meant to be used for instruction. The soundtrack is good and used very effectively with the clips. But with some of the interview sections, it's almost used too well. It's hard not to notice the prolonged bio segments when it takes several songs to finish them.
If you love to learn about the personal lives of your favorite skiers and snowboarders, those extended interviews will be welcome interludes. If you are looking for the maximum amount of footage, you may want to check out one of his other videos.
Best Warren Miller Flick In Years
Paul McGinley | 09/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We all know that the Miller flicks went downhill once he wasn't involved, but this time around that is completely false!
Johnny hits the narration spot on, the scenes highlight the fun, extreme, serious, and wacky sides of the spot right on, and the music... wow... the music... just wait until the closing montage.
Great skiing - miss the ole Warren Miller narative thou
K. Virden | Madison, WI | 03/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Loved all the wonderful skiing - per Warren's typical, it's awesome. but I sure miss the Warren Miller narative that he used to do."