cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

nitro circus
Click for full sized poster

Nitro Circus:
The Movie in 3D

Starring the Nitro Circus crew with Johnny Knoxville
Screenplay by Gregg Godfrey Travis Pastrana Jeremy Rawle
Based on the MTV2 cable series
Directed by Gregg Godfrey and Jeremy Rawle
website: http://nitrocircus.com/go/the-nitro-circus-3d-movie/

IN SHORT: Don't Try This At Home. [Rated PG-13 for depiction of extreme and dangerous stunts throughout, and for language. 80 minutes]

The Nitro Circus crew includes X-Games hero Travis Pastrana, Jolene Van Vugt, Streetbike Tommy [Passemante], Gregg Godfrey, Jeremy Rawle, Erik Roner, Special Greg [Powell], Jim DeChamp, Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham and Parks Bonifay. We wanted to give props to the entire Nitro Circus crew before they manage to pull off a stunt that gets one of 'em killed. More important, though, is that "Wheelz" has Spina Bifida, a birth defect that means he does his stunts in a wheelchair. He does it, he says, to set an example to any one else with a similarly crippling situation. We'll come back to that notion in a paragraph or three . . .

Once Upon A Time there was a man named Evel Knievel who found fame and fortune and every thing that goes with it -- in his case it meant (eventually) breaking every single bone in his body -- by climbing on his motorcycle and jumping cars, and then buses, and eventually river gorges and/or valleys and most of downtown Las Vegas. In his day there was no cable pay-per-view. If you didn't see it live or on the occasional television broadcast, you only knew the legend.

And since no kid that saw any of the televised jumps ever listened to a parental unit who screamed "Don't You Even THINK Of Trying To Do That !!!!!" well . . . you know. Kids do what kids do. Some kids grow up, so to speak, to become legendary, like the "jackass" (of name and film) Johnny Knoxville, who describes Nitro Circus thusly: "on Jackass we set up situations designed to fail. Nitro Circus sets up situations where, if they fail, they die..." That's an approximate quote. We weren't taking notes. So, consider a situation like this:

Two fat Elvis Presley impersonators jump off the top of a skyscraper tower, to land on an inflated tube ten stories below. On the other end of that tube, which juts out beyond the edge of the building, is another Nitro Circus performer who is sent flying out into the ozone, with only a parachute to break the 400 something feet fall to his untimely death. The numbers are approximate. The time allowed to pull the ripcord and hope that the parachute fully deploys is minimal. The threat of imminent death is very real. A pro stunt person may call that "idiocy" but we don't know any pro stunt, folk so we can't say. You'll see the result in the movie. Or consider this sequence:

In New York City, a flatbed truck comes speeding down Second Avenue. Approaching 57th street, the driver realizes his brakes aren't working and, rather than taking out the pedestrians crossing said avenue, he aims his truck at the corner street lamp. The lamp stops the truck. The lamp is knocked off its base and smashes a truck on 57th street, waiting to cross the avenue. The globe of the lamp, though, is whipped around by the impact and comes smashing down on the head of a pedestrian (and the net result kinda looks like this). That is called an accident. It is a sequence doesn't happen in Nitro Circus -- it happened to yours Cranky back in 1988 -- but the results of my accident were close enough to a stunt that (nearly kills) actor Jim DeChamp in Nitro Circus the Movie in 3D that I had to step out of the theater. For a second or two. [substitute the roof of a car for the street lamp globe and you'll recognize it when you see it]. We were told by cast member Jolene Van Vugt that DeChamp's back was broken and that he is in recovery. That's fancy talk for "he's damned lucky he wasn't killed in the sequence." Three years, four surgeries and five years of rehab and now, nearly 25 years later, we're still not right. Thanks for asking.

Which is why anyone watching this film shouldn't be so stupid as to try anything they see performed in Nitro Circus: the Movie in 3D. You think that these pro stunt people (many of the group now are) make it look so easy yadda yadda. We can tell you from personal experience that what follows any kind of spinal damage (back or neck) is not something you even want to think about toying with. no more preaching. Promise.

If we follow the basic history of the Nitro Circus correctly, as recounted in the film, the above named kids saw movie stunts and things like Jackass and decided to do it for themselves. Except that they weren't stunt-persons and no one thought about safety nets when learning the ropes by doing tricks on bicycles. Jumping from one pile of dirt to another sounds like nothing when you compare it to jumping between twin skyscraper towers on the equivalent of a motorized Big Wheelz. But it's basically all the same, or that's the gist of Nitro Circus the Movie in 3D whose members use the North Carolina backyard of member Travis Pastrana as a primary training site.

Well, yeah. . . If you want to shoot in America. Stunt-persons carefully choreograph scenes of mass (or minimal) destruction, with all sorts of safeguards hidden out of the camera's line of vision. But there are rules and laws and certain kinds of stunts dreamed up by this team are so dangerous that they cannot be performed, legally, in the good ol' U. S. of A. We'd venture to guess that even the hardiest of (working and not crippled) stunt performers would look at descriptions of some of the things you will see in Nitro Circus the Movie in 3D and say "you can only green screen this."

But these guys do everything live. The only place they can go to do their thing, legally, is down south in Panama. There, just about anything is fair game.

While most of Nitro Circus the Movie in 3D is one setup and stunt after another, the preferred vehicles for doing those stunts seem to be kid-sized scooters and (a motorized) Big Wheelz trike that should be familiar to all who had the things back around age ten. For their purposes, all have oversized engines installed; the Nitro Circus performers may do things that look totally stupid. but that doesn't mean that they are.

Crazy? Yes.

Idiots? Depends on your definition of the word slash actions.

It didn't take very long for us to get past the "look at these idiots..." stage to get to the "I'm enjoying looking at these idiots" stage of watching Nitro Circus: the Movie in 3D.

And I did. It took me a couple of hours -- Cranky is getting old -- to realize that Nitro Circus is a whole messa big, live action, comic book action scene made real. Cranky long ago admitted to being a fanboy of those four-color frolics. So, in the grand tradition, we give a marvelous (sic) thumbs up to Nitro Circus the Movie in 3D.

.'nuff said.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Nitro Circus the Movies in 3D, he would have paid . . .

$6

Add two buck if you still feel like a teenager. Yeah, it's a grand dateflick. You won't remember any of it an hour after it's done but you'll be happy.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Henry Selick
Click to buy films starring Dakota Fanning
Click to buy films starring Teri Hatcher
Click to buy books by Neil Gaiman

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.