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Originally shown on the larger-than-life Imax format, "NASCAR: The Imax Experience" takes a look at the very popular sporting event. Narrated by Keifer Sutherland, the 48 minute documentary gives a glimpse at NASCAR's famed drivers, how the drivers prepare for races, how their cars are built, the drivers' desire for speed and their quests to win.
Fun Fact: Director Simon Wincer also helmed the first "Tomb Raider" movie.
As expected, since this originally was on Imax, the image is cropped down to 1.33:1 full screen. While detail is pretty nice, color saturation decent and a lack of edge enhancement to be had, the transfer suffers from an incredible amount of mosquito noise which is incredibly distracting. Other than that though, the transfer remains sharp for the most part.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is more than spacious, and really immerses you into the movie. The soundstage is really large, and leaves plenty of room to really capture all of the sounds. Eric Colvin's musical compositions and the songs used in the movie are mixed creatively, while the more simple sound effects such as people walking or moving have quite a bit of life. Still, it's the sequences involving the race cars &emdash; the engines roaring, the vehicles zooming and the tires drifting &emdash; really are discrete and use strong imaging and panning. Solid stuff here. Also included are English closed captions, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.
Lasting about six minutes are Driver Profiles, where famed NASCAR drivers give their thoughts on speed and what racing means to them &emdash; I'm not sure if these are profiles exactly. NASCAR's Closest Racing Moments just gives a five minute montage of some very close finishes (with some driver interviews). If you're into NASCAR, you'll love these.
Whether you'll enjoy this Imax film or not will depend solely on your love for NASCAR. And while the transfer and extra features aren't too special, the 5.1 mix is rather outstanding. If you're a NASCAR fan, it's pretty likely you'll be checking this DVD out.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Retail Price: $19.95
Features: Driver Profiles, NASCAR's Closest Racing Moments
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selections (7 Scenes)
Released: March 15th, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG (Some Crash Scenes)
Running Time: 48 minutes
Narrated by: Keifer Sutherland
Narration Written by: Mark Bechtel
Directed by: Simon Wincer