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‚ÄčIf you've paid any kind of attention to action sports movies over the last decade and more, you've heard about Teton Gravity Research and Anthill Films. TGR is a heavyweight winter action sports media company with over 30 full-length features to its name, while Anthill is what the legendary Collective morphed into following the iconic mountain bike movies The Collective, Roam, and Seasons. Blending such genius for the purposes of pushing the MTB movie envelope seems unreal enough already, and one look at any of the teasers would have confirmed what we already knew - this movie couldn't drop soon enough. And dropped, it has...


Spoiler Alert

Spoiler alert - unReal will spoil you! Also, if you intend to read on, this unReview will unveil things about the movie that you could otherwise only find out by watching it. In other words, if you don't want to know about just how rad Tom van Steezeburger's front flip is or how utterly smooth Semenuk is in his segment, then don't read on. And if you don't want to see those things for yourself, then don't watch the movie either. Have it your way, but don't moan about it on the internet afterwards. We told you.

This is Not a Review

unReal explores a world that we all know. If you ride a mountain bike, you've been there. Maybe you didn't ACTUALLY ride down a glacier last time you visited, but what you did do every time you hopped on your bike was escape. And much like the people of unReal escape to a parallel universe where brown pow rains from the skies (it does) and you can ride a ridge line with a herd of wild horses (you can), this unReview escapes to a place where nobody is keeping score and all we want to do is share the stoke. So come on in, they don't play dubstep here.


Night Vision

In the unReal world, you have night vision. And if you happen to be Brett Rheeder or an owl, you can swoop down a trail in the middle of the night almost without a sound, not even the occasional hoot to celebrate your oppo 7s. The moon will light every turn and every gap, and giant kickers with moss-filled landings abound. Drifting in and out of sight, Rheeder is as lethal as a lynx and our trip into the unReal has only just begun. Eventually the sun rises, and another unReal day is about to unfold.

Snow Blind

The chopper sets down amidst the mighty, snow-capped peaks. The tents of Base Camp stand out like a splash of color, and snowmobiles buzz about as the riders prepare their gear. We follow the lone figure of Graham Agassiz scaling a sheer wall of ice, loosing the battle for grip but eventually winning the war with gravity. The glacier cracks and moans as the music fades to give way to yet another first descent. It's the unReal world, and here, they ride bikes on ice and snow.


The Longest-Ever Putting on the Goggles Shot

The unReal world is in 4K, and cameras here can fly. They swarm about as you climb out of your truck, unload your bike, and proceed to Put On The Goggles. In the real world, Putting On Your Goggles on camera is no longer allowed, but in the unReal world, you can do what you want. The laws of physics and time are suspended here. You can even move a bit slower. And if you're Brandon Semenuk, you can flow down the side of a mountain like a river, linking hits and even swapping bikes mid-run, all captured by the Eye in the Sky in a single, continuous, and utterly mesmerizing shot.


They're All Animals

Your heart is racing, and your mouth is dry. You're trying to outrun one of the most formidable predators on land, because even in the unReal world, bears do shit in the woods. You crest the climb, and drop your seat post - that's it, you've won. Gravity is your friend, and with bike skills like Tom van Steenbergen, they'd have to come up with a whole new cable cam technology to even be able to capture you on film. Speed blurs out the surroundings, it's just you and the trail, pump that turn, pop that lip, what a trip. Just beware, one mistake can cost you dear, because here in the unReal world, bears do DH too...

Go Big, and Go Home

In the unReal world, every mountain is a playground. Sculpt a line, and send it. Flip and spin, or just handplant a haybale like Cam McCaul. But when the time is right, step it up. Tom van Steenbergen knows what a 70-foot front flip gone bad tastes like at the real world Rampage (bitter and sour), but here in the unReal, big is the name of the game, and stomp is the name of the player. Wild horses couldn't drag us away from hitting that rewind button on this segment.


Drift Kings

How fast can you go, and still hold a turn? How sideways can you get before bringing it back? If you are Stevie Smith or Brook MacDonald, and you're riding in the unReal world, the answer is "MORE". On a 6-feet wide trail covered in dust with not a berm nor a kicker in sight, these two speed demons deliver a lesson in bike handling that probably even had the people of the unReal world wondering if somehow, the centrifugal force had been temporarily outlawed that day. Foot out, flat out has just been redefined.


Brown Pow

Imagine if perfect loam actually fell from the sky. It would start during the night, and mute the world like a blanket. Those in the know would get up early to make the first lift. The world would seem familiar, yet so strange. The contours of the mountain would be softened, inviting us to come out and play. You would scrub hits like Vanderham, blasting through deep loam on your favorite lip, grinning as face shot after face shot of soft, grippy dirt hit your goggles. Canadian kickouts would suddenly look legit. These conditions are so rare that even in the unReal world of Whistler, most people missed it when it actually happened.


All Good Things Must Come To An End

As unReal as this world is, movies must end here too. But thankfully, in the unReal world, ending credits last for 7 minutes and are at least as rad as the actual movie. They also fly their drones through the bonfire. That's how they roll here.

If you think the unReal world might be for you, visit iTunes for your ticket. Or just grab your bike and go...

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iceman2058 iceman2058 7/21/2015 1:19 PM

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