Well, to be honest, I’m not that impressed. It’s definetly a good film, but I think Universe is WAY better.
The one big downside…too much Bhutan History/culture/geography, not enough unicycling.
It was neat hearing about the place they were riding, but they really overdid it. I found it took away from the rest of the film…anxiously awaiting another unicycle scene, to be bombarded with more local history.
Really great riding, but I was kinda let down.
However, I’m still glad I own it, and I’ll be watching it over and over again. A fine Christmas present
I give it a 6/10
Any movie featuring only 2 riders (even though their riding is superb) could only get an 8/10, in my books
In my eyes the aim of the video is to document a unicycle trek through Bhutan. It isn’t supposed to be another New World Disorer or Universe. Videos like New World Disorder and Universe are essentially bike porn (all action and no plot). Into The Thunder Dragon is different and documents a trek, it has plot, it has substance. It’s a different type of video and I’m glad to have it. I can only handle so much bike porn. If you’re looking for the all action type of video then you won’t like Into the Thunder Drangon. If you want something a little different then Into The Thuder Dragon might fit the bill.
I agree with John. The film is not a UNIverse type film. It is like watching a documentary focusing on Bhutan as seen on PBS. The “vehicle” through the film are the unicycles.
It is wonderfully “shot”, and captures the flavor of the country, but if you want agressive UNIing, you won’t find it here, if you compare it to UNIverse.
They are two different types of films.
However, there are as always terrific shots of Kris and Nathan. A small part of the film shows how Kris works at hopping up a simple ladder to a hut. There is also a voice over as he discusses it in retrospect.
I agree with Sofa on this one. I’m not concerned with the aggresiveness of the riding…just the lack of (more) unicycling content.
I was already sick of the naration, and stirring in my seat before the riding started.
Special features aren’t special features unless there is a blooper section! Perhaps K + N rode too well to fill up a ‘wipeouts selection’ but c’mon. (if wipeouts are filmed…go ahead and throw them on the DVD - one that already needs more riding.
Whatever the reasons behind why the DVD is how it is, I’m still dissappointed. I shouldn’t see a DVD about unicycling and say to myself after it’s over, ‘Well, at least it was a gift’
Decent film…I’m just warning people who are looking for the same things I was.
Uni porn ooh man I cant wait… I searched the web and havnt come up with anything. I cant wait to see this lev. 11 riding! If they try to tie in a crappy plot it would be even better, you know they could have the cable guy or pizza man on a unicycle or something…
I cant wait to see into the thunder dragon. I wasnt really expecting a universe type of movie out of it, more like what you normally see on OLN, outdoor documenteries. While action movies are allways fun to watch there is a time and place for them, and they are deffenatlly not for everyone.
I got my copy on DVD yesterday and have watched it a couple times now, as well as all the extras.
I liked it. Yep, only half of the minutes are actual riding. But if they were to make a straight “Muni-porn” video, what would be the point to traveling to Bhutan? I liked the way they led us through the country and while they just happened to be on unicyles. It seemed to emphasize that you can use the uni as a legitamate mode of transportation and play a little or a lot too.
I enjoyed learning about the land they were traveling through. Who would travel to a far away exotic land and not look around and experience the culture and meet the people?
Keep in mind that this was made by ‘Outside’ and ‘OLN Adventure TV’. It had to be interesting to a non-unicycling crowd. A non unicling viewer would bore of jump afer hop fall after pedal-grap after jump…
Also, after watching this, the non-rider may realize that unicycling is much more than just a circus toy. Less people to whistle that music we all know and love.
I give the DVD a thumbs up! Well worth the money IMO.
I agree with the above comments- if you are looking for bike/uni porn, then Into The Thunder Dragon won’t be what you are looking for.
However, most action porn, even the big budget stuff like New World Disorder, doesn’t have nearly the quality of filmmaking that ITTD does (take a look at the making-of- features on the DVD). I’ve done a lot of filming of regular bike videos (around 10 so far), and honestly it gets a bit boring! Given the budget to do so, we wanted to make a real film, not just add to the plethora of action porn out there. For me, ITTD is way more satisfying because it combines real cinematography with unicycling action- this is a LOT harder to do than to simply put unicycling videography to music.
Also, non-riders usually find pure action quite boring after a few minutes because they don’t understand the technical moves- it all looks the same. Consequently, it would be virtually impossible to sell a concept to television that didn’t include a story.
Finally, even riders get fooled into thinking that the riding in pure action movies is always hardcore, because it’s dressed up in fast editing and hardcore music and attitude. We kept it low key in ITTD, but the hardest moves in ITTD are WAY harder than any of the MUni shown in Universe or most of One Tired Guy. If you want to see details on the riding, I highly suggest getting the DVD, not the VHS, because of the Behind-The-Action sequence features some of these.
Thanks for the comments- I knew we were doing something different here and wasn’t expecting to get 100% positive reviews.
I was very impressed with the film and really enjoyed seeing the country of Bhutan. The children seemed so pure and their enthusiasm and excitement was very refreshing.
I though a few of the lines that Kris came out with were great. A few of my favorites (not verbatim) were:
“…this is only a one person unicycle.”
" …in 1968 when he was looking for the yeti, but most of all, I’m just looking for some great riding"
I wonder why Nathan Hoover switched from his black KH for half of the film and was riding one of Kris’ red Munis?
I have the VHS because Uni.com was out of stock and I didn’t want to wait. How much extra material am I missing out on?
Nathan is riding my spare uni for all of the film up to the trekking part, because in flying from San Francisco to Vancouver to Bankok to Calcutta to Bhutan, United Airlines managed to lose all of Nathan’s stuff between San Fran and Vancouver!! It was a huge pain in the butt because it took 8 days to get there. You’ll also notice that Nathan is wearing the exact same street clothing during this time because the only clothing he had was the clothing he wore on the airplane.
There is a lot of extra material in the DVD. I HIGHLY recommend that you get the DVD because the bonus segments allow you to see a lot of the teamwork behind making a film like this, besides what you see in the final product. There is also one section aimed directly at unicyclists, called Behind The Action. In this segment I took 5 of the technically difficult scenes in the movie and slowed them down to about 5% of normal speed, so it’s possible to see exactly what is going on, and I talked about the techniques involved in working on these moves. These scenes include techniques for:
Landing big drops
Riding narrow railings
Multiple Seat-Out-In-Front hops
Downhill rolling hops as a technique for smoothing out descents of rough terrain.
For those who own the DVD, what did you think of Behind the Action? Was it useful?
I really enjoyed watching this movie and all the special features. It’s a really good movie. I liked the behind the action section, because it re-inforced the things i had already learned on my own, it probably would have been more helpful a year ago. Well, That’s about all, it’s a really good watch, and i think the non-uniycling audience enjoys it equally to the unicycling audience. I’d stongly suggest to buy this video, it’s a welcome change (to me at least) from “bike porn”.
I’ve been riding Muni with a Reeder handle for the last 18 months and much prefer it to the Miyata handle. But riding that first week or so in Bhutan on the spare uni was ok. I guess we just didn’t do so much non-stop riding in that period that it strained my fingers. Also I think I’ve learned to ride without really cranking on the handle the way I used to. All of that made it no problem. (The only problem was bailing off a trail into some trees ripping out a spoke or two and impaling myself on a sharp stick!)
This film may not have had as much riding, but try this experiment. Show this film to someone who doesn’t unicycle (a spouse, your mom, etc). The music is much less hard, and the actual plotline makes it easier to follow. I’ll bet it will help others understand your passion for MUni riding, and they will probably like the film more than the other ones.
Another nice thing about this film is getting to know the riders and not just their skills. Besides, you can’t beat the Rodang La trail. Amazing!
Get the DVD. It’s worth the extra money.
I just watched Into The Thunder Dragon on OLN and have to say I really enjoyed it. I haven’t seen any of the other video’s others are reffering to, but I thought this was great. I really enjoyed watching it being new to Unicycling. I was amazed at the terrain that they could negotiate(I don’t think I would attempt most on a Mt Bike). Makes me that much more excited to learn.
I had my wife, and In Laws sit down and watch about 10 minutes of it and they were just amazed. The quality of the filming is incredible. Kris & Nathan are definitly great ambassadors for the Uni world. I look forward to your next adventure. Chad