Experience a riveting and inspiring true-life adventure aboard the high-tech sloop Morning Light. Fifteen rookie sailors have one goal in mind--to be part of her crew, racing in the most revered sailing competition on Earth, the Transpac Yacht Race. From start to finish it's a rollercoaster ride of emotions and physical challenges, beginning with six months of intense training. Only eleven will survive to race in the grueling 2,225-mile Transpac. Matching wits and skills against experienced pros and the unforgiving, unpredictable Pacific Ocean, these young men and women develop a powerful bond and prove how dedication, teamwork, and an unyielding spirit can overcome the greatest of odds.
Now, if you actually observe this reviewer’s writing style through his reviews and articles, you may have already gotten a sense that he isn’t your typical guy who likes all things rough and rugged. Yes, that includes “sweat it out” sports like soccer and rugby. So when this DVD came along, he was wondering whether sailing would be his thing because it does somewhat look like a sport which you can enjoy the sun, sand and the sea without sweating it out on a field.
Produced by Walt Disney Pictures (and you thought the folks only dealt with all family friendly stuff which are warm and fuzzy), the documentary chronicles a six month journey where 15 young sailors go through intense training to be part of the crew of “Morning Light”, a sailboat which will go on to take part in Transpac, a well regarded sailing competition which will change a sailor’s life forever. The 97 minute documentary traces the rookie sailors’ earliest training sessions, to how they bond over the sessions and becoming a team which will work together to achieve that common goal to fulfill their dreams.
Yes, this does sound like a reality show you’ve watched on TV except that this does not contain your usual dosage of hypocrisy, backstabbing and mean intentions. Oh, it also does not include silly “get yourself dirty and ugly” competitive team games and, no, there are no tribal councils as well. What you’d be getting would be fit bodies slugging out in the sea and amidst the violent waves and splashes of sea water, you get a roller coaster ride of emotions (the sailors are human, after all) and physical challenges which a normal human being can only dream of taking part in. This is also the point when this reviewer realises that he won’t be looking as good as the sailors anytime soon.
While the sports may not be familiar with the average Singaporean, it does provide some decent thrills and spills throughout its runtime. The cinematography (check out the underwater camerawork) is visually stunning and the sound design is exceptionally innovative (the music score becomes muffled when the camera goes underwater). However, while these provide perks of enjoyment, you cannot discount the fact that the documentary does not provide any new insights or pleasant surprises when it comes to storytelling. With that, while you may be gawking at the enthralling and exhilarating approach, you may not be inspired to take up sailing anytime soon. And this thing about the tough and strapping human spirit? Been there, done that.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a 29 minute Stories From The Sea With Host Jason Earles, where the Hannah Montana star brings viewers on an exciting trip on the sail boat where danger is abound. The producers talk about the potential perils faced by the sailors. In the 42 minute ESPN Special – Morning Light: Making The Cut, we get to see more sailing boats, waves and splashes. If you are an enthusiast, then these two featurettes will leave you ecstatically head over heels.
The disc’s visual transfer is great, complementing every wave and splash captured by the camera. The picture is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound in English language track.
by John Li
Posted on 2 August 2009