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Light The Wick
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Rating: 3.0/5 (5 votes cast)

Light The Wick

With no less than two of the usual “don’t try this at home, these are trained professionals” warnings on the DVD and with an intro sequence loaded with all the dark skier talk about “you fall, you die” and some pretty nasty crashes, you know you’re now in serious Teton Gravity Research big mountain territory.  With that unnerving, queasy-stomach inducing set-up, “Light The Wick” then sends you flying with Dana Flahr as he steps up and stomps out a devastating assault on the mountains in Alaska.  It’s totally exhilarating for the viewer and career-defining for Flahr, which is good for him considering what happens to him later on (spoiler alert: it involves a crash).  After that set-up, the movie’s vibe stays up a bit, even though the weather in Petersburg, AK sucked and the TGR crew had to sit on their hands, they go ahead and nail a banging “playin’ in the back-country” sequence in Jackson Hole with Seth Morrison, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Todd Ligare and Cody Townsend all done to a Glitch Mob track.  Sage’s own sequence is, as always, off the hook. He cracks me up when he says with a straight face that he was, “leaving America to go to Alaska”.  But you can’t say 5H!7! about Sage’s whole lovable, neo-hippie vibe.   The guy can ski the bejeezus out of everything.  He’s got a style that is beyond fluid.  The man leaves a trail of cold smoke in a blur of lightning fast muscle reactions and ski adjustments.  Soundtracked with a bass-y dubstep Zeds Dead remix of a Blue Foundation track, Sage’s segment comes across like a science fiction art film.  “Visually stunning” does not begin to describe it.   “Light The Wick” keeps the upbeat vibe going with Sammy Carlson and Dylan Hood showing off the hip hop jibbing moves that pay the bills and win the contests.  And just as any actor relishes the chance to stretch and play against type, Sammy C then gets the chance to get out of the half-pipe and hit the big mountains with Seth Morrison and he acquits himself admirably.  After a quick trip to Croatia and Italy we’re back in Pemberton BC where Ian McIntosh and Sven Kuenle pick up the pace again skiing some serious back country off their sleds.  Groove Armada’s electro-pop sweetness of “Paper Romance” contrasts in a cool way with the balls-out skiing.  After that, the TGR crew head back to Alaska for a 2nd shot where the weather has cleared and Sage, Seth, Ian McIntosh and Dana Flahr fly out to the Witches Cauldron area and hit the massive sheer face of Devil’s Thumb for some first descents.  McIntosh nails it spectacularly.   Seth is next but he falls about a 1000 vertical feet (which is crazy to watch because Seth rarely falls). Dana then messes up his knee in a season-ending injury which leads to Daron Rahlves coming in and he crashes. A couple of times – Lord save us!  OK, at least nobody died.  “Light The Wick” comes across like a roller-coaster throughout with its intense steep and deep sequences giving way to the playfulness of the powder skiing.  You get your money’s worth right there, but it’s not over yet, of course, as TGR saves their much-heralded 3D sequence for the end to make certain you walk away feeling like you got good value from the investment in time.  What’s that like?  Put plainly, it works.  It’s not gonna blow your mind but it shows you that big air skiing looks awesome in 3D and you can expect to see more of it in the future.  “Light The Wick” is an intense outing and a great addition to the TGR catalogue.   By Mark “The Attorney General” Quail

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Rating: 3.0/5 (5 votes cast)
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Light The Wick, 3.0 out of 5 based on 5 ratings
Reviewed by AttorneyGeneral on May 15, 2011

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