Review by Randy Smith -
When I first received these two movies I was asked to just watch them and nothing else. Going by the title, I knew these movies were based on remembering a deceased rider. I started with #II (2) and right at first you hear some really heavy metal music that is common with the Crusty Demons of Dirt type movies and the younger than I riders and racers. No problem really as I have two sons so this type of music doesn't bother me but some of you may want to turn to volume down at times. You have still pictures that are timed to change with the music and high quality video clips of riders doing double and triple jumps, step-ups and berm shots. So far just another jump video, right?
The next thing I remember is seeing a guy about my age talking on a microphone thanking everyone for coming to this event and I realize that the music I am hearing is age appropriate for the fallen rider. You see Garrett Michael Berg was only 17 when he died. Garrett’s parents are interviewed off and on throughout the videos along with still photos of their son jumping and racing his Yamaha YZF 426 and later a newer YZF450. As the movie progresses it starts pulling on your heart. You find out that Garrett was a very active message board participant on “Thumper Talk” and he used the name motoman393. It appears that Garrett was a very knowledgeable young man and helped many a member out with bike help. A lot of the riders at this Memorial Race were those he had met on the Internet who had no idea he was only 17 years old. To be honest I can't remember where #2 DVD and #3 DVD begin or end except in #3 you find out that another family who lost a Daughter participates in this event.
As most people, I was curious on how Garrett died but didn't really know until later. You slowly find out that at this same track that the Memorial Race is held (Splendora Texas) Garrett had over jumped a section and was in a full whip revving out his engine when he hit a tree near the track. You see the tree he hit and the memorial headstone below it. The headstone has a trophy on it and some items left by other riders like old spark plugs and such, in paying your respect racer style.
You jump back and forth with the attending riders jumping and sliding on the track and those interviews that make you hurt. As for the film itself, the quality is very good with several special effects. The sound could be better when it comes to the voices of those talking. I would turn up the volume to hear what they were saying and back down when the music would almost blow my speakers but that isn't what this set of movies or this review is about. The movies content is the main focus.
You get to witness the Father riding his sons Yamaha side beside side his Daughter (Garrett’s Sister) around the track in a tribute by letting Garrett finish that final lap from the heavens with Dad at the controls. What was really cool was all of the riders pull over and let Dad lead that final lap with them in tow.
THE LETTER-In the movie you hear the father talk about him posting a letter to his deceased son on the Thumper Talk website about a week after he was gone. In the main menu of Movie #2 you see that “The Letter” is an option. As I start reading the letter I get a massive lump in my throat for two reasons. First you feel the Fathers pain of loosing his son in a sport that they both love. Secondly at least for me, the lump was amplified when I find out that Garrett was not only the same age as my oldest son (born in 1985) but also had immature lungs at birth and they nearly lost him just like I experienced with my own son. Whoa, I had to pause the film for a minute. Very powerful stuff here. You would have to be pretty cold blooded not to be affected by this letter.
It turns out that this annual event and these DVD sales are fund raisers for such quality things like Make A Wish foundation where maybe a terminally ill child may get a chance to go to a Supercross Race paid for by this fund. Each year this event gets larger and you can do your part by purchasing these DVD’s. Are they the best race, jump videos made? No, but as I mention that is not the intent of these films. These films allow you to get to know a neat young man named Garrett Michael Berg who was snuffed out at a early age doing what we all like to do, ride Dirt Bikes. You also get a good feeling about how the Dirt Bike community supports things like this. The Memorial Race is in October of each year. If you can make it to the event you should. If you can't, buy the DVD’s