The documentary "ride report: 10,000 Miles to Rio," which great indie film company Cinema Libre Studio is releasing on DVD on June 10 2014 and VOD a month later, is a dream to review. It is a tale told by an (often) idiot full of humor, human endurance, and the idiosyncrasies of Mexico and the nations south of the border of that country.
Another awesome aspect of "ride" is the relationship that it enjoys with the fantabulous Dances With Films program, which is a collaborative of up-and-coming filmmakers. Patrick Moote of Unreal TV readers favorite "Unhung Hero" is a fellow dancer.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the "ride" trailer offers a chance to meet the subjects and get a sense of their adventures.
The simple premise of "ride" is that buddies/former film school classmates Matt (a.k.a. Mateo) Kendall and Tiernan Turner document a roughly two-month 10,000 mile trip from Las Vegas to Rio to attend Carnaval. The related big questions throughout the trip are whether they will make it to Rio on time for the festival or even get there at all.
The boys make a good choice in selecting themselves as the subjects of their film; they are nice-looking and charming young men who the audience wants to succeed. Debate has likely already started regarding who is the dreamier of the two. Being a little cuter and much dopier gives Mateo an edge.
Our heroes further provide a primer on using web-based resources regarding adventures such as this one. Couchsurfer.com allows the boys to find cheap digs and new friends. The online Adventure Rider motorcycle forum provides other resources and chums. Other help comes via Google maps and general searches.
These guys additionally offer nice scenery and good accompanying indie and alternative music regarding the segments that show them riding their bikes. These images, and the related informal geography lessons, makes one want to recreate the trip from the comfort of a "disposable" rental car with comprehensive insurance.
Many of the adventures are entirely believable. Our riders encounter very friendly and generous people and experience realistic apprehension when folks who assert a desire to help coerce them into following them to an alleged hostel, handing over their passports, and otherwise make themselves vulnerable in ways that make the audience feel angst. We further can accept that these guys charm both 20-something women and their mothers.
At the same time, "ride" has reality-show style drama that either is manufactured for that purpose or that shows that our boys can be total dolts. The biggest theme regarding this is asserting ignorance regarding visa and other requirements on entering a country. One would think that these guys being relatively bright and Tiernan already making a motorcycle trip to Brazil would have prompted doing the proper homework in that regard.
Additionally, "ride" includes a few scenes in which the boys become separated in a manner that leads to one allegedly blindly searching for his comrade. This requires a suspension of disbelief regarding a lack of cell phones.
In closing, the best thing about this film is that none of the possibly staged aspect of this documentary detracts from the infectious enthusiasm that the subjects feel for their adventure or their good work in documenting it. Further, the famous quote that closes "ride" validates the sense of the purpose of the effort.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "ride" is welcome to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.