It’s not very often these days that a DVD is being called a “classic” before it’s even available. It’s already hard enough to make a video and have it still be current a week later it seems like. That was until the announcement that Anthem II was finally done, and would be releasing on December 1st. It just seems like every time a video gets hyped up, expectations get sent higher and higher, and then there’s this disappointment when the video doesn’t live up to the hype. There’s not doubt in my mind that you already heard the hype, and the expectations are way up there. There’s also a good chance you already ordered the video, but maybe you are one of the few “skeptics” that are still on the fence about it, so let’s talk about the video a little bit…
Let’s start this off with the line up. Mike Aitken, Sean Burns, Chris Doyle, Mark Mulville, Clint Reynolds, Geoff Slattery, Brian Yeagle. If you need explanations for why any of these riders have a full part in this video… I’m going to slap the shit out of you.
Along with those full sections includes two friends sections.
What really caught me off guard were the mini parts that featured my boy Dirt “I’ll out mustache and foot jam fakie you” Ron and Dave “I kill it on a bike” Thompson, Brian fricken Foster, Eli “You really need to get your ass back to BMX and forget school” Platt, and Chase “Not ratty no more'” Hawk. Why I felt like I needed to give them nicknames? Because it felt right. These mini sections are fairly short, but they accumulated a few more clips than the friends section so it makes sense.
If I remember right the video has clips that span over the course of the last 5 years, with the last 3 being the majority. Stewart Johnson must have made laps around the U.S and multiple other countries in the process because he had a huge list of influential riders that has graced BMX’s presence in this video. Here’s a list of names I jotted down in my fancy note book while watching… Kevin Porter, Brian Wizmerski, Brian Hunt, Guilliams brothers, Lil Jon, Elf, Zack Earley, Cam Wood, Tony Cardona, Kurtis Elwell, Mike Scezney, Tate Roskelley, Kareem “Fuck wit me” Williams, Bryce Toole, Corts brothers, Chester Blacksmith, Van Homan, Ryan “I’ll out bleed, party, and ride you” Wert, Jimmy Levan, Brian Kachinsky, Gary Young, Liam Eltham, Hoang Tran, U.K Robbo, Mark Potoczny, KC Badger, MAT HOFFMAN, Joey Garcia, Shawn Arata, Vic Murphy, Fuzzy Hall, Matt Roe, Matt Beringer, Albert Mercado, and about twenty other names I forgot to write down.
That’s two stacked friends sections that you can try and process between the full sections.
There was also something else that I really liked about the video that I feel like is very noteable. I can count on my two hands the number of barspins and tailwhips in the video. I don’t even need fingers to count the double whips and beyond because I don’t remember seeing one. Tables, turndowns, style for miles, I cannot count on my hands and toes and that doesn’t sound like a problem to me. If you are bummed on that, I’d like to knock the 10 inch tall bars and plastic slammed seat right out of you.
If I had to pick personal favorite sections it would be between Sean Burns due to the “What the fuck” scale blowing off, and Chris Doyle since he’s been a personal favorite of mine since I was about 12 and still get a little jittery when we cross paths. It’s okay, Chris and I have discussed it, had our awkward moments, we’re good. Eli Platt’s section was short, but there’s something about his riding that gets me real psyched. If anyone knows where he is, kick him in the dick and tell him to come back to BMX, we need him. Random thought; Brian Yeagle has always been a pretty quiet reserved guy the times I’ve been around him, but his part starts out like Tourette’s Guy and I couldn’t help but laugh… a lot. I quickly stopped once he started killing it.
The music in the video is pretty timeless. It’s filled with classics that I feel like cost a pretty penny to get the clearance to use it in a video. Judas Priest, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seager, Poison, Rush, Def Leopard, Neil Young, Dinosaur JR., The Supremes and a few other bands songs accompany the video. All songs that in 10 years will still kick as much ass as they did 10 years ago. You know you have gone back and watched videos and been like “Damn, this song was rad then… but I won’t admit it now that I was into it.” That doesn’t happen with these songs.
The filming and editing was handled by Stewart Johnson for the most part… along with his bank account supporting the project. If you are fairly new to BMX then you should know Stew has been behind the lens filming BMX for well over 15 years and has a long list of full length videos that he has been apart of, along with the Props videos you know and love. There’s really no need for me to explain that the filming is great. There’s no sketchy shaky shit, and no over the top editing. Smooth, clean, and on point. Just the way I like it.
I wasn’t sure if the video was going to have any color or not since the original didn’t, but it’s definitely in black and white. I’m personally a huge fan of the black and white look for BMX. It just goes really well with it for some reason… It also goes with the timeless effect the video has/is going for.
Subrosa is pumped.
Overall, the video is fucking awesome. I’ve watched in three times in the last 24 hours (it’s playing again as I watch this. Hoffman is blasting his vert ramp.) and can only imagine how many more times I’ll watch it before the premiere I do up here in Minnesota on the 11th! Do I think you should buy it? Yeah, I do. I’ll be totally straight and honest and say this is one of those videos you can watch over and over again and not get bored. I’ve watched a lot of videos once and called it good, and it’s not at all too common for me to watch a video more than once in a day. Think about it. That, and I actually paid for it which most reviews I’m given the video to check out.
The video might cost a little bit more, but that’s because it comes with two videos. DVD 1 has Anthem II and the Original Anthem: Home of the Brave on it. Disc 2 has Scum “1201 and Scum “Lights out”, Trend “1999”, FBM “One-Footed Dead Sailor”, P.U.S.H “Tweekers” and the SOIL video. All classic videos from the past that are real good watches.
I’m pretty sure the posters were limited edition, or maybe it was just the autographed ones, but my copy came with all the posters signed by all of the guys who had full sections since I pre-ordered the shit out of it. Sucks to be you if you didn’t order yours in time for those. Priceless.
I guess that pretty much sums it all up. You can pick up copies at pretty much every shop since pretty much every distributor is carrying it, or you can straight shot from Dan’s Comp ($22.99), Albe’s ($22.95), Empire ($22.95), Staff ($22.95) or pretty much every other mail-order that you are into. Clearly, there’s a reason everyone is carrying it.. Buy the damn video.