Not to be confused with "Into Thin Air", "Into the Air" is a documentary focusing on the sport of kiteboarding. For those unfamiliar, kiteboarding has riders on a board being pulled along in the water by enormous kites. When the boarder catches a strong gust of air, they're pulled up waves and often to impressive mid-air heights.
The documentary doesn't give the viewer much in the way of the history of the sport similar to "Dogtown and Z-Boys" or "Riding Giants". Instead, it follows famed kiteboarder Paul Menta as he and his friends head off to Puerto Rico for some fun, sun and waves.
The picture introduces us to each of the kiteboarders that have followed Menta along for the ride, chatting about their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what got them into the sport. Each of them also takes a moment to talk about their thoughts on what makes the sport so terrific.
The problem becomes that this is only a little over 60 minutes, and one starts to feel that a chunk of the program could have been put to use to deliver some additional history regarding the sport. As is, we get a lot of chat from the participants about what they like about the sport, which eventually starts to feel a tad repetitive. There's also "fun" scenes, such as one with the group wandering around the area and doing some shopping that really doesn't add much at all.
The filming of the kiteboarding scenes in the film is not particularly slick, but the scenes do speak for themselves, as the kiteboarders are able to pull off some pretty remarkable stunts as they're lifted off by the breezes blowing across the water. The second half of the documentary proves to be a bit more entertaining, as it offered somewhat more boarding footage.
Overall, "Into The Air" offers a decent amount of kiteboarding footage, but I would have liked some history regarding the sport and more kiteboarding footage included instead of quite so much footage of the boarders having fun around the location.
VIDEO: "Into the Air" is presented in approximately 1.66:1 non-anamorphic widescreen by Cineforce Films. The presentation quality is just alright, as sharpness and detail looked only fair throughout the show, likely due to what appears to be the film's intentional look - which also gives a slightly grainy appearance and blown-out colors.
SOUND: The Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation used the surrounds to provide some reinforcement for the music, but this was otherwise a front-heavy presentation. Dialogue remained crisp and clear.
EXTRAS: A pair of deleted scenes, a kiting montage and outtakes.
Final Thoughts: Overall, "Into The Air" offers a decent amount of kiteboarding footage, but I would have liked some history regarding the sport and more kiteboarding footage included instead of quite so much footage of the boarders having fun around the location. The DVD offers average audio/video quality and minimal extras. A rental for kiteboarders.