Ever since a daring fellow in France constructed the first rudimentary roller coaster nearly 200 years ago, people have eagerly sought thrills and chills on the most frightening rides they could find. Featured in this video are the royalty of today's white-knuckle adventure rides, including high-tech roller coasters in Tampa's Busch Gardens and the Big Shot ride in Las Vegas which magnifies its intensity by being perched atop a skyscraper. Originally filmed in 70mm, the footage of the rides is intense even on the small screen. But the video loses velocity during segments explaining how the technology of thrill rides has merged with movie special effects, and the video never fully recovers from the uneven pacing. The material covered is consistently interesting, but there's no escaping the reality that explanations of how rides are conceived are no substitute for the fun of the rides themselves. But if the video never fully lives up to the promise of its first several minutes, there are still scenes in the video that are heart-stopping, and it does provide an entertaining look at the science of thrill rides. --Robert J. McNamara
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