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Kevin 'Worm' Anderson
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Sub-titled "The Birth of Extreme", this documetary takes a look at the transformation of skateboarding from its former image as a land-bound pastime for surfers to its status today as an extreme and acrobatic sport in its own right. Starting from the California surf community of Dogtown, the film follows the evolution of modern skateboarding through it's 70's heyday, its decline during the 80's, and its eventual (and highly lucrative) return in the 90's. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
First off, the movie was great. It did what it was supposed to do.. and that was to tell the story of a certain time, place and people. Maybe the Z-Boys weren't choir boys (and one girl) but they were real people (kids) and they took the whole idea of skateboarding to new levels... I absolutely enjoyed this movie.. not only because I am from Dogtown (Venice/ Mar Vista/ S.M (south of Wilshire)), used to skateboard (I sucked) and that I dealt with the Z-Boys a few times when they were using my aunt's pool and were scaring my grandma.. but because this movie was about them (the Z-Boys) and the time and the place. Sure there was a semi skateboard culture in the 60's that died out pretty quickly... but the Z-Boys restarted the whole skateboard thing again.. and not only did they restart it; they resurrected and recreated it. Nowadays it is almost a regular thing to see some guy flying out of a pool or a half pipe getting air, etc.. But back then it was something new. They revolutionized the whole thing. There were electric guitars and guitar players before Hendrix but he took it to a whole different level and what he left in his wake is the same thing the Z-Boys left in their's.
To the people who seem to want to criticize the movie or the Z-Boys for talking about themselves.. well the movie was about them.. Remember what it is like to be young and invincible.. and to revolutionize something that they loved by just doing what they loved.. sure it is easy to get an ego.. just ask a kid who learns how to finally play a Hendrix song on a guitar... it is the same thing except the Z-Boys defined the revolution that was to come. They were young, brash and from a place that was a slum by the shore. Sure it was wrong to trash and terrorize people who came to their beach or whatever.. but by the same token.. people from this side of the hill would get a lot of abuse when they went to the Valley or other areas. That doesn't make it right but it does make it what it was. There was a sectional divide in the greater L.A. area. The Z-Boys just happened to be at the forefront of the beach wars.
The Z-Boys rocked and they weren't perfect angels but they were real.. look what happened to Jay Adams.. They were part of the times and places that was the L.A. beach scene.
Finally, I think the style of this movie fit the subject very well. Stacy Peralta was part of the Z-Boys and he did this film as a tribute to what they were all about. It was a rebellion not for the sake of ego but for the sake of something they all enjoyed doing. The camera work, the (killer) soundtrack and the memories were great. The best part, though, might have been the fact that they themselves seemed to document their own history with still pictures and film.
To quote the Surf Punks, "My beach, my waves, my chicks, go home".
26 of 30 people found this review helpful.
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