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|Index||36 reviews in total|
This movie just blew me away. Before going any further let me say that
I am giving it an 8 because I have yet to see Riding Giants and also
that you should not rent the DVD unless you have an HDTV of 40' or
larger where you can enjoy this movie in all its splendor. The camera
work is absolutely fantastic. And whether you are a surfer or not, it
won't matter, when you watch this movie you will be transported for 90
minutes into the tube, plus you get to see some terrific places. Better
yet the whole family can enjoy it while you all go 'Wow, wow, WOW'
every 15 seconds. Beware that if you are married your wife will
probably end up pining a poster of Laird Hamilton in your room, and
your youngsters, well they will be on the next plane to Hawaii, hell I
am packing my bags as I write...surf's up.
Step Into Liquid is full of breathtaking cinematography of (mostly
surfers achieving heroic feats of beauty in the lap of Neptune. From the
crazy Californians who boat 100 miles off shore to ride 60-foot waves
breaking over an underwater mountain, to a paralyzed former surf phenom
manages to get back into the tide splashing near shore, to creative
in south Texas who surf in the wake of oil supertankers in a 15-mile-wide
canal, the movie offers a snapshot of the breadth of the sport as
in an endless number of ways wherever water, for whatever reason, forms
Unfortunately the movie is not edited with the same grace with which its subjects navigate the waves. The director's ceaseless voiceover offers few opportunities for self-reflection during the film, and pounds the poetry into sentiment. Music is used haphazardly and too frequently to add unneeded emphasis to the footage. The use of "white boy angst" hard rock under much of the footage gives it the feeling of a cheap extreme sports video; all that's missing are the pseudo-MTV titles in the bottom-left corner to identify the Limp Biskit wannabees at the end of each scene. This film could have been great if it had been edited with a modicum of restraint, if the filmmakers had been content to let its themes be implied rather than stated over and over again in talking-head interviews and the voiceover. By the end you feel like you've watched a spectacular motivational seminar training film instead of a true drama.
Nonetheless the movie is mostly enjoyable, and the subject itself is interesting, amazing, and often funny (the Green Bay Packer fans surfing in Lake Michigan off the shores of Milwaukee ought to have their own sitcom, and might if the right person sees the movie...).
This is a film about people who have found that "one thing" that Jack
Palance talks about in "City Slickers." I've never cared much one way or
the other about surfing, but I can appreciate the commitment, passion,
artistry, daring and athletic achievement embodied in the denizens of the
sport that this film presents, all of it captured in some stunning and
The joyous fulfillment and camaraderie radiated by the exuberant folks in this film is infectious. How many people are really fortunate enough to have found a singular, driving passion that becomes central to their entire existence? Too few, I fear. It's something you can't help but envy and - especially when it involves such sublime and spectacular abilities - admire.
Do give this one a try. Unless you're part of the culture this film portrays, you're sure to see (and maybe even feel) some things you never have before.
I'm not a surfer, but, man, I sure wish I was. Before seeing this film, I was wary of a surfing movie made by the son of Bruce Brown, who made the famous surfing movie "The Endless Summer" something like 30 years ago. I expected that the son, Dana, would just be cashing in on his semi-famous name. But, those worries were unfounded. This documentary exudes a powerful love of and respect for the ocean. The surfing footage is unbelievable, it puts most special effects to shame, yet this is the real thing. The stunning cinematography complements the fabulous editing. I was spellbound. It's not often that I come away from watching a movie feeling exhilaration, awe, amazement. One word of advice -- watch it on the biggest, best screen you can find.
Bruce Brown made (in my book) some of the most entertaining movies ever, most of which happened to be about surfing. Son Dana gives it a college try with mixed results. The quality, subjects, waves and angles of the surfing photography are fantastic. But this is definitely a different experience from Pop's work, which was largely visual (he started out doing them in a hall with live commentary over his video). Dad had cool shots with good instrumental music and frequent light humor. A pleasant 1 1/2 hour interlude with no place it had to be that sort of wrapped up whenever. Step Into is a much more polished, "busier" film -- louder music with vocals, tons of interviews, much more a serious documentary about the surfing life. Problem is, Dana brings some of dad's elements with him (like the constant narration) and I don't think it works as a whole. It doesn't take that much to make me happy with a surfing film, I adore the recent, pure and simple Thicker Than Water (2000). This one just has too much stuff I don't want. I tried watching it again and after a few minutes popped one of dad's old films in the VCR (sorry). Because I can't completely knock a movie that lets Gerry Lopez talk and has Laird Hamilton doing 50 foot waves I give it a 7 out of 10.
The film had a point, a plot, and we felt like we were headed towards
something "greater". Sure, this was a surfing documentary similar to
Billabong Odyssey and Endless Summer, but there were unique aspects I
hadn't seen before: Lake Michigan surfers riding the tiniest of waves
and Texas surfers riding the waves made by huge oil and cargo ships.
The film's premise was to show that surfers were everywhere and that
the surfing lifestyle meant something more than just an attitude akin
to a bad Keanu Reeves impersonation. Surfing means appreciating Mother
Nature in her most awesome and dangerous aspect.
Though I appreciated having a plot and point, however sappy, I must say that I missed watching the BIG waves and the BIG tumbles that make you groan out loud or suck in your breath. When it comes to surfing, I am every bit the couch potato sportsman and like my fellow couch potatoes, I enjoy the game most when the stakes are high. This film lacked the big wave scenes that I love and in the end, I can't say I'd truly recommend the film over the others listed above.
So, instead of boring you with more details, I'll make a pledge. I'm going underground to the world of poorly made surfing videos that I've heard so much about. The videos that show the BIG waves and BIGGER tumbles. Think of it as research in case I ever get over my fear of Jaws and decide to do a little surfing myself. I want the real, uncensored, un-cheesy truth.
Grade: **** out of *****
'Step Into Liquid' director and writer carries on the torch of his
father, Bruce Brown's legacy with an even more intense, but momentary
glimpse into a rather incredible sport in a sort of follow up made more
than thirty-five years later after The Endless Summer. Though difficult
for the loyal surfer to explain his love for surfing, which the surfers
and filmmakers assure audiences that the "way of life" is as
inexplicable as trying to explain what describe what colors look like,
Dana Brown and others make an excellent effort in trying to reveal
through words and visuals why this sport is indeed "their way of life."
As the filmmakers traverse the globe, following more than just an
endless summer, they feature thousands of surfers in even some of the
most unusual locations (Wisconsin, Rapa Nui, Ireland, etc.) where the
participants in the sport each have their own definition of the perfect
wave, that extreme point where nature meets a fiberglass board and
makes the rider feel so stoked and so addicted. It may be difficult to
explain to the non-surfer, or probably even to the surfer, but Dana
Brown and others make a wonderful attempt at capturing one of the
oldest sports. While the actual ride itself is an intense experience,
it is an adrenaline rush to watch it. And, even for the non-surfer, it
can be appreciated on the level that you may feel this way about
something you participate in, whether it be another sport or activity
altogether. That, I highly admire.
This film offers amazing footage and it's accompanying glorious scenery (and sometimes, not so glorious) and interviews from more than just the most well-known surfers. The DVD package also includes a hefty supply of special features, including the full-game version of Kelly Slater's pro-surfer, additional interviews, and so forth. It is a stacked supply for surfing appreciation destined to make even the most indifferent of audiences stoked.
Dana Brown, the son of legendary film maker Bruce Brown, continues the
family tradition with his own take on the world of people that are
totally committed to ride those waves, no matter where. In a way, this
is another installment in the way Brown sees the world of the surfers
as he takes us all over the world to show us what people will do in
order to discover the perfect wave, and ride it.
The brilliant cinematography is amazing to watch. Things obviously have improved greatly since Bruce Brown pioneered this genre of documentary. We get glimpses of Oahu, with its rugged coast and giant waves. We are taken to places like Rapa Nui, Ireland, Viet Nam and even Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where we had no idea people will go to their rough lake to surf! Someone made a comment about the title being pretentious, but in reality, the line comes right from one woman that is being interviewed and says she feels like "stepping into liquid" whenever she is surfing.
The film is beautiful to watch. It could have used some editing, but in general Dana Brown ought to be congratulated by what he has captured on camera for fans of the sport and just plain folks that will be, no doubt, wowed by what they see on the screen.
This movie just feels good. It's an uplifting look at the spirit and
the courage of these men, women, and children that make the sea their
playground. There's no plot, no special effects, and no actors, just
surfers and the ocean. If you just want to disappear for an hour and a
half and come out feeling like you've inner child has been renewed,
this is the one.
Dale Brown, son of the Endless Summer's Bruce Brown, does a splendid job of showing us big surf from around the world and the surfers who have made the pursuit of these waves a way of life. Along the way, we see generations of some of the best surfers continue to surf into their sixties and seventies with their own sons, daughters, and grandchildren. We even meet a middle-aged surfer that has a quest to surf every day of his life, no matter the weather, until he surfs over 10,000 days in a row.
It's not Shakespeare, it's a trip around the globe with some very likable people doing what they love to do. Our gratitude to Dale Brown and his crew for inviting us along.
First off if you're a fan of any of the endless summer movies or others then this movie will be a great addition. Masterfully done, with scenes that make you want to get up and go to the beach. Any junkie of the ocean will be envious of the locations depicted in this film. A great use of expressions via actual spoken word and cinematography, to help people better understand the life of a "surfer". You cannot go wrong with Dana Brown, showing you the beauty of the world and mixing in a system of believes held by surfers around the globe. If you're like most of us than you probably cannot just get up off the couch and visit Maui, but sitting back with drink and watching this film you will have the same experience as being there. Visit's to Australia, Chile, Maui, Ireland, and surprisingly Texas, give a diverse look into surfing around the globe, but the message remains the same. Your loyal Fan, Angel
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