Lords of Dogtown
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6 items from 2005


Lords of Dogtown

21 June 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- A fictionalized rendition of the events and figures described in the award-winning documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, this film tells the story of the young skateboarding enthusiasts who rose to fame and riches in Southern California in the 1970s. Written by that film's creator Stacy Peralta and directed by Catherine Hardwicke ("thirteen"), Lords of Dogtown takes a surprisingly gritty approach that gives the material some gravitas but also robs it of some of its fun. With its handsome young male stars frequently shirtless, the film could reach some commercial traction thanks to its appeal to teenage girls as well as boys.

From its clever, graffiti-style opening credits to its canny use of pop music from the period, the film well conveys the atmosphere of its setting, 1970s Venice Beach. But it also -- not so surprisingly from the director of the gritty portrait of female adolescence "thirteen" -- eschews sunniness, both in its storytelling and visual style. Indeed, at times Southern California looks as depressing here as an eastern industrial city.

The story depicts the bonding together of the Z-Boys, longtime surfing buddies, over their newfound appreciation of the landlocked sport of skateboarding. Propelled by the invention of urethane wheels that enabled the skates to hug concrete surfaces and a drought in Southern California that resulted in many empty swimming pools perfect for this new style of skating, the trend caught on. The boys' youthful sex appeal and daring physical bravado further fueled the movement into a media and commercial phenomenon.

The interpersonal dynamics of the group, which included Jay Adams (Emile Hirsch), Tony Alva (Victor Rasuk) and Peralta (John Robinson), are less interesting than their sheer physical prowess, well demonstrated by the actors themselves and a formidable team of stunt doubles. Such plot elements as the romantic triangle that develops between Alva's sister Kathy (Nikki Reed) and two of the Z-Boys, the fatal brain tumor of one of the skaters (Michael Angarano) and the relationship between Adams and his troubled but loving mother Rebecca De Mornay) ultimately come across as detours from the extended skateboarding sequences.

With its frequent use of handheld cameras and jerky editing, the film well conveys the dizzying and terrifying aspects of the virtuosic skating stunts, as well as the air of iconoclasm and danger that gave the activity, a precursor to today's extreme sports, its allure.

The young performers supply the necessary physicality and charisma, with Hirsch particularly effective as the sensitive Adams. Heath Ledger, seemingly channeling Val Kilmer, delivers a colorful turn as Skip Engblom, co-founder of the legendary Zephyr surfboard and skateboard shop and the boys' team leader. De Mornay downplays her glamour, if not her still-potent sexuality, in her affecting performance as Adams' mom, and Johnny Knoxville delivers an entertaining turn as a sleazy entrepreneur. There's also an amusing cameo by skating legend Tony Hawk, as an astronaut unable to remain vertical on skates.

Lords of Dogtown

Sony Pictures Entertainment

A Columbia Pictures presentation of a TriStar Pictures release

A Linson Films production in association with Senator International

Credits:

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Screenplay: Stacy Peralta

Producer: John Linson

Executive producers: Art Linson, David Fincher, Joe Drake

Director of photography: Elliot Davis

Production designer: Chris Gorak

Editor: Nancy Richardson

Costume designer: Cindy Evans: Music: Mark Mothersbaugh

Cast:

Jay Adams: Emile Hirsch

Tony Alva: Victor Rasuk

Stacy Peralta: John Robinson

Sid: Michael Angarano

Kathy Alva: Nikki Reed

Philaine: Rebecca De Mornay

Skip Engblom: Heath Ledger

Topper: Johnny Knoxville

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 110 minutes »

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Boxoffice preview: Biz fights back against downturn

3 June 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

This might be the weekend that the boxoffice turns around. With Cinderella Man reaching adult audiences, Lords of Dogtown targeting skater fans of all generations and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants aiming at the tween girl audience, there's every reason for hordes of moviegoers to be crowding the nation's theaters. Also, last weekend's holdovers should have fairly strong second weekends, which could result in an end to the 14-week downturn at the boxoffice. Universal Pictures will bow the Imagine Entertainment production Cinderella Man on 2,813 screens. Starring Russell Crowe as a beleaguered boxer whose comeback encourages a nation struck down by the Depression, Cinderella has a similar feel and release pattern to Universal's Seabiscuit, which bowed in 1,000 fewer sites in summer 2003. That film opened to $20.1 million at the end of July on its way to grossing $120 million and also told of a sports hero that inspired the country during the Depression. Other comparable films include Crowe's previous star turn in 20th Century Fox's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which opened to $25 million from 3,000 theaters in November 2003, and DreamWorks' Road to Perdition, which bowed to $22 million on about 1,800 screens in July 2002. Cinderella has received mostly positive reviews, and with a pedigree cast and crew including director Ron Howard and co-stars Renee Zellweger and Paul Giamatti, the film could open in the $25 million range. With the exception of Lions Gate's Crash and Universal's The Interpreter, there hasn't been much in the marketplace for adult audiences. Regardless of its opening numbers, Cinderella has the potential to play strongly through the summer. Cinderella's opening bow coupled with strong sophomore sessions for DreamWorks' Madagascar and Paramount's The Longest Yard as well as a third weekend from Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith could result in a weekend where four films all vie for the top spot. All should gross in the $25 million-$30 million range, which could help the overall boxoffice improve its numbers. »

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Boxoffice preview: Biz fights back against downturn

3 June 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

This might be the weekend that the boxoffice turns around. With Cinderella Man reaching adult audiences, Lords of Dogtown targeting skater fans of all generations and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants aiming at the tween girl audience, there's every reason for hordes of moviegoers to be crowding the nation's theaters. Also, last weekend's holdovers should have fairly strong second weekends, which could result in an end to the 14-week downturn at the boxoffice. Universal Pictures will bow the Imagine Entertainment production Cinderella Man on 2,813 screens. Starring Russell Crowe as a beleaguered boxer whose comeback encourages a nation struck down by the Depression, Cinderella has a similar feel and release pattern to Universal's Seabiscuit, which bowed in 1,000 fewer sites in summer 2003. That film opened to $20.1 million at the end of July on its way to grossing $120 million and also told of a sports hero that inspired the country during the Depression. Other comparable films include Crowe's previous star turn in 20th Century Fox's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which opened to $25 million from 3,000 theaters in November 2003, and DreamWorks' Road to Perdition, which bowed to $22 million on about 1,800 screens in July 2002. Cinderella has received mostly positive reviews, and with a pedigree cast and crew including director Ron Howard and co-stars Renee Zellweger and Paul Giamatti, the film could open in the $25 million range. With the exception of Lions Gate's Crash and Universal's The Interpreter, there hasn't been much in the marketplace for adult audiences. Regardless of its opening numbers, Cinderella has the potential to play strongly through the summer. Cinderella's opening bow coupled with strong sophomore sessions for DreamWorks' Madagascar and Paramount's The Longest Yard as well as a third weekend from Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith could result in a weekend where four films all vie for the top spot. All should gross in the $25 million-$30 million range, which could help the overall boxoffice improve its numbers. »

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TriStar Pics finds Grace for sr. vp job

12 April 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

After 10 years at 20th Century Fox, publicity executive Florence Grace is leaving the studio for a post at TriStar Pictures, where she will be senior vp publicity. Valerie Van Galder, president of the newly revived TriStar, made the announcement Monday. Grace will oversee campaigns for all TriStar releases as well as the division's corporate publicity strategy. In addition, Grace will join the rest of the TriStar marketing department in releasing all product from fellow Sony division Screen Gems. "I've known Flo since we worked together at Fox, and I've long admired her excellent judgment, tireless work ethic and incredible enthusiasm for what she does," Van Galder said. "I think she's one of the top publicity executives working in film, and I look forward to once again calling her my colleague." Said Grace, "I'm thrilled to be joining the talented team at TriStar Pictures and looking forward to working with them on building their new division." TriStar's first production, Running With Scissors, is shooting, with Annette Bening leading the ensemble cast. The film is based on Augusten Burroughs' memoir. The division's first release, Catherine Hardwicke's Lords of Dogtown, opens June 3. TriStar also will release Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist in the fall. At Fox, Grace most recently was senior vp corporate publicity. She looked after Fox's image while also overseeing awards campaigns, including the one for Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. »

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SPC gives the thumbs-up to 'Thumbsucker'

6 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

After protracted negotiations, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North American rights plus English-speaking territories for Mike Mills' Sundance Film Festival hit Thumbsucker. Sources said the deal was in the $3.5 million-$4 million range. SPC had been expected to close the purchase for the past several days (HR 2/4). UTA finalized the deal Friday with executive producer Bob Yari, Bull's Eye Entertainment, This Is That Prods. and SPC co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard. SPC has committed to running the Thumbsucker trailer before such upcoming wide releases as Sony Pictures' summer skateboard movie Lords of Dogtown. It is scheduled for fall release. »

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Pena putting on 'Shield' for FX

26 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Michael Pena, who appears in Clint Eastwood's award-winning Million Dollar Baby, has joined the cast of FX's The Shield. Pena is set to appear in at least 12 episodes of the gritty cop drama's upcoming fourth season, playing Army, a former Marine reservist who is pursuing a career in law enforcement. With Detective Vic Mackey's (Michael Chiklis) Elite Strike Team disbanded, Army is partnered with Detective Shane Vendrell (Walton Goggins), who takes the rookie under his wing and teaches him the streets of the Farmington District. Pena, who will make his debut on the show in its season premiere March 15, joins other high-profile additions to the cast this coming season, including Glenn Close and Anthony Anderson. Pena, whose feature credits include Lords of Dogtown, The United States of Leland, and Buffalo Soldiers, next appears in Lions Gate's Crash. On TV, he has done multiepisode arcs on PBS' American Family, NBC's ER, and the WB Network's Felicity. Pena is repped by Innovative Artists, Art/Work Entertainment and the law firm of Stone, Meyer & Genow. »

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6 items from 2005


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