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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

So! This is what nothing feels like....

Author: buttyfrench from Cromosden, CA
17 November 2012

This is one of those documentaries where one can feel the love that the creator/director has for his/her subject. It's, also, one of those films where the viewer is left out in the cold wondering why the director is so infatuated with the subject. There's just nothing of substance to examine. In this case, the skateboarder is mediocre at, well, skateboarding. Worse, he is a dim bulb and his circle of friends are all lifeless and tragically without original thoughts. Granted, he is not supposed to be some brainy whiz kid that founded his own software company at the age of 12. But Geez, this guy is so much of a zero that I had a hard time understanding how he even finds his way around his own apartment. I found myself nodding off every time that he began to speak. He has this hypnotic way in which he talks that lures one into a waking slumber. God, I am so happy that my 2 boys amounted to something.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

An escape from the ordinary...

Author: Justine Thompson from United States
24 March 2011

I think the last reviewer completely missed the point of this entire film. Dragonslayer is an unbiased escape from the norm of documentary film making. Not only in the way it was made, but also in it's choice of subjects. It's a world, that if you don't happen to be part of, you are allowed to enter and participate in. The characters are real, their love story is real, and all they are trying to do is figure it out like the rest of us. In the midst of all this life, the skate competitions are colorful and exciting and help capture the film's wild, don't give a dam, punk rock mentality. If you are looking for an escape into an unfamiliar and beautiful place, I highly recommend this film.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Terrible, but not without a point

Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida
4 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There seems to be two extremes among viewers of this movie: you either love it or you don't. I found myself torn between being incredibly bored and incredibly turned off by Sandoval and his aimless friends who seem to fill the day with bongs, booze, and absolute drivel. It's even more aggravating to learn that Sandoval is a dead beat dad who chooses all this over caring for his young son. If you hate these types of people in the real world, there's no chance they're going to win your respect here.

And they shouldn't. The movie was almost over when the point of all this finally starts to become clear. About the time when Sandoval and his equally braindead girlfriend run out of money and pack up with the expectations that they'll just hit the road and do whatever, only to return to where they started. These kids are naive to the point of being pathetic. Though the tagline says that the future is dependent upon it's youth, I'm not sure this was the best example of the critical flaws. This is more like worst case scenario.

Whether it was worthy of the accolades received at the SXSW screening, I think this probably won the hearts of pretentious hipsters that pack the festival.

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slice of an alternative life

Author: SnoopyStyle
8 October 2016

Josh 'Skreech' Sandoval is a longtime skateboarder in Fullerton, California. He tries to maintain his carefree alternative lifestyle but he has a new baby. He tries to tour but his skateboarding falters. He continues his search for abandoned swimming pools in the economically depressed neighborhood. He has his friends, and his slacker drug-induced haze life but responsibility is calling on him. I do not wish bad things to happen to Skreech but that's the only way that this movie could have had any drama. In the end, this movie meanders aimlessly which is fitting for his life. It shines a slice of an alternative life but it's not a full slice. Sometimes, he closes the door on the camera and sometimes, there is a sense of some selective editing. His frustration during the competition is palpable but that's a rare moment of intensity. This movie does have its moments but it needs more.

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Dragon slayer? More like dream bringer.

Author: January39 from United Kingdom
27 January 2014

Hmm. This won't take long.

He is dull - who is he anyway? Bums around all day, trying to say epic & meaningful things, only to conclude another bong is the way to go.

There is no substance here - all I learn is that he is a right waster with limited potential. May be it is me? maybe I missed something that would open my eyes to it? No, wait - sorry, it is just plain bad.

There's nothing here, but a day in the life of a dreamer with no dreams and who avoids washing. I finished it still waiting for something to happen - but then I never got the point so maybe that is understandable. Even the skating is poor.

O and what is with the puking on the skate ramp! Dirty.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Burnout, deadbeat garbage.

Author: Greg Gorelick from San Diego
23 July 2012

I cannot fathom how other reviewers think this is interesting film making, a good love story, or in any way redeeming. My guess is that SWSX is now populated by hipsters, but that's just a theory.

The lead character is the epitome of a loser. :I met my girl at a punk show, I was totally drunk". Wow, really? Now they have a kid that he not only doesn't take care of, but the two of them are ill-equipped to.

I used to skate, and I can't knock the beers, girls and what not... but holy crap, not one shower was taken in this movie. Wake and bake, beer after beer... it's vile. These were the guys that hung out in the park, never worked, and bummed your smokes... or showed up at the party and leeched off your keg because they didn't have two nickels to rub together. Sadly, this went past high school for these people, assuming they even went to high school.

There is no punk rock attitude either. The lead can barely form a sentence.

Well... if you want to see people skate pools, I suppose that's one redeeming value of this "documentary" (that anyone could have filmed with a mediocre camera and editing skills). Then again, it's not that hard to get decent skating when you have no job, no ambition, and ignore your kid.

Two stars for motivating me harder in my endeavors.

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13 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

: A Failed Effort to Present the Life of Skateboarder

Author: JustCuriosity from Austin, TX, United States
18 March 2011

Dragonslayer, a slice-of-life documentary about the life of Josh "Screech" Sandoval, is a really uninteresting film. I believe that director Tristan Patterson invested a lot of time and effort, but what he produced was not very enlightening or particularly constructive as a documentary. There are so many more interesting people that he could have spent his time and energy profiling. That this film won the best documentary feature award from the Grand Jury here at Austin's SXSW is truly inexplicable.

The film is simply the chronicle of the life of someone who isn't very interesting, inspiring or likable. The only mildly interesting part of the film is the skateboarding scenes which are somewhat enjoyable, but the character is not. He seems like a guy who hangs out all day, skateboards in people's pools, drinks, and smokes. He does nothing to contribute to society, mostly ignores his own kid, and has nothing very interesting to say. Frankly, Screech is kind of dull and rather unlikeable. Off of the skateboard, he seems to be mostly dysfunctional and kind of pathetic. Some seem to find this film artistic, but I found it like its subject to be pretty much a waste of time.

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

a beautiful portrait of someone trying to figure it out

Author: jakerees11 from United States
31 May 2011

Dragonslayer's a tough film to define and that's what makes it so great. It's not the typical documentary you see today with a big social issue being explored or your expected 'inspirational' character who comes out of the story with a clear cut resolution to their struggles. It exists in the gray areas of life, and explores the beauty and hardships of being young and trying to live your life in an unsure world...It's more old school verite (think the Maysles' Salesmen) with the production value/techniques of a Gus Van Sant or Larry Clark film. It puts the viewer smack in the middle of Screech's life without explanation and let's them experience his life first hand, not letting go until the end credits.

From the cinematography, to the editing and awesome soundtrack, Dragonslayer elevates the documentary genre to something really special. I was so happy to see something on the big screen that was so different than the usual reality TV shows and Oprah-fied documentaries out there. THIS IS REAL LIFE SHOWN IN THE MOST CINEMATIC TERMS.

But forget what I say- go see this film wherever you can and make your own decision about it.

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5 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Mindblowing Documentary

Author: stefanbruckner81 from Canada
31 May 2011

I saw this movie after it won Best International Documentary at Hot Docs in Toronto, which in my opinion was truly well-deserved. There is a scene in Dragon Slayer that takes place in a drive-in movie theater that is one of the most poetic moments I think I've ever seen, all the more affecting given that it's real. It's a movie about a skater named Screech but it's also about so much more: growing up in the suburbs, falling in love and not caring what anyone else thinks about you. It's like the cinematic equivalent of discovering punk rock music when you're a teenager. I left the theater wanting to go drink 40s with all the friends I grew up with and listen to GG Allin. The reason I'm only giving it 9 stars is because my friend who I saw it with immediately went out and bought a pack of cigarettes after it was over and she had just quit smoking a couple months ago. You get the idea. It's that kind of movie.

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3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:


Author: worldofwizards from United States
3 November 2011

Hello all, so i researched your subject and found out hes a complete loser. Word is he doesn't even take care of his so called son. So how is he suppose to be working at a bowling alley to support his son when all i see around is him traveling and getting wasted and making a complete ass of himself at the Milwualke premiere.

This person is not struggling, he does it to himself and wants to make you feel sorry for him. I despise people like that, I would rather record myself wiping my buns then to watch such a nonsense of a film. Getting drunk, high, and abandoning his son is not a hero, so don't waste your money on this film because the money will go towards his next fix.

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