After slowly getting over the news of Heath Ledger's death, I wanted to watch him again in one of his movies. Although I like Brokeback Mountain, I prefer this one.
It's the story of the Z-Boys, four teenage surfer friends who in the mid seventies take up skate boarding and thus change the world of sports forever.
Heath is "Far Out!" Skip, a surfer and surf store owner who is the first to recognize the kids' talents. He pushes them (calling him a manager would be a little too much), and makes them grow into what they are to become. More or less drunk for most of the time and always open for yet another trick to spin off a little cash for himself on the side, he cannot hold them once the success and fame hits. Big managers' promises of fast cars, the prettiest girls and cash in adundance pull the boys out of his loose grip. Their friendship starts breaking apart as ambition, jealousy, girls and greedy managers take over. It is only when one of them (who got left behind) falls seriously ill, that the boys get back together and rediscover what their friendship is all about.
Starring Emile Hirsch as the enigmatic and anger driven Jay, Victor Rasuk as the ambitious Tony Alva and John Robinson as Stacy Peralta (who also wrote the screenplay).
Great camerawork, both on and off the skates, terrific acting, solid directing and wonderful production and set design. The film and the actors do a great job in transmitting the fun and thrill of skating. My favorite scene is Tyson, The Wonder Dog, the fun loving skating bulldog who simply can't get enough of the sport(also as an extended scene in the special features - he was not trained to do this but took up skating by himself!). The dvd's picture quality is good, even in the dark and during the rides. The extended cut has four minutes more. The only reason these were cut were probably the use of too many four letter words, but I wouldn't want to miss them. Great movie with a wonderful sad and funny Heath Ledger.
There is not a whole lot of story to the cinematic adaptation of Stacy Peralta's memoir of his experience in the mid 1970s with the popularization of skateboarding. Nor is there a whole lot of character development in these teenagers addicted to skateboarding among other things. But what LORDS OF DOGTOWN is, is a spectacular cinematic excursion into the risks and exaltations of the sport of championship skateboarding: watching the thrills of these kids doing dangerous leaps, twists, airborne stunts … more
I love stories in all form. Painting, film, comics, books, music - anything. Also sculpture, more the classic kind from ROman, Greek onward until I need to read so I might understand what I am supposed … more
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Lords of Dogtowncaptures the sheer kinetic joy of skateboarding like no other movie (except, perhaps,Dogtown and Z Boys, a documentary about the very skateboarders this movie depicts). Set in the mid-1970s in Venice, CA--a.k.a. Dogtown--the movie starts with three young aspiring surfers turned skateboarders: Stacy (John Robinson,Elephant), Jay (Emile Hirsch,The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), and Tony (Victor Rasuk,Raising Victor Vargas). When alpha-stoner Skip (Heath Ledger,A Knight's Tale) recognizes the potential of skateboarding as a new sport, his surf shop becomes the center of the boys' universe. They swiftly rise as skateboarding stars and find their brotherhood threatened by sex, money, fame, and ego--it's a common enough story, but director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) has a gift for capturing the raw messiness of life.Lords of Dogtownseems to unfold haphazardly, yet every scene moves the increasingly dizzy rise (or fall) of each skater forward with headlong momentum. The excellent cast includes Rebecca De Mornay (Risky Business), Johnny Knoxville (Jackass: The Movie), and Nikki Reed (Thirteen).Lords of Dogtown, written by skater Stacy Peralta (and based on his own life), both celebrates the excitement of testosterone-fueled recklessness and quietly reflects on the cost of getting what you want.--Bret Fetzer