Dogtown And Z-Boys

"Excellent"

Dogtown And Z-Boys Review


For pure, nonstop entertainment value, there will be few films released this year that compare to the skateboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. Frenetically paced, yet cohesively and dramatically structured, professional skater-cum-director Stacy Peralta impeccably blends style and substance in his feature directorial debut. You needn't possess an ounce of knowledge about the film's topic to be entirely engrossed from start to finish.

Dogtown refers to a downtrodden section of the Venice and Santa Monica beach communities that was home to the Jeff Ho and Zephyr Production Surf Shop in the mid '70s. The shop also served as a meeting place for a group of misfit local teenagers, whom the store's owners, Jeff Ho, Skip Engbloom and Craig Stecyk, have assembled into a fearless unit known as the Zephyr Skating Team. Collectively and individually, these kids would revolutionize the sport and culture of skateboarding.

Learning their moves from famous surfers such as Larry Bertelman, the Z-Boys introduced the Dogtown style to the world, infusing a previously unseen sense of athleticism, daring into the traditional mode of upright skating. Deep knee-bends, razor sharp turns and high-flying aerial maneuvers would soon become skating staples after the Zephyr team first received national exposure during the Del Mar Nationals in 1975. The team continued to perfect its skills on the playgrounds of Dogtown's elementary schools and empty swimming pools, which were plentiful during the Southern California drought of the 1976 and '77. But with the increasingly risky skating techniques also came a wild lifestyle as well as the intrusion of outside sources that would ultimately lead to the group's undoing.

As the documentary progresses, it focuses on three particular Z-Boys who became superstars in the sport: Peralta, Tony Alva, and Jay Adams. Each of these figures' lives would follow a different, unique trajectory following their initial success. Peralta and Alva enjoyed popularity that would land them endorsement deals, guest spots on television shows, and promotional tours to all corners of the globe. Their influence is directly responsible for the current boom of "extreme sports."

Narrated by Sean Penn and piecing together old movie footage (much of it shot by co-writer and highly influential surf/skate artist/writer Craig Stecyk), still photographs, and recent interviews with many of the participants, the documentary uses a high-powered soundtrack and tasteful editing tricks to propel its fun, freewheeling narrative method. As flashy as the film may be, it translates a totally grounded understanding of its net effect -- complete, unadulterated pleasure.

Peralta, as intimate with his material as any filmmaker can possibly be, goes to great lengths to ensure the film communicates in a comprehensible vernacular. He never pretends that his subjects are anything more than what they are: Pop culture icons that were mostly unknown to a mass audience and now, perhaps, largely forgotten by those who once embraced them. It's a wonderful, honest tribute to a very personal piece of the filmmaker's history.

Dogtown and Z-Boys is a thrilling experience, and one that can be thoroughly enjoyed even if you're unable to discern a "kickflip" from a "frontside air."

The DVD release is tailored for the skating-obsessed, with extended "raw" skate footage (accessible during the film a la The Matrix DVD), an extra scene set in 2000, production notes, trailers, and a commentary from Peralta and editor Paul Crowder. You won't learn any new moves, sad to say, but you will want to dust off your old board in the garage.

A nice, big pipe.



Dogtown And Z-Boys

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 3rd January 2002

Box Office USA: $1.2M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: Agi Orsi Productions, Vans Off the Wall

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 87 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Narrator, as Himself (Zephyr skate team), as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.