When I first saw the trailer for this I was struck with a sense of deja vu. Just 4 years ago there was a documentary entitled Dogtown and Z-Boys. Ironically, the director of that documentary was also one of the subjects of it, and now is the writer of this dramatized version, Stacy Peralta. I thought that it looked pretty good, but soon forgot about it. Recently, though, the advertising campaign has been increasingly aggravating, I can't seem to get away from the commercials and trailers. Despite that, I went to see it anyway, and surprise, I thought it was a good movie.
The film follows the rise of a trio of skateboarders during the rise of skating in the mid-1970's. The film doesn't really follow a strict narrative format, it is much more a slice of life. We follow them on their rise to fame and the problems that arise from said fame.
The film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who was also behind the excellent Thirteen a couple of years back. She was a rather last minute replacement, as this was originally slated to be directed by Fred Durst, not sure how that would have worked out. Then when he fell out, producer, and excellent director in his own right, David Fincher stepped in to take the chair. He got as afar as doing set building and previsualizations, but then he stepped down and Catherine stepped in.
We get an excellent recreation of the look of the era on film. The colors seem a bit washed out and there is a decent amount of grain, all in the sense of style. Giving us a look into Venice Beach, the poor surfer neighborhood, focusing on Skip and his skate team, headed by Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Stacy Peralta.
We watch these guys causing some general havoc in the streets, and developing from would be surfer's to top skateboarders. By doing so, leading a revolution in the sport. The skating action is good, nothing like the stunts you can see today, but they are shot in an exciting fashion.