17 hours ago
Monday, November 14, 2005
Lords Of Dogtown
Who the hell are the Z boys?
Some time ago a documentary called Dogtown and the Z-Boys was released. This was a documentary about a few boys who lived in Venice, California in the 1970’s and who discovered their own skateboarding skills. Some boys to name a few were Jay Adams, Tony Alva, and Stacy Peralta. Dogtown was the name bestowed upon their local area of Venice, suburbs and ghettos that were controlled by “locals only”. All these boys were rather close friends who were all equally talented as skaters and were picked up by a local surf shop called Zephyr. Thus, the “Z” boys are born. I have never seen the documentary but I have heard many good things. Apparently the documentary was cold, gritty and truthful. The teen Z boys were told for what they were, young, self-righteous kids with bad attitudes. The boys were surfers and didn’t do much other than committing random acts of vandalism and sneaking into backyards to skate in drained pools.
When the kids were picked up by Zephyr they turned skating into something real, a sport, a sport to be taken seriously. A lot of people even say they are the fathers of skateboarding. Responsible for the reality of all extreme sports. Some would say they were a bunch of immature boys with a little bit a talent and a lot of luck. Either way, after the documentary was released, Stacy Peralta decided to write his own somewhat factual screenplay for the Z boys.
Lords of Dogtown is a decent movie, but only decent. If I would rate it I would give it a 3 out of 5. It is shot exactly like a documentary, and the movie tries way to hard to be cold and edgy. Stacy Peralta is played by John Robinson, Tony Alva by Victor Rasuk and Jay Adams by Emile Hirsch (the guy from The Girl Next Door.) Hirsch is the best actor of the group, portraying his badass character with style. Then there is Heath Ledger, the somewhat well known actor; from recent Brothers Grimm and somewhat old 10 Things I Hate About You. Ledger plays the Zephyr surf shop owner, Skip. Who is a surf bum, drug addicted alcoholic. He forms the skate team and creates the Z-Boys and Ledger does a great job as portraying his character as well, making him seem l aid back but at the same time skittish when nervous.
All around like I said I would give it 3 of 5 stars, maybe. It is good, but just good enough to hold your attention. It is interesting to know this information (however useless) and it is fun to watch the skate moves being performed. I am a fan of the Tony Hawk games (even though I myself cannot skateboard worth a damn) and I do somewhat enjoy viewing others skate. Of course the time period in which this movie takes place is before the actual Ollie (which is a jump on a skateboard) was invented (it was invented by Tony Hawk in the late 1980’s, a little skateboarding 101) so all tricks are ground based, and no ridiculous airtime. My favorite part in the movie is when Tony Hawk makes an appearance as an astronaut, and attempts skateboarding on Peralta’s board and falls. The original Peralta being Hawk’s mentor this is comedic in more than one way, seeing the now middle aged Tony face to face with the young Peralta. Anyways, if you like skateboarding it’s definitely worth a rent, if not, it can still be entertaining to an extent.