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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

lords of dogtown

First of all, I'm sorry for the lack of new posts, but there's been lots of craziness going on over here!

My wife just left for a 4 day business trip to Europe, so it's me and my mother-in-law holding things together right now (Man, I'd be in trouble without her here). It's the first time Mommy's been away since before our first daughter was born, so this is a new experience for all of us.

Amazingly, we got both girls to sleep on time. I'm especially worried, though, about what will happen at 2 AM when our 10 month old wakes up expecting to roll over and clamp onto Mommy's nipple. Although she eats a lot of solid food, she still breastfeeds for her liquid nourishment and she normally co-sleeps with us (tonight she's in the crib, though). Although much-maligned by the pediatric establishment, we've found co-sleeping to be quite practical when you have a breast-feeding baby. It's great bonding, and everybody gets a good night's sleep. The drawback is, of course, if Mommy leaves town for a few days...Daddy's doomed!

Posting will therefore probably remain light for a while. My coblogger A.W. has all but abandoned the Leviathan Slayer ship, so it's just me these days. All right, on with the review!

I recently watched the "Lords of Dogtown" movie on DVD (the "Unleashed" version, which I'm guessing has more sex, drugs and foul language than the theatrical release did). It was directed by production designer-turned-director Catherine Hardwicke.

Not a great movie, but if you're at all interested in the skateboarding revival of the early-to-mid 70s you will probably enjoy it. It's a dramatized version of the true tale of some surfer kids from Venice, California (basically a slum by the beach) who invented the modern, "vertical" style of skateboarding, largely developed while skating in empty swimming pools (empty because of drought-like conditions in CA and the consequent water-usage restrictions). The kids would sneak into people's pools when the owners were away, and develop their craft.

I really enjoy watching skateboarding, and these actors did a decent job of it. The acting itself wasn't all that great, with the exception of Heath Ledger who was pretty good as the surf shop owner Skip Engblom who put the team together. I think the main reason I liked this movie at all is the nostalgia factor. I had a skateboard in my preteen and early teen years, right around the time period this movie is set. I never knew anything about the Z-boys but it's interesting now to see how it all came about.

These kids were no angels, and their lack of respect for property rights and lack of morals in general (some characters much worse than others, like the punk hoodlum Jay Adams, played by Emile Hirsch) was somewhat of a turnoff. Their screwed-up parents, as portrayed in the movie, at least, were certainly no role models so I have to cut the kids some slack there.

I was intrigued enough by this film to want to check out the "Dogtown and Z-Boys" documentary that was made a few years earlier by one of the skaters, Stacey Peralta. (who also wrote the screenplay for Lords of Dogtown). I'll try to post a review of that one if I ever get around to seeing it.


Blogger RC said...

you know what's crazy...hardwicke (the directors) next film is Nativity...that's right, about the nativity...

very interesting transition.

--RC of

1:19 AM  

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