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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
John Robinson
Emile Hirsch
Rebecca De Mornay.
Directors
Catherine Hardwicke.
Screenwriters
Stacy Peralta.
Running Time
107 minutes

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Lords of Dogtown
Will world success ruin the skateboarding phenomena of Venice, California...


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Plot
Skateboarding is born in Venice, California in the mid-1970s when local teenagers swap surf for tarmac. But sponsorship deals and international fame drive a wedge between former friends who are in danger of losing sight of their sport’s rebellious roots.


Review

Hot on the wheels of skateboarding documentary Dogtown And Z-Boys comes Hollywood’s fictional version of the same true story – a reflection of a reflection of reality. Is that a ‘360 Kickflip’ too many for the judges? No, because, if anything, Lords Of Dogtown gives a more vivid impression of what it must have been like to hang out with the coolest kids on the block.



As an insider from the original Zephyr Team, Stacy Peralta was in prime position to source matchless archive footage and one-on-one interviews for his documentary. Peralta’s screenplay credit guarantees authenticity here, but Catherine Hardwicke – director of Thirteen – plays to different strengths, emphasising mood, drama and acting. In her hands, Heath Ledger delivers his first truly adult performance as burnt-out hippie Skip Engblom, while Emile Hersch nudges the young ensemble cast into deeper and darker emotional territory as troubled skater Jay Adams.



Anyone less than overwhelmed by the documentary will think they’ve been here before: the skating tricks become repetitive and again the soundtrack is an iPod shuffle of 70s rock (stick around for Sparklehorse’s cover of ‘Wish You Were Here’ on the closing credits). Fans, however, will discover that the original’s history of the sport has been fleshed out with a focus on the people and their problems.


Verdict
A hanging-out movie that’s as close as you’ll ever get to soaking up the time, the place and the attitude. Too slack for mainstream audiences, though.


Reviewed by Alan Morrison


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Average user rating for Lords of Dogtown
Empire Star Rating

Zepher boys

Having skated since being a kid in the 80s these guys were heroes so when Dogtown and z-boys came out i was stoked, but when i heard they were making a hollywood version of their story i was a bit skeptical. How wrong i was, top film, great cast and it is pretty much as it happened without too much messing with the story and characters, Heath ledger and Emile Hersch are quality performances, this may have been swayed by the fact Skip and Jay are 2 of the z-boys bunch that stood out to me. As ot... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Hobin Wan Kenobi at 10:04, 12 December 2008 | Report This Post


Very Enjoyable

A lotsafun skate flick. Heath Ledger (God Rest him) is superb. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 12:01, 11 March 2008 | Report This Post


UNDERRATED

you really have to skate to understand the coolness of this film ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fightclubber94 at 17:21, 23 January 2008 | Report This Post


Z-Boys Yeah!

I really think this movie is worthwhile, even to those who have seen (and loved!) the original documentary. In fact I believe that those who haven't seen "Dogtown and Z-Boys" are at a real disadvantage, because the film version doesn't develop the central characters and their relationships nearly enough. Hardwicke attempts to tell the story visually, through clever editing and close, emotional shots, but forgets to create relatable protaganists. Why does Tony not want Stacey to see his... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JasonC19 at 03:39, 18 January 2006 | Report This Post



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