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Lords of Dogtown

Lords of Dogtown (2005)

June. 03,2005
| Drama

The radical true story behind three teenage surfers from Venice Beach, California, who took skateboarding to the extreme and changed the world of sports forever. Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva and Jay Adams are the Z-Boys, a bunch of nobodies until they create a new style of skateboarding that becomes a worldwide phenomenon. But when their hobby becomes a business, the success shreds their friendship.


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Python Hyena

Lords of Dogtown (2005): Dir: Catherine Hardwicke / Cast: Emile Hirsch, Heath Ledger, Rebecca De Mornay, Johnny Knoxville, Nikki Reed: Set in the mid 1970's about a small group surfers and skaters. The film chronicles their true story rise to fame, those who refused, and those who were robbed of the success they deserved. It is realistically portrayed by director Catherine Hardwicke despite it being sometimes distracted or unfocused. The cast bring realism to characters who struggle with fame, upbringing and death. Emile Hirsch plays a skater who was rejected by locals yet gains success before being turned in the wrong direction. Heath Ledger steals scenes as a skateboard manufacturer who produces the team but despite all efforts he ends up watching them all depart to disappointments elsewhere. Interesting that Ledger is intelligent enough to remain true to himself and his work. Rebecca De Mornay plays a hippie mother on dope. Perhaps more screen time would have benefited. Johnny Knoxville is featured as someone out to steal a team promising fame and fortune. The role is straight forward but different for Knoxville. Nikki Reed is featured as a female romantic interest but thankfully the characters are written in a realistic manner in terms of their enthusiasm. Great skateboarding action and strong conviction of fame, success, betrayal, friendship, and the passion behind it all. Score: 9 / 10

mads leonard holvik

I was intrigued by the rawness of this movie. How the young boys lived for surfing, then turned to skate boarding when the new type of wheel was invented. It was touching to see how they struggled at home, how they found meaning in skating and in friend ship and having something together that was on the side of society. Then fame came, and I must say Jay, played by Emile Hirsch, was a bit intimidating. He didn't seem to give a damn, and I didn't like the way he stole Stacy's girlfriend, although I liked him better later in the movie, because he never gave in to fame and he never sold out. Late on in the movie we saw that things just turned out the way they had to, and that was comforting. In the end, the movie left me with a good feeling, even though one of them died from brain cancer. I really liked how Skip kept on making boards, but his shop being taken over by someone who knew how to run a business, and I liked the end scene, where the boys reunited in the empty swimming pool, grudges forgotten, just having a good time. It touched me, and I was left with a feeling that I had witnessed the birth of a new youth culture. We all know how trend setting it became and all that developed from it.

Baron Ronan Doyle

The kind of person not even remotely enticed by the idea of a film about skateboarding, Lords of Dogtown was something I lazily opted to watch on television because of a name: Emile Hirsch in this case.Exploring the shift in early-70s California from surfboards to skateboards, Lords of Dogtown follows primarily three young characters associated with the sport's beginnings. Recruited by local surf/skate shop owner Skip to his new team, the trio—along with others—begin to ascend the ranks and eventually find themselves besieged by offers from other, more financially appealing teams.The opening credit sequence of Lords of Dogtown bears that most unfortunate of addendums: based on a true story. Such real life ensemble dramas are as rocky a territory as one can encounter in script terms, often only worthy of attention by those already interested in the subject matter. Such was my feeling as I began to watch this, the film focused, as you may well argue it should be, upon the skateboarding itself. Flittering glimpses of human drama are seen at various points: the splitting up of Jay's mother and her boyfriend; the relationship between Stacy and his girlfriend. These are mostly superfluous and perfunctory; surface skimming of something from which you feel the film could, and should, make more. This aside, the humour is plentiful, laughter making its presence felt regularly and appropriately. Be it the casual dismissiveness of Skip to his inner-ear-problem-besotted volunteer employee Sid, the scenes of manic teenage activity, or the athletic alacrity with which the characters throw themselves around the screen, the entertainment value is consistent for all. Problematic are the less friendly aspects of the team's wildness, such insignificant instances as their theft of an old man's hat and shouting vulgarities at nearby septuagenarians a deterrent factor in getting to like the characters. Nevertheless, they are at least partially endearing, their ascension an enjoyable spectacle. The film bears nothing of technical noteworthiness, save for some interesting shots from between the skateboard wheels as its respective riders take it for a test drive. An interesting concept, and one which perhaps might have benefited from some additional exploration. Hirsch's performance, it being my reason for sitting before the film, is amiable and solid, though undeniably outweighed by that of Ledger. An odd character is created between Ledger's drunken rants, meddlesome mischief, and disorganised handling of something which explodes beyond what he ever thought it might. Oddly handled to say the least, the performance elevates a background character to the foreground, bringing us to wonder what ever did become of Skip when the ending gives us—in rather frustrating text-over-still-image format we've seen so oft before—the future of these characters.Despite portraying a subject in which I couldn't be less interested, Lords of Dogtown manages to keep things entertaining for most of its running time. Though it touches lightly upon a number of subjects without ever exploring any of them particularly deeply, the central and simple friendship story at its heart is sufficient to warrant its watching, being as it is more the kind of thing you watch when it happens to come on than one you actively seek out.


Follows the skateboarding trend at it's rising!C.Hardwicke takes a great and romantic idea and does the best she can!The agonising constant camera tilting IS probably the best way to portray a movie about Skate and Surf at the 70's. Grunge feel and the beautiful weirdos of Venice beach as your background.It has the feeling('s),the looks and the ideas of that era so well displayed by its cast. It would be the first movie I would recommend to someone who has even the slightest idea about this culture. Not to necessarily if they care about the sport but to see how much this kids changed the way ''it was supposed to be''.My high rating is a sin I'll not regret. Also the music is superb.