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Review: Dogtown and the Z-Boys (2001)

Dogtown and the Z-Boys (2001) 

Directed by: Stacy Peralta

Premise: A documentary on the rise and fall of the 1970s Zephyr skating team and the start of professional skateboarding in America.

What Works: The story is very engaging and plays well informatively and dramatically. Like the Z-boys, the documentary has an irreverent and freestyle manner. The filmmakers have carefully matched their subject matter in the editing, camera work, and music selection. The film can be watched by both fans of skating and people who have no previous knowledge of the culture or the professional side of skating.

What Doesn’t: The film slows down a bit in its second half and takes a closer look at the lives of some of the skaters involved. While this is very interesting, the energy of the picture goes down and it leaves questions about the other members of the team.

DVD extras: Commentary track, raw skate footage, deleted scenes, previews for Lords of Dogtown.

Bottom Line: Dogtown and the Z-Boys is an interesting look inside a culture that existed briefly in the mid-1970s and the genesis of the current skating culture. It manages to be both entertaining and informing and has some valuable, if familiar, lessons about the perils of commercialization in sports.

Episode: #57 (June 26, 2005)