Lords of Dogtown

Release Date: June 3, 2005
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Movie of the Day for Monday, April 11, 2005
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Mr Johnny Mosely sir, can we get your autograph?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
26/166 David Mumpower Fabulous casting choices and a wonderful performance by Heath Ledger make for a fantastic biopic.
28/85 Kim Hollis Upbeat and engaging. A great cast makes it work.

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Okay, stay with me here because this is going to be a bit complicated. In March of 1999, Spin Magazine published a well-received article about the life of a man named Tony Alva. It detailed the exploits of his youth, particularly the events that unfolded at his favorite hangout. The area was in the Venice/Santa Monica area of California, and the locals somewhat derisively referred to the dilapidated streets where a failed theme park had once resided as Dogtown.

The story inspired a documentary called Dogtown and Z-Boys. The director, Stacy Peralta, had more than a passing interest in the subject. He was, after all, a founding member of the Z-Boys along with Alva, Jay Adams, and Shogo Kubo. What had started as a group of kids looking for alternatives to surfing had evolved into the Zephyr Competition Skate Team, and Peralta was there from the group’s genesis. Who better to chronicle the events than one of the originals?

Well, Columbia Pictures seems to feel that Catherine Hardwicke might be. Using a script written by Peralta, Hardwicke has been given the assignment of recreating the documentary as a fictional re-telling of how the Z-Boys came to be recognized by skaters world-wide as the Lords of Dogtown.

If you’re scoring at home, your card should look something like this. First, Alva, Peralta and the rest of the Z-Boys gained notoriety. Next, Spin Magazine documented their adventures. After that, a documentary based on the magazine article chronicling the Z-Boys was created by one of its members. Finally, a fictional take on the historically accurate documentary based on the verified events leading to the Lords of Dogtown becoming famous is being written. The author of this dramatically enhanced fictional tale is one of the people who was actually there to witness the real events as they happened.

I don’t know about you, but I have a headache now.

Despite the complicated series of events leading to this production’s existence, the movie itself is quite straightforward. Using a solid cast of rising Hollywood talents frontlined by Heath Ledger, Nikki Reed and Emile Hirsch, The Lords of Dogtown will be much like its documentary. It’s a movie set in the 1970s telling the story of how a group of boys came to turn the benefits of a water shortage into a recreational sport. Their creation would prove to have such intense popularity that an entire series of extreme sports eventually marketed as X-Games by the kindly profit takers at ESPN would evolve from their competitions. And the story has been written by Stacy Peralta, someone who was there from day one, someone who sponsored Tony Hawk for the first decade of his career. You think that guy might know a thing or two about the world of skating? (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Lords of Dogtown
Main Cast Emile Hirsch, Heath Ledger, Nikki Reed
Supporting Cast Jeremy Renner, John Robinson, Victor Rasuk, Eddie Cahill, Shea Whigham, Michael Angarano
Director Catherine Hardwicke
Screenwriter Catherine Hardwicke, Stacy Peralta
Distributor Twentieth Century Fox
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/lordsofdogtown/
Rating PG-13
Running Time 107 minutes
Screen Count 1,865
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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