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Billabong Odyssey
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: The Arrow
Billabong Odyssey order
Director:
Philip Boston

Actors:
Mike Parsons
Brad Gerlach
Shawn Barron

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Some of the best surfers in the world take a lengthy break from that competing business, hop on a boat and travel the world in search of the biggest wave ever. Then they surf those said waves...a lot!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Surfers rule! Here are these gentlemen, in the sun all day, seeing the world, living in the ocean, with the sole element required to fulfill them a ride on one big killer wave. I tip my hat to these men! They've got the recipe for what we call "existence" correct. But itís not all fun and games, true surfing (Iím not talking about paddling in your tub with your Patrick Duffy doll) necessitates some serious training, commitment, discipline and all around hard work. I thank this movie for clarifying that for me. On a human level, I was engrossed by the relationship between Brad Gerlach and Mike Parsons displayed here. Both men were, at one time, fierce competitors and now theyíve tagged team to seek and tame the biggest wave the earth has to offer. The dynamic between them was engaging and beautiful in a spiritual kind of way.

Thankfully, not only was the sportís evolution, the preparation behind it, its endearing philosophy, the addictive rush and its mortal dangers deeply explored in this documentary, but we were also treated to some outstanding extensive surfing sequences that had my jaw dropping to the ground. That camera lens went in places within the ludicrously MASSIVE waves that I didnít even think existed. Forget crud like BLUE CRUSH! This is real surfing! Way to go, Mr. Director of Photography! The only peeves I had with this piece was that yes, it was at times, a tad redundant (they surf, they surf and they surf) and the narration (delivered by many of the surfers) sounded liked somebody chewing on a mouthful of mashed potatoes at times. But other than that, I have no complaints with this in-depth look at the sport and the way of life that is surfing. Surfís up!
THE EXTRAS
We get ZERO extras on this disc, but now that I think about it...what would they have included on there as EXTRAS anyways? More surfing scenes? More bits of surfers sharing their thoughts to the camera? Itís all there in the film, guys...we donít need extras.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If surfing cranks your dial to any degree, youíll get off on this extremely well-shot slice of beach life. BILLABONG ODYSSEY was an insightful documentary that made me want to be someone and somewhere else. I want to be with those dudes: surfing the waves, soaking in the rays and smiling wholeheartedly. Their lives looked like they made sense. If you want to intake some knowledge behind the art that is surfing and bare witness to some of the most amazing wave riding sequences ever caught on film, surf this DVD, hang 10 and feel like youíre almost there. Hopefully in my next life, Iíll be born a surfer. They have my utmost respect!
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