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Dogtown and Z-Boys (SE)
DVD disk
May 24, 2005 By: Scott Weinberg
Dogtown and Z-Boys (SE) order
Director:
Stacy Peralta

Actors:
Sean Penn - Narrator

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
It's a documentary about 1970's Venice Beach, California, which is where the most talented and devoted surfboarders under the sun devised an even cooler way to snag their adrenalin fix: skateboarding!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Hell, yes! I remember reviewing the first DVD release of Dogtown and Z-Boys, and (despite having NO interest in "skateboarding culture" whatsoever) found myself sucked right in and enjoying every last minute of the movie. Director Stacy Peralta crafted the best sort of documentary film, in that it makes its subject matter endlessly fascinating - even to those who walked in thinking "...yawn." Sure, if you're a boarding aficionado, then this movie's your new best friend, but to us skate-culture neophytes, Dogtown and Z-Boys is an absolutely entertaining eye-opener of the most colorful sort.

Consisting mainly of interviews with several of the original Z-Boys, tons of snapshots from back in the day, and a whole lot of antiquated home-video footage of some seriously slick skateboarding, Dogtown and Z-Boys is not really about how "cool" the skateboarders used to be. It's actually am extremely intelligent and fairly poignant history lesson about how the sport was actually born. And with the all-new "Lords of Dogtown" movie on the way, this great little documentary is a perfect primer to help get you in the mood.
THE EXTRAS
Those who purchased the original Dogtown and Z-Boys DVD might be wondering if this new "Deluxe Edition" is worth the double dip, so let's start off with the new material. (One cool goodie is a free ticket to see Lords of Dogtown, which opens on 6/3/05.)

Lords of Dogtown: Sneak Peek is a visit with Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva as they try to "sell" us on the tone, the talent, and the authenticity behind the upcoming 'fictionalized' account of their youth. (5:55)

Lords of Dogtown Webisodes - Director Catherine Hardwicke introduces a pair of behind-the scenes featurettes from the "Dogtown" set. The original boarders share some time with their actor counterparts, and everyone involved with the production seems pretty darn proud of the movie they're putting together. And considering how affectionate the old-school skaters feel about their friends and experiences, the collective attitude bodes well for the feature film's chances. (5:56)

So that's the new stuff. Yep, a movie ticket and less than twelve minutes of new material. Kind of flimsy for a double-dip, really. It's the exact same thing as the original DVD, only this one has some promotional material for the big-budget studio adaptation. Ah well, the movie looks cool, so it's not that big a gripe. But if you already own the first DVD, I can't really see the "Deluxe Edition" being a Must-Own. Ported over from the earlier release are the following:

Audio Commentary with Director Stacy Peralta and Editor Paul Crowder - A darn solid yak-track that focuses on a whole lot more than just skateboarding. Peralta and Crowder discuss where they dug up all the old footage, the difficulties they had getting the financial support for the doco, and all sorts of fascinating tidbits. Not the most electrfiying audio commentary out there, but the fans will almost certainly enjoy it.

Extended Raw Footage Version - Click this option on and you'll be able to see a lot more excised skateboarding footage by clicking 'enter' when the symbol pops up onscreen. Pretty nifty, but nothing you'll bother with more than once ... unless you're a skateboarding junkie, of course.

An alternate ending gives you Mr. Alva and his 40-year-old self skateboarding through a drained pool, while a few more clicks through the menu yields an old photo gallery, a soundless extended scene, just a bit of Mar Vista 2000 skateboarding footage, and a collection of trailers for Dogtown and Z-Boys, Riding Giants, XXX Deluxe Edition, Boogeyman, D.E.B.S., The Cave, and (of course) Lords of Dogtown.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
It's a testament to Peralta's work on Dogtown and Z-Boys that he was able to parlay the documentary into a full-blown feature film production. And regardless of whether or not Lords of Dogtown hits the big time, I'll always be happy to recommend the doco to whomever's asking my opinion. This is a sports documentary from the heart, made by a guy who was there ... and clearly doesn't want any B.S. mixed in with his own personal history.
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