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July 17, 2005

Lords of Dogtown

Lords_of_dogtown The topic of Stacy Peralta's hugely popular "Dogtown And Z-Boys" documentary gets a narrative structuring from Peralta's resonant screenplay, and Catherine Hardwicke's confident direction. Peralta focuses his narrative on three of the Venice, Ca surfers/skateboarders who reinvented skateboarding by carving across the upper tiles of empty swimming pools in the mid '70s. Stacy (John Robinson), Jay Adams (Emile Hirsch), and Tony Alva (Victor Rasuk) are the skate punk heros. Their influential skating techniques are executed by fully committed actors in skating sequences that fulfill the exacting demands of the story's physical aspects. As the three friends separate via the commercial successes afforded them, "Lords Of Dogtown" becomes a distinctly youthful American anecdote about the nature of friendship and success. The terrific ensemble performances are bested by Heath Ledger as surfboard designer and local mentor Skip.

Rated PG-13, 105 mins. (B+) (Four Stars)

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