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September 08, 2010

Highwater

Highwater-poster The big waves of Bruce Brown's famous '60s surfer movies like "Endless Summer" recede in son Dana Brown's piecemeal documentary about the 2005 Oahu North Shore Triple Crown surfing competition. Far removed from Brown's inspired 2003 film "Step Into Liquid," the surfer/documentarian isn't able to shape a decent structure for an interview film where even the surfing seems perfunctory. The development of extreme surfing into a commercial product is set at odds against the rebel ethics of the surfers that Dana's dad celebrated in his films. Competition surfers like Chelsea Georgeson and the retiring Sunny Garcia catch waves with the likes of Bethany Hamilton (who lost an arm in a shark attack), and everyone's favorite Kelly Slater. But its the enigmatic North Shore nonconformist soul-surfer Eric Haas who captures more of surfing's idealistic spirit. It's great that pro surfers can make a good living at their sport, but it doesn't make for a very interesting movie.

Not Rated. 90 mins. (C-) (Two Stars - out of five/no halves)

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