Your browser does not support or blocks cookies. The site will not function properly. Do not ask for support.

Stream it now

Lords of Dogtown 2005

The film follows the surf and skateboarding trends that originated in Venice, California during the 1970's...

Release Date:
June 3, 2005
107 min
Catherine Hardwicke
Melonie Diaz, Bai Ling, John Robinson, ...
Drama, Biography, Sport ...
USA, Germany
English, Spanish

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 6.2


Imdb rating: 7.1



Did that fucker say this was fictionalized?
These people are real!!!

Did that fucker say this was fictionalized?
These people are real!!!

Skate or Die

Free movies usually suck. But I was stoked to see that I actually got advanced screening passes to a movie that I wanted to see! Lords of Dogtown did not disappoint.

Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the disturbing but great film Thirteen, did a great job of capturing the art of skateboarding, teenage boys, loyalty and the 1970's. I would highly recommend seeing the documentary Dogtown and the Z-Boys, which was directed by Z-Boy Stacy Peralta (who also penned Lords of Dogtown).

The film follows the rise of the Z-Boys in Venice, through their working-class days up until they were still young and being fought over, spoiled, and tainted by fame and fortune. The story mostly centers around Stacy Peralta (John Robinson), Tony Alva (Victor Rasuk) and Jay Adams (Emile Hirsch), all of whom exude 70's California, street-wise young men with blonde, sun-kissed hair.

Though personally, Val Kilmer--I mean, Heath Ledger steals the show as Skip, the co-founder of the Zephyr skate team. He is in a state of constant inebriation and talks like his jaw is out of joint. This is the first movie that Mr. Ledger really, really caught my attention. But for some reason I thought he was Val Kilmer the entire time.

I also thought Emile Hirsch looked a little Cobainesque, but I may have to align myself with my friend Susan, who contended he looked like River Phoenix. And he does. I didn't even recognize Rebecca DeMornay as Jay's mom. What happened????

My favorite scenes of the movie are when they are hunting for empty pools to skate in. I also enjoyed the very effective use of the "under the board" shot. Where the audience gets to see the underneath of the skateboards and the wheels spinning, it's pretty damn cool. I also really dug the soundtrack; everything from Hendrix, Cher to a little Social Distortion covering the Clash's "Death or Glory" as the credits began to crawl (I love me some Mike Ness).

Other highlights: A bizarro, pimped-out version of Johnny Knoxville and Tony Hawk in a laugh out loud cameo with him dressed as an astronaut and wearing moon boots.

I finally got An Awfully Big Adventure in the mail. Hallelujah! The Rickmanista! And I also think I may try to see a matinee of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants tomorrow. I am currently reading the books and I think they are great for teenage girls and young adults. I am really interested in that kind of fiction, because I have always wanted to write a book directed to middle-school and high-school audiences.

Gotta hop

Lords of Dogtown

I expected a glossy, much more mainstream approach to the material and was therefore happy to see Catherine Hardwicke deliver a film that is visually in the same vein as her debut, Thirteen. Lords of Dogtown is in no way an innovative film, but the gritty camerawork allows the actors' performances to come across as natural despite their shortcomings. The stand-outs are surprisingly, but appropriately, two of the film's biggest names. Emile Hirsch has a vulnerable, yet well-meaning harshness that is alternatively intimidating and endearing. Heath Ledger adopts a strange accent that teeters on the verge of annoyance, but which is interesting enough to elevate his character to being one of the film's highlights.

The boys' rise to fame is a very simple story that only begins to resonate near the end, which is unfortunate as the end's nostalgic melancholy directly conflicts with a true-life, but hard-to-pull-off plot twist that is borderline cheesy. Lords of Dogtown covers all angles of the skater lifestyle, but offers little insight into what drives these people outside of the desire to live on a permanent summer break. Hardwicke still shows promise, but her graceful struggle to achieve realism can't overcome this almost entirely superficial script.
Movie Review: Lords of Dogtown

Even though I do not skateboard, or have any interest in skateboarding, I still was anxious to see "Lords of Dogtown," and wow did I waste my time. Not only was this by far the worst movie of 2005 so far, but it will go down in my memory as one of the worst I can remember. In reality, I don't even think I saw a movie, because there never seemed to be anything going on. "Lords of Dogtown," just teased me for an hour and forty five minutes.

Movies today always battle to grasp the audience's attention right from the start. And "Lords of Dogtown," does the complete opposite. The opening is very slow, and the movie really never does pick up any speed. The style of the movie is the same as the tricks they do, slow, repetitive, and much out of date. I expected the skating action to be intense and actually have distinct action parts, but I guess I expected too much. The "action" parts are by no means mind blowing, and it may even be a stretch to call them alright. It was not what I had imagined at all. One might also predict that this could be an entertaining although not well made movie. Entertaining and "Lords of Dogtown" do not even belong in the same sentence. Throughout the entire movie, I was checking my watch waiting for it to finally be over. There is no substance to this movie at all. There is no drama, no action, and even less comedy even though all three are forced to try and exist with too much effort.

There really is no plot whatsoever at all to sum it all up. The movie is supposed to show how they apparently made skating so popular etc, but nothing happens. There was hardly any history involved at all. Dialogue, and especially any relative dialogue is completely absent from the movie as well. The dramatic parts of the movie were completely ignored as well. Even the downfall of the Z boys was not the momentous and powerful moment that it should have been. The ending tried to be all encompassing, and it was in furthering my misery and boredom. My favorite part of the movie was when it mentions what the characters are doing in their lives nowadays, solely because I knew the torture was finally over.

What shocked me the most about this movie was the lack of acting done by the cast. Emile Hirsch was like a statue, he spent the entire movie being stoic, and hardly uttering a word. And Health Ledger, who I am a fan of, might have had the worst movie accent ever. I couldn't even pay attention; it was like he was speaking a different language that I didn't know. Yes, I know this movie takes place in the 1970s, but did every cast member have to dress like an adult film star? Not everyone looked like that, there is absolutely no way. Typically when writing, I try to mention the good and bad of a film. No matter how hard I try, I can't find anything worthy of being mentioned as good in this movie.

Obviously I am not going to recommend this movie, after what I have just written. I wouldn't even bother renting the DVD. This movie is bound to turn up on cable and be a constant addition to some network, but it is a waste of an hour and forty five minutes. I'm just glad I saw it for free, or I would have had to ask for my money back, or worse, just got up and left.
One of the best movies i've seen! vic, emile and john are uber hott!!!
Having seen the documentary "Dogtown and Z-boys", i really wanted to see this movie. that i and am an avid skater myself and know all about the Z-boys and the history that took place in Venice Beach Ca. I really enjoyed the movie, the actors playd the parts really well. i guess haveing there real life counter parts really payed of. and the story sticks very true to the subject matter and story as i have understood the story of the Z-boys. although i have to say this isnt a movie for everyone, most skaters will love it. but i can see alot of people not liking it.i think its a kind of movie that you have to understand to really like and not everyone is a skater or avid skating history fan. all that aside it is still a fun movie.
Being a long time skater I say "finally a movie about the birth of skateborading and a great one at that". Who better to write the script also than the man who lived it and helped give birth to modern day skating - Stacey Peralta. I loved this movie because of its ability to capture the story accurately and keep moving the action along. In a movie like this you cant have long chats between characters. I was glad they didnt "hollywood it up" but rather showed what real skaters did back then (and still do) i.e. breaking into houses to skate empty pools, and really showing what it was like for those guys at that time. The only reason I did not give it a 10 was that, after watching the documentary on the same subject done by Stacey Peralta, I wish he had put a little bit of narrative or words in the beginning to set the movie up. I highly recommend watching the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys to hear from the real Jay Adams, Tony Alva and Stacey Peralta among others like Skip Engblom and a bunch of the original Zephyr surf and skate team. I will be buying the documentary and this movie on dvd. As an old school skater I will treasure them.
I was expecting this movie to be great. All my friends said they loved it. I was very diappointed. Although it was funny at times, actually, I found myself laughing quite a bit. But overall it was just so unaffecting.

Report a problem