Entertainment Weekly - 12/09/2005
"[The film] delivers the history of American snowboarding....Visually, MD Films offers up a sugar rush." -- Grade: B+
New York Times - 12/02/2005
"Their enthusiasm is infectious....[With] enough hair-raising thrills and spills on view to satisfy the expectations of the movie's true genre..."
It's all about taking freestyle to the back roads in this breathtaking documentary that does for snowboarding what films like DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS (2001) did for skateboarding or THE ENDLESS SUMMER (1966) did for surfing. Documentary filmmakers Kemp Curly and Kevin Harrison capture a once-in-a-lifetime event: five major-league snowboard professionals meeting up to make their first descents down some staggeringly steep peaks in Alaska. They span three decades in their ages: there's the pioneers, Shawn Farmer and Nick Peralta; esteemed Norwegian master Terje Haakonsen; and X-Games superstar Shaun White and top-flight girl snowboarder Hannah Teter. The latter two are each only 18 here and getting their first taste of the unexplored Alaska wilderness. Narrated by Henry Rollins, the film captures the easygoing camaraderie of these amazing athletes as they prepare to be lifted up in helicopters to the top of the world, outracing avalanches and plunging down straight-faced gorges. There's lots of gorgeous Alaskan vistas, great party footage, and a heart-pumping soundtrack that includes songs by Beck, Queens of the Stone Age, Thunderball, Ursula 1000, Jets to Brazil, Rival Schools, and Minor Threat. There are also interview appearances from snowboard titans like Mike Basich, Tina Basich, Todd Richards, Tom Sims, and Andy Finch. Snowboarding junkies will be in 360-degree heaven with this documentary, and newcomers should relish the chance to catch up with the backstory of the amazing sport, including its origins, the wild and crazy early years, the initial hostility between boarders and skiers, the emergence of the half-pipe, and the triumphant arrival of the sport into the Olympics.
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