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LORDS OF DOGTOWN Blu-ray Review

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LORDS OF DOGTOWN tells the unbelievable but true story of three teenagers from California who took skateboarding to heights that hadn't previously been imagined and changed the sports world forever. Stacy Peralta (John Robinson), Tony Alva (Victor Rasuk) and Jay Adams (Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild) are the Z-Boys, a bunch of nobodies until they join board designer Skip Engblom (Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight) to create a new style of skateboarding that becomes a worldwide phenomenon. But when their hobby becomes a business, the success shreds their friendship.

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight) and featuring an all-star cast including Michael Angarano, Nikki Reed, Rebecca De Mornay, Johnny Knoxville, America Ferrera, and Mitch Hedberg. The stand out performance in the film comes from Heath Ledger. I'm not sure if his turn as Skip can fully be appreciated without seeing the man himself. Once you dig into the special features it becomes clear that Heath Ledger was doing more than just an impersonation, he was channeling the very essence of one the most important but unknown figures in sports history. LORDS OF DOGTOWN stands as one of the finest performances from an actor who left us far too soon. He was just getting started and watching him in this film is a bittersweet experience.  

Catherine Hardwicke had a difficult job in telling the story of the Z-Boys. See, just a few years earlier Stacy Peralta directed a masterful documentary about the subject and it wasn't apparent that a dramatic retelling of the same events was justified. How could it have the same impact? It's rare that a reinactment can carry the same weight as a story from the original participants. But Hardwicke put together a brilliant young cast and focused on some points that were left out of the documentary. The films perfectly compliment one another in that each one enriches the experience of watching the other.

Bonus Features:
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Making of Featurettes
  • Gag Reel
  • Director and Cast Commentary
  • Original Z-Boys Commentary 
The Blu-ray Special Edition from Mill Creek Entertainment can be found on Amazon here.


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