Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Long Video Review

On my trip to the Northwest, I bought a grip of new videos that I could not find locally. While I have not watched them all yet, I have watched a few and will begin to write some reviews of the respective videos. We will start with the Last of the Mohicans video.

Now I don’t know much about The Killa Tapes or the guys that made the video, but I have been looking forward to it for some time now. The premise is something along the lines or these guys being the last of a dying breed of raw street skaters or some garbage like that, but that is not why I wanted to see it. Obviously, I simply wanted to see some new Fred Gall and Danny Renaud footage. What I can to find is best summarized as a low-rate Static knock-off with throwaways from all the big names. Ouch, I know that sounds harsh but let me counter that with this: was it worth the money I paid for it? Yes. While it didn’t quite meet my expectations, there was some pretty amazing footage in there by some dudes that you hardly get to see any footage of (namely Frankhouse). The video was good overall, for what it was. Let me give some specifics.

Jon Newport had a good opening part chock full of well-balanced nose grinds and solidified by the perfect nose grind in the beginning of his part. Watch that, then rewind and re-watch. Repeat as necessary. Also, he nollie crooked and backside tailslid the marble WTC ledge. The crook was nice, but the tailslide was fully legit (though already used in his Mag Minute part).

Alex Davis skated fast and smooth. I haven’t heard of this guy before but I will definitely look out for him now. Don’t miss that backside flip over the Wall Street Gap!

Todd Jordan got rawer in the footage he had, Dan Pensyl is as burly as ever and Dave Mitchell’s backside slip across the FDR barrier was fully proper in the montage. Wish I got to see more from those guys.

The Loose Cannons shared a decent-sized part next. For those of you out of the know, the Loose Cannons are: Fred Gall, Ed Selego, Joel Mienholz, and Steve Durante. Fred skated as fast and sketch as usual, which is what I love about him. His bigspin backside disaster on that brick transition was super sick, but it seems as though the rest of his footage was mostly throwaway…which was pretty disappointing. Also, as usual, Ed’s part was mostly unmemorable, with the exception of his kickflip over the bump to bar. Mindbender (Joel) has an amazing kickflip nose pick thing on this steep wedge that I had to rewind as well as a precise nosebonk on a bump to bar…on the actual bar! Steve was consistent as well with (what I like to call) his “dirt tech” style. I think this can be best summed up with the nollie backside heel on that brick bank in his opening line and his switch backside tailslide kickflip out. Dirt lifestyle, clean tricks.

Jimmy Lannon has definitely put in the hours with his flatground game. Seems like he can throw anything into a line and not miss a step. He skated some interesting and hard looking spots, which always gets bonus points from me. However, overall his trick selections were kind of boring (with exceptions of course). My favorite thing he did was when he ollied over that rail into that curved bank thing and did a perfect kickflip out over the rail on the other side.

I have come across some photos of 80’s Joe a couple times via Allen Ying’s photography, but I haven’t really seen footage of him until now. I think his name overshadows his skating. It kinda makes you expect something more or something unique or something that stands out, yet he skates like a second rate Lurker Lou. He even kind of looks like him. His part wasn’t really memorable and he seems to me like one of those lazy skaters that only skates when it is convenient for his lifestyle. I could be wrong since that is just a vibe I got from his part. Skill-wise, he is good. I will leave it at that.

Ross Norman did a solid three block nose manny with nollie over the gaps between the blocks, but the frontside blunt on the Barcelona trannies was not really ender worthy. I feel like so much amazing footage has come out of Barcelona that it has lead to some sub-par footage leaking in the wake or smaller videos…a trend that I have seen in many video in the past couple years.

Danny Renaud skated to Smog, which got me psyched right away. Couple that with his frontside heel over the bump to bar and I was satisfied…enough. Yet something was missing. I wanted more. There wasn’t enough to quench my thirst for his footage and a lot of what was there (I would assume) was throwaway. I will let this slide, however, seeing as though he fell off a balcony. I will assume that cut his filming down.

F.O.R.E.’s backside nosegrind going up the Miami Ghetto Banks and Stefan Janoski’s tre flip over that ditch pyramid was nice touches to the next montage. Give us more!

Frankhouse was a pleasant surprise to the line-up. I didn’t even know he has a part until it came up. If you have ever skated with him, you know that Frankhouse goes FAST! This is pretty apparent in his part. I really wish my regular ollies and kickflips were as nice as his switch ones…one can only dream. His ollie over that stairs and that fence of death was amazing and even made me a little scared for him in the process. He did a surprising noseblunt 180 down the Miami Ghetto Banks, but what really impressed me was his switch crooks and switch backside tailslide on the Roosevelt Island ledge. That thing is pretty tall and I can’t image how he did that. The crooks may not have been the prettiest thing, but the tailslide was as solid as it would get. Props.

I used to get wary of Dave Caddo footage. I am not quite sure what it was, but I wasn’t quite feeling him until recently. The event that triggered this change was finally getting to see Seasons Two (review to come eventually) and watching him in another element. This leads me to suspect his has to do with him in New York, but maybe not. Either way, I definitely have more favorable outlook on his skating now. While he didn’t have a lot of footage in this video, the stuff he did have was pretty good. A while back I read an article that Allen Ying wrote about a Creation or Satori or something trip that included picture he took of Caddo skating this model of (what looked like) the Forbidden City (in Beijing, China). The footage of this skating made it into this video with him pulling an ollie and nosebonk on one of the building. It is also worth mentioning his inward heelflip from that bump over the barrier. Legit.

Paul Desliveira (don’t know if that is spelled correctly since I am reading from the sloppy notes I wrote while watching this on the plane back from SF) doesn’t have any real footage but it a standout based on his riding through some drunken girls legs on his skateboard. This leads into a whole party/drunk montage, which I guess is appropriate (given the video), though I wasn’t feeling it and will probably give it the vert button on next viewing.

The last part went to Josh Dowd, which I think is questionable (but isn’t the last part usually that way?). The third spot he skated (that brick bank) looked amazing. If anyone knows where that is, holler. Josh does a lot of switch trick in this part, but (unfortunately) they all look switch. I feel like, if you can’t do it as well switch as you can do it regular, just do it regular. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should (if that makes sense). Anyway, the 50-50 across the stairs to wallride wow’ed me, as did the switch frontside crooks on the Front Street Ledge.

I would recommend the video if you are looking for a new video, but if it came between a choice between this and, say, Static 3…get Static 3 (unless you don’t have Static 2, then get that). It was cool to see a lot of the Dobbin Block dudes in here, but where was Puleo and Sweet Waste?

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