Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Mind Field Premier

Did you go to the Alien Workshop “Mind Field” premier last night at the Tribeca Grand? Maybe we walked by each other with the thousand kids piled in there. While I got there too late to get a stamp for the first showing, I (or should I say Jeremy?) talked my way into getting a stamp for the second show. However, when time came for that showing, horded of kids just bum rushed the spot, which rendered stamps useless, since they couldn’t possible check them at that point. They cut off letting people in with the person in front of me. I was fuming at that point and almost left but Jeremy convinced me to stay and get into the next one. Geo (Moya) was in the same boat and was there longer than me. By the time the next showing came around I jetted down the stairs and was one of the first ones in this time. Here is my rundown:

Omar Salazar
I felt scared for him, fearing that he would eat it going 80 mph on wobbly trucks. He definitely had the wow factor with most of his tricks, with spot/trick combos that few others could probably do.

Jake Johnson
New York City has been rendered unskateable. Jake did sick tricks on NYC spots that you couldn’t skate…and he did it switch at times. I may be bias because he is a homie, but this was one of the top 3 (maybe 2) parts in the video. Wallrides down double sets on straight walls (no slants)?!

Arto Saari
With Arto joining the squad so late into the filming process, it is no surprise that his part wasn’t very long. He did decide to leave a very clear message, however: Arto can backlip anything. I think his double set (kinked) long handrail ender proved that. Solid part, but I still get queasy watching him slam as hard as he does. Please stop showing it.

Jason Dill
I heard rumors about Dill’s part involving no ollies, which set the bar really low as for what I was expecting. It is safe to say that he exceeded my expectations, though not by much. While the rumors weren’t true, they weren’t that far off. He did a few tricks that involved ollies, though his part was really saved by his manuals. His ender was siiick!

Rob Dyrdek
I’ll just get it out of the way: worst and shortest part by far. There were a few good tricks but it was mostly boring. Did you expect anything else?

Steve Berra
I admit, I didn’t have much by way of expectations for his part. I thought it would be like Dyrdek’s part (as described), but it was surprisingly good, albeit short. Lots of flip-ins and some tight lines. Only bad part: switch mongo pushing. I guess it is a pet peeve of mine but it can ruin perfectly good skating for me. Dyrdek’s “part” was also scattered with it too.

Josh Kalis
Contrary to Berra’s part, Kalis didn’t quite live up to my expectations…though to be fair, my expectations were pretty high for it. His part was really good though; don’t get me wrong: switch front heel over a gap, bigspin backtail (on the pyramid ledges nonetheless), PLUS he skated super fast! But again with the switch mongo. Three parts in a row full of switch mongo pushing was a bit much for me in one dose. And his song was misplaced for the video and kind of bad anyway.

Grant Taylor
His part was a bit short, but it was packed with some big tricks. I remember seeing a sequence of his line where he kickflips a monster set followed immediately by an ollie over a wall to drop, but the footage makes it out to look super gnarly. His ender was impressive too: front board on the top of a gate door! Imagine hanging up on that…

Dylan Rieder
Dylan is one of the uber image conscious skaters and that vibe seeped from his part, which is unfortunate because he had some nice skating in it. Personally, I think his bank/tranny skating ruined it. It’s not that the tricks were bad, because they were actually really good, but because they seem too planned and/or typical. His flip tricks are on point though. The kid has a fast flick. My favorite trick of his was the backtail kickflip out on that bank that turns into a tranny thing in some LA ditch. Oh yeah, and his elf/peter pan shoes were a bit much…though I can image the board feel is great with them, haha.

Tyler Bledsoe
Why would they ruin a perfectly good part with such a wack electronic song?! It was too distracting how bad it was. Justin Strubing was sitting behind me and he was saying the same thing. Something to the effect of, “Aw man. They gave the worst song to the best dude.” Another stand out trick that appearing in a mag before was his gap to back tail on a bench in the middle of a dirt gap to backside flip out. The footage was super proper. I know there were some other standout tricks but I was too distracted with a bad song or something, sorry.

Mikey Taylor
There is something about Mikey. He can do no wrong with his skating to me. Perhaps it is his good style or his solid tricks. Whatever it is, he didn’t really have stand out tricks but his part was amazing anyway.

Anthony van Engelen
Wow! I can’t think of anyone else that can both skate as fast as AVE AND as tech…separately AND simultaneously. Ave kills! Best part. As you may know, he likes to skate handrails straight on, none of that skating from the side nonsense. The end of his part was filled with so many sick tricks back to back that I was overwhelmed to the point where comprehension stopped. I totally need to watch his part again…and again…and again.

Heath Kirchart
Heath still has it. Age hasn’t affected his ability to jump down thing better than dudes half his age. I can’t think of many people that have nose blunts comparable to Heath’s. While he had a lot of old footage in the part there was also a lot of new stuff where it was obvious that he went for it harder that most of the others and definitely deserved the last part (note: my favorite part of any video does not correlate to the part that should be last, hence this part deserving last part over AVE’s). His ender involved being towed by a scooter to launch a massive backside flip from a bump over a gap with deserved that second angle for sure. Glad to see Heath killing as usual!

The video as a whole was done very well, but at times it seemed a bit too methodical, as though they had a formula from Photosynthesis that they wanted to reuse. Obviously there was lots of 16 (or 8?) mm footage and sculptures and whatnot. The animations were kind of weird thrown in at (what seemed like) random times. There was this colorful light segment where these dots dance around on the screen…which was longer than (and possible better than) Dyrdek’s part. Lots of Dinosaur Jr. (also as expected). H even made a couple appearances in it too (playing instruments and skating). With the exception of a couple songs the soundtrack was pretty good, but I am a Dinosaur Jr. fan. Great video. I totally recommend that you buy it on Friday (2/6), when it comes out on DVD. Don’t disservice yourself by watching a crappy version online.

*I am not sure if this order of appearances is correct since it is just from memory but it is approximate.


Anonymous said...

you cant hate on kalis's part... but good review other than that.

Anonymous said...

1. Arto
2. Omar S.
3. Jake J.
4. Anthony V.E.
5. Heath K.

The rest ... Crap!

Anonymous said...

How can you hate on the animations and time lapses?? TOTAL old school workshop steez! Peep Timecode!