Combustible Celluloid
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With: Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Tony Alva, Fred Durst, Shepard Fairey, Ben Harper, Christian Hosoi
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Stacy Peralta
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 90
Date: 01/21/2012

Bones Brigade: An Autobiography (2012)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Getting on Boards

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It's hard to believe that, more than ten years after Dogtown & Z-Boys, director Stacey Peralta would make another skateboarding documentary just as entertaining.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, former Z-Boy Stacey Peralta formed a group of young, promising skateboarders, which came to be known as the "Bones Brigade." Many of the original members share their memories, good and bad, for the camera.

A kind of father figure to some of the more troubled boys, Peralta guided and coached them through an early era of skateboarding parks, the downfall of skateboarding, and its rise again in the late 1980s. They also produced popular skateboarding videos. Eventually, some of the team members, notably Tony Hawk, became highly successful competitors. Today, most of these men are still following their dreams, and still making a living.

Though it employs the old talking heads format, Bones Brigade: An Autobiography digs a little deeper into the emotional side of things, especially given that most of the interview subjects are speaking to their old mentor; they tend to open up a bit more deeply and honestly than in a typical documentary.

The movie has tons of great footage from the 1980s, clearly demonstrating the amazing skills of people like Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen, even to non-fans. Yet the skaters get a good, long chance to talk about their fears and anxieties, as well as those times when their passion seemed to slip away, and it took a great effort to rediscover it. Interviews from rival skaters and celebrity fans provide a little perspective as well. This is a terrific movie, especially for teens looking for a little inspiration or guidance.

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