Thursday, September 11, 2008

*= FILM REVIEW =* Taylor Steele's Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction by Taylor Steele
Film Review by Surf Ambassador Hendo

If Taylor Steele's new surf flick Stranger Than Fiction were an alcoholic drink, there is no doubt in my mind that it would knock even the gnarliest irishmanright onto the floor! Take one part new-school surf stars, one part Momentum Generation legends, a dash of some highly talented up-and-comers, mixed with brilliant filmmaking, top it off with a soundtrack full of instant classics, and there you have it, pure euphoric brilliance! The long awaited trilogy to Taylor Steele's on going Campaign series has truly left its mark in the depths of surf films for years to come. Various components of this film make it a truly entertaining, inspiring, and revolutionary masterpiece.By far, the film's greatest quality is its star-studded cast filled with the sickest modern day rippers who completely shred and tare Poseidon's playground to utter shambles. With high performance surfing from guys like Taj Burrow, Bruce Irons, Dane Reynolds, Josh Kerr, Jordy Smith, Yadin Nicol, Dion Agius, and Julian Wilson, Stranger Than Fiction has got innovation in the bag. With some heavy monstrous waves from Ian Walsh, Shane Dorian, Damien Hobgood, and others, the film has got charging down. Add to this beautiful mix some all around solid surfers like Kalani Robb, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, and Benji Weatherly and it's clear to see that the film has pretty much got it all. The only thing it'smissing is Kelly Slater, and that's a big gap to fill. However, if anyone were to ever succeed in pulling off such a risky maneuver, Taylor Steele would be the only man the surf world could possibly even trust to do so.

Speaking of maneuvers...

After watching some of the epic tricks that these surfer freaks pull, you begin to wonder whether or not such things are even humanly possible. And so begins the irony of the film's tittle along with the classic Steele skits that are interwoven throughout the flick. The comical skit segments that drive the underlying narrative of the film are all based upon one common theme: everything that we've come to know and love in surfing has all been a box of green-screened lies. Such skits portray uber rippers like
Kalani Robb and Jordy Smith jumping on a trampoline in front of a green screen which will later superimpose them into some heavy pits and into the skies of some gnarly backflip airs. Like most surfers, after surfing for 15 years and still not being remotely close to pulling a rodeo, we get to thinking that may be the skits aren't that far off from the truth. May be the idols we have grown to worship and strive to emulate have all been strapped into puppet wires and honky harnesses all this time? After zooming in on my TV screen and inspecting the footage with a magnifying glass for several weeks, no wires were detected and such previous statements are truly blasphemous. However, the fact that these guys are doing rodeos, air reverses, Kerrupt flips, and 360 alley oops like nothing, almost makes me want to just drop my board next to my already thrice shattered dream of one day becoming pro. But for the logical surfer, I am confident that this video will make you want to get out there, shred like you never have before, and may be invent the next big trick that mig
ht just land you a clip in Taylor's next flick.
On top of the surfing and the skits, Stranger Than Fiction is highly driven by its radical soundtrack. Overtime as surfing has changed in the vids, so has its accompanied music. Long gone are the days filled with an all punk rock soundtrack that so pleasantly complimented the fast paced progressive surfing. No need to be nostalgic because the indie electronic beats that replace the old screech of distorted guitars and slamming symbols, are more than an adequate replacement. With bands like Cut Copy, MGMT, Justice, The Future Heads, and even a little ELO in there, the new musical pace is exceptionally welcome. This more than brilliant convergence of light and sound reaches a memorable peak as Jordy Smith so elegantly launches two back to back 360 no grab alley oops to start his astonishing video section. It is songs like these, mixed with tricks like those, that truly make
you wish you were a surfer like them. Before I drive you in any more circles of confusion, I think I ought to conclude while I'm ahead.
All and all Taylor Steele's Stranger Than Fiction is truly history in the making. With some of the most insane progressive surfing ever to be captured on film, Poor Specimen really nailed it with this one. The surfing alone could easily stand by itself as the true backbone of the film. Added to that shear brilliance are the elements of the soundtrack, the editing, and truly talented film making that ideally tie everything together. See for yourself the stunning pro-formances that your eyes will hardly believe. After doing so, you might want to ask yourself: 'has surfing become stranger than fiction? or is there some kind of magical fountain of youth that has given these guys supernatural surfing powers?' Whatever it may be, one thing is clear, the new wave is here so either hop aboard the insane train or get left in the colossal spray of these mega rippers!
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