Step Into Liquid
Starring:
Laird Hamilton, Layne Beachley
Directed By :
Dana Brown
Grade
B-

It's not a badly conceived promotion for this site, not an alternative caution sign - no, this is an unfortunately named but well conceived surfing documentary making it's way through indy theaters. Named after the theme of people "catching the surfing bug" when they first step into liquid, the movie follows filmmaker Dana Brown around the globe as he interviews surfers young and old and catches footage of some of the best surfers in the world at some of the best locations in the world.

The movie is narrated by Mr. Brown himself (known for movies such as Endless Summer II) in between locations and interviews, and features various world and rock music over most of the surfing scenes. The narration is a little dry on the humor side, but not overly annoying, however the music does start wearing on you. Sometimes it doesn't seem to go with the scene very well, and some people won't like some of the songs, which they'll unfortunately have to listen to as they blare away for minutes at a time. The interviews themselves are pretty amusing, keeping to the general theme of "what draws you to surfing?", and feature some of the pioneer surfers of the sixties as well as some of today's all-stars, pioneers, and up-and-comers. And of course the surfing footage is AMAZING. Some of the best cinematography ever. The venues get crazier as the movie goes on, ending with guys being towed by jet skis to get enough speed to surf 60 foot waves! Just unreal.

Overall, this is a pretty great film. Bear a couple things in mind though - 1) It is a documentary. 2) Its an hour and a half of surfing. 3) At times it feels more like a music video than a movie. If you have even the slightest interest in surfing, however, you owe it to yourself to see this movie in the theater (if you can find it). Incidentally, when I saw this they had a new short film of The Hire [BMW's series of action movie commercials for the net] attached before the movie. Bonus!

It's all in the details: Check out a bald and much tougher looking Kelly Slater, post-Baywatch, as well as Rob Machado (recently seen on the WB's Boarding House North Shore).

- - Jeff Light

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