With the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, skater-cum-filmmaker Stacy Peralta introduced viewers to the history of the West Coast skateboarding culture and made a huge splash at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, taking home both the Documentary Directing Award and the Documentary Audience Award. For this follow-up effort, Peralta leaves the land for the sea, focusing his lens on the world of surfing. Narrated by Sean Penn, just as Dogtown and Z-Boys was, Riding Giants attempts to trace the origins of surfing and also explore the growth and progress of surf culture. Among the surfing luminaries who chime in on topics varying from the business of the sport to "the big wave" are Laird Hamilton, Greg Noll, and Jeff Clark. Hoping to find the critical success akin to its predecessor, Riding Giants premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi
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You are interested enough in surfing to consider this movie and you're intellectual enough to read the reviews. Therefore you are the type of person who will enjoy this movie.
It is an intelligently written documentary about the entire history of surfing, with amazing footage and several biographies of the key players throughout the years. It does a great job of demonstrating why people of varied backgrounds, from beach bums to doctors, just can't get enough of this sport/culture.
I, my wife, and our 6 year old son really enjoyed it (though one guy is too much of a potty mouth for 6 year old viewing). The "Making of" extra feature is also interesting.
In one word--amazing. Mr. Peralta definitely has a talent for finding the soul, the passion, and the drive of the surf lifestyle. The film is respectful while maintaining an entertaining edge. Riding Giants is an amazing film that anyone even remotely interested should see. Rent Dogtown and the Z-boys while your at it! You will not be disappointed in either film.