Saturday, July 23, 2011

DVD Roundup: Top Surfer movies

I was recently on a bunch of planes and got to see some recent movies I missed in theaters.  In addition, one inspired me to think about the best of the other surfer movies out there, and sadly there just aren't enough others, so this is a short list with a recommendation to Hollywood to make more surfing movies.

3.  Surf's Up - A surprisingly good animated movie about penguins who surf, I watched this when it was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2008.  It's told in a documentary style, following a penguin from Antarctica, Cody (Shia LaBoeuf) who wants to make it to the big surfing tournament to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Z who died there.  Complications arise and Cody loses confidence, but finds help from an old surfer - the not-deceased Z (Jeff Bridges as a surfer "Dude").  The documentary keeps interviewing various surfers and getting the different opinions on how the whole competition will happen.  Surprisingly cute and heartfelt, and I'm sure completely forgotten.

2.  Soul Surfer - This was the new one I saw on a plane recently.  It's based on the true story of Hawaiian surfer Bethany Hamilton who has her left arm bitten off by a shark while training for a competition.  She's just on the rise and has a sponsor when tragedy strikes.  The movie of course is about overcoming adversity and finding your way back to what makes you tick, but for airplane entertainment, it made me cry and laugh out loud once.  AnnaSophia Robb plays Bethany (with the real-life Hamilton doing the one-arm surfing stunts) and Helen Hunt and Dennie Quaid play her laid-back surfer parents who argue over what it means to help their daughter recover.  It's definitely off the shelf of "Christian" movies with Carrie Underwood playing Hamilton's spiritual advisor and head of the volunteer group Hamilton follows to Thailand after the tsunami, but they keep the God-talk to a minimum beyond the inspirational.  Plus, watching her figure out how to surf with one-arm will make any couch surfer feel like getting outside.

1. Point Break - Could there really be any other movie at #1?  And if you haven't seen Point Break (cough, Keith!) go out and rent one of the best movies you'll ever watch.  Keanu Reeves is an FBI agent (stop laughing) who has to infiltrate a surfing community (I mean it, stop laughing) to find a group of bank robbers called the Ex-Presidents because they wear masks while robbing banks (okay, that's funny) led by Patrick Swayze (yeah, now you feel bad for laughing, don't you).  Seriously, just check it out.  It's awesome.

10 comments:

Kano said...

Hey - its on my to do list. Sheesh!

cinemasights said...

I don't have a particular desire to see Soul Surfer, but I might check it out eventually.

Point Break is a totally radical surfing moving. Although, I hear Endless Summer 2 is awesome, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

Nick said...

Totally forgot "Surf Ninjas"...

Jess said...

Keith - Just teasing, I saw it on your list and was surprised.

James - Soul Surfer was pretty good.

Nick - I knew I'd forget one!

Julie said...

Might belong more on your best romantic comedies list, but Blue Crush was great!

Red said...

I feel that Johnny Tsunami deserves a honorable mention, here. :)

Still haven't gotten around to watching Soul Surfer, but considering I have (extremely) weird obsession with ASR and think she's the second coming, I'm bound to watch it sooner or later.

David Bishop said...

I actually really enjoy the sport/art of surfing. One of the few advantages of living in Orange County, CA is that I'm never too far away from the beach.

Here's one of my favorite music videos featuring surfing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWVnZAJaq4Q

Jess said...

Jules, I just couldn't defend Blue Crush as I've only seen it once.

Red - Really a ASR obsession?

David - it's really cool video.

Red said...

I'm under the belief that Pixar aside, The Bridge to Terebithia is the best kids movie of the aughts....

Dylan said...

I will likely never see the ARM movie, but you know I love me some Point Break (agree - it could be nothing else), and I'm also a big proponent of Surf's Up. Underloved flick there.