Cinema of Stoke: Skate Movies Reviewed

Skate Movies IntroWhen I was a kid, there were only a handful of movies with skateboarding in them. These days, however, there’s a digital dongload of skate-centric movies all within a Roku remote’s tap away. Here’s some of the skate flicks I’ve been binging on during quarantine. —Michael Sieben

As seen in the March 2021 issue.

Skate Movies Most Vertical Primate newI watched this at the very start of the pandemic so my memory is a little fuzzy. I think the premise is that a hockey-playing chimpanzee learns how to skate and befriends a homeless kid and they live together in a shack next to a drained pool. How much better could life get, right?! Later, the kid gets adopted by the creepy, older, single, no-kids-having skateshop-owner guy. Yikes! I’d think I’d rather kick it in the shack with my ape, thank you very much!

Cameos: Bob Burnquist, Ryan Sheckler

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Skate Movies Sk8 Dawg newSomebody apparently watched a viral video of a dog skateboarding and thought they could turn the concept into a feature-length film. It didn’t work. My favorite part of this movie is when Joey from Blossom shows up and for some reason his head is super shiny—he looks like he stuck his cranium in a goddamn bowling-ball cleaning machine. I wish my head was shiny. Mine’s just kinda old and wrinkly.

Cameos: Tony Hawk

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Skate Movies Skateboard or die newThe title of this movie is very misleading. If they’d just accurately named it, the decision would be so much easier. Longboard or die? That’s easy! Hand me that shovel, bro. I’ll start digging my grave.

Cameos: Freakin’ nobody

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Skate Movies Dishdogz newIf you’d told Luke Perry in the early ‘90s—while he was a cast member of the wildly-popular TV series Beverly Hills 90210—that in the early 2000s he’d be starring in Dishdogz, he probably would have called you a liar, spit some Dom Pérignon in your face and then peeled out in his Aston Martin with Shannen Doherty riding shotgun. Yet here we are. This movie is pretty much the bastardized skate version of North Shore. I still liked it, though. But I also liked Street Dreams, so what the hell do I know…

Cameos: Tony Alva, Andy Mac, Ryan Sheckler

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Skate Movies Concrete Kids newWhat I learned from this film is that if you’re a nine-year-old kid and you’re skating in LA without adult supervision in the middle of the night, you shouldn’t hitch a ride with Joey Brezinski because he’s likely to have a blow-up doll in the passenger seat of his car and he’ll probably ditch you at JKwon. I also learned that nine-year-old kids can crooked grind ledges and I’ve never landed one in my life. Kids are stupid.

Cameos: Joey Brezinski

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Skate Movies Slam New
Now, I like Tony Hawk, autobiographies, babies and teenagers all on their own, but when you combine them and have Tony Hawk reading his autobiography while a couple of teenagers make a baby, well, it just kinda makes me feel weird. And I don’t mean good weird. I mean like I wish Tony Hawk would stop reading his autobiography and I wish those teenagers would quit porking each other. 

Cameos: Tony Hawk’s voice

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Skate Movies Hardflip newSometimes in life your mom dies from brain cancer and then Brian Sumner tells you to stop smoking weed and then you land a hardflip back lip down a park rail because you finally accepted Jesus Christ into your heart. Sure, sometimes that doesn’t happen, but more often than not that’s just the way life goes.

Cameos: Christian Hosoi, Brian Sumner, Luis Tolentino, Bennett Harada

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Skate Movies Paranoid Park newA teenage skateboarder in Portland is drawn to Burnside because of its dangerous atmosphere. However, the second time he visits the park he ends up killing a dude. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for teenagers pushing the boundaries and wilin’ out a bit. But Jesus Christ! Slow your roll, kid! Try smoking a little dirt weed out of a crushed beer can or shotgunning a Natty Light—don’t immediately jump to homicide. Teenagers are scary, yo. 

Cameos: Sage Bolyard, Rick Charnoski, Danny Minnick

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