A group of skaters unite to save their local skateshop.
- Genre: Comedy
- Original Language: English
- Director: Ryan Peimer, Sarah Tang, Zack Whyel
- Producer: Curt Braden, Jerod Jacobs, Sarah Tang
- Writer: Zack Whyel
- Release Date (Theaters): Nov 21, 2021 Limited
- Runtime: 1h 2m
While, I am no movie expert or critic, I can honestly say that I have viewed a ton of skateboarding films and have opinions on all of them. The first skateboarding film that I viewed was “Bones Brigade Video Show 2: Future Primitive” directed by Stacy Peralta. I rented the VHS of it from Magic Skate on Sligh Avenue in Tampa in September 1986, and must have watched it 100 times over that rainy weekend. “Future Primitive” like so many other remarkable skateboarding films including “Public Domain”, “Hokus Pokus”, “Video Days”, “Questionable”, “Welcome To Hell”, “Photosynthesis”, “Wheels on Fire”, “Black Cat”, “Almost: Round 3”, “Yeah Right!”, “Cheese and Crackers”, “Really Sorry”, “Pretty Sweet”, “We are Blood”, and hundreds (if not thousands of others) do not feature much (if any) storyline just individual and team parts containing really good (for the time) skateboarding, a slam section, a few skits here and there, and occasional commentary from one or more individuals that ties those parts together. The notable exceptions to that were Stacy Peralta’s “The Search for Animal Chin”, which despite being a bit corny was absolutely entertaining and even a bit groundbreaking and “Thrashin”.
There are movies like “Grind”, “Gleaming The Cube”, “Police Academy 4” and a few others that use and promote skateboarding but do not necessarily honor it while some actually do a pretty good job showcasing and honoring skateboarding including “Mid 90s”, “Lords of Dogtown”, “Street Dreams”, “LA Boys”, “Skater Girl”, “Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone” and “Minding The Gap”. I especially enjoyed and appreciated “Minding The Gap”. Notable and relevant skateboarding documentaries include “The Bones Brigade Documentary”, “Waiting For Lightning”, “Dogtown and Z-Boys”, and the controversial yet entertaining “All This Mayhem”.
Having stated my general opinions on skateboarding films above, I understand that it is no easy task to produce and film a compelling skateboarding movie that conveys and honors skateboarding while having a cohesive story that keeps the audience engaged from beginning to end (unless you are Stacy Peralta). Perhaps that is one reason why “Skateshop” is only 62 minutes long, but what it lacks in length is made up for in relevance. The story line basically shines a light on a struggling but unselfish skateshop owner character that many of our BRA Retail Members see in the mirror every single day. It touches on the balance of discounting to reward good customers and employees as well as the need to keep margins and inventory turn high enough to pay the bills. The movie also follows a ripping and good hearted shop employee who is willing to give up his paycheck and more to keep the shop from going under. The acting is not bad and the skateboarding, while not absolutely incredible is solid.
The character development while somewhat limited is generally good. There are elements of greed and corruption that are borderline cliché including the greedy real estate developer and corrupt Sherriff. Other more developed characters that offset the stereotypical bad guys include the Filmer friend played by Bo Mitchell (former skateshop / skatepark owner and actor from Eastbound and Down, Cobra Kai & more) as well as the sales rep / team manager played by none other than skateboard industry veteran, Toy Machine, Nike Marketing & Team Manager, and owner of the newest skateboard truck brand (Slappy Trucks) Mike Sinclair. Mike’s role in this movie really adds legitimacy in the skateboard world to this movie and his acting isn’t terrible either.
There were a few shortcomings of the film, but overall it was worth the 62 minutes of time spent. While having a prize purse of $10,000 for the winner of a 30 entrant regional contest was really farfetched, the skateshop scenes, the skateboarding scenes and the skateboarding contest were pretty believable and not forced. I am glad that they did not spend much time on the love story that was developing on the side with one of the friends and a girl he met at the first fundraiser. The skateshop scenes and the struggle related to the plight of the skateshop owner made the movie very relatable. As a former skateshop owner myself, I can absolutely relate to the shop owner’s struggle as well as having Mike Sinclair walk into my shop and hook us up with decks and product for our upcoming contest.
I absolutely encourage all skateshop owners to take an hour and two minutes to view this relevant skateboarding movie. You may even want to feature it along with an action packed, no plot skateboarding film like “Fully Flaired” at your next shop movie night where you can presell admission and do raffles to ensure better attendance and shop revenue (ask me about proper raffle strategies that will help you to move slow moving product without losing any margin).
I hope that this review was helpful. You can view the entire movie by clicking on the embedded YouTube video below.
Doug Works, Executive Director, Board Retailers Association
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