Whistle while you twurk
So maybe restraint is an odd concept to associate with a video that’s mainly concerned with handrail firepower and gap flights, but I was kind of impressed with the non-spectacle aspect of the Fallen flick that, uh, “debuted” online last week amidst a flurry of anguished messageboard pleas and back-door Rapidshare dealings. This is especially impressive considering it’s helmed by Jamie Thomas, who’s certainly brought elements of the theatrical to past productions, and what with your HD cameras, international dateline-hopping footage quests and the famous Blackbox work ethic, cynical potato-bugs like myself can maybe be forgiven for expecting, basically, “Fully Flared” with bigger jumps and smaller pants and Maiden.
The waistlines are narrow to be sure, but I gotta give Thomas & co. much credit for following the age-old Texasism “shut up and skate”: no voiceovers, no gratuitous intro sequences, no padding whatsoever really. Not even that much slow-mo.
In other respects (music, filming, editing) it’s basically a Zero video, not a bad thing at all, which is to say if I’m going to watch some high stakes carcass-tossing I’d rather see the real McCoy than the legions of longhaired frontside boardsliders that arose in the Baker2G handrail heyday.
The current “creativity” trend does rear its head from time to time, like with Tommy Sandoval, who has the first section and appears to be going through a WASPafarian thing. In an otherwise by-the-numbers Zero gap/rail assault he throws in a few torso-twister feeble/smith combos that are pretty sick, and the pop out of the obligatory pivot fakie is a show-stopper. Tony Cervantes oversees most of the transition stuff in the video, he’s not the flashiest skater ever, but like Kenny Hoyle he’s got something that doesn’t lend itself to drawn-out blog commentary, some kind of X factor. But they’re lucky to have this dude. He’s gonna be interesting to watch evolve.
People are correct in saying one of the best parts is Brian Hansen, piloting his skateboard at unsafe speeds through harrowing terrain and landing tricks way smoother than necessary for a dude who otherwise engages in wholesale slobbery (thank-you list includes Cheez-Its). And I suppose I’ll go ahead and take another lap of dick-riding for Gilbert Crockett, he of the ninja flip tricks and precision reverts and monochrome wardrobe. Perfect second part for a video like this.
James Hardy, on Real now and a kid I’ve heard a lot about in certain sectors, didn’t wow me much aside from a Gonzish frontside 180 backside nosegrind and a fakie 5-0 on a burly rail. Likewise the 2/3 Harmony-1/3 Bennett part, the proportion of which I wished was reversed. Harmony had a longish backside nosegrind in there I guess.
In terms of evolution and growing up and all that game of Life shit I was interested to see what Jamie Thomas came with, being a decade beyond his best video part, but not the type to milk it either. His age sort of shows through the first half, getting semi-tech on ledges and skating fast with some red meat thrown to his Slap pals (mailbox nosebash, pole lipslide), but he turns up the heat when the song gets going and by the time he bangs out that steep frontside nosegrind pop-out over the sidewalk it’s like “Thrill of It All” again even if he didn’t score the ride-away.
And if it wasn’t for Chris Cole Billy Marks would easily have the craziest section in this video, doing one of the tallest jumps I’ve seen in some time straight out the gate and bumping his flip-to-grind act up a few notches. Here and there he falls into the Jon Allie trap of kickflipping into every trick he can think of, which gets sort of repetitive, but he makes an effort to keep it interesting like with the smith grinds kickflip out both ways on that rolly ledge thing. And I don’t know if it’s from watching so many low-impact street transition tricks these last few years, but the sheer size of some of his shit rattled me a few times. Currently Marks’ meter is edging away from tech-deck and toward SOTY, if you ask me.