Posts Tagged ‘tours de force’

The Peace Which Passeth All Understanding

October 25, 2009


Burpin’ and gurpin’

Those who are products of the 1980s will recall “Transformers the Movie” as an emotional tour de force that involved entire planets being consumed by the pesky Unicron, with tears shed at Optimus Prime’s death but somehow no bullshit teenage romance, and a Weird Al song also. The film taught many truths about this human life (imparted by giant warlike robots no less) but the one that really hit me was when Soundwave, Starscream and the Constructicons had gathered after some time apart and were trying to chop it up over a few energon cubes like it was the old days… but their stilted conversation and uncomfortable silences said it all: times had changed and the Decepticons, like all of us, were holding too tightly to something that had long since transformed. Or maybe it was the world that had transformed around them? Or maybe Unicron ate everything. My memory is not what it used to be but I believe the movie won a thousand Oscars.

Now, I don’t know enough about Flip or the various personalities involved to try and cast Ewan Bowman or Jeremy Fox or Geoff Rowley as the hometown-bound friend who can’t, won’t, let go of the past. Maybe it’s none of them, but more so than the labored claymation and boring little kids and brow-furrowing musical choices this is what sort of ends up sinking the “Extremely Sorry” vid for me, the fact that it walks and talks like “Sorry 3” when pivotal dudes have moved on and the planet has gotten a half-decade older. Respect is due the three musketeers and their one-for-allness after so many years, and both Glifberg and Penny do deliver to a far greater extent than they’re generally getting credit for out there in internetland, but we’re left with a bloated production that’s generally treading the same water as five years ago, except with more skippable parts, a heavier weight to bear and yeah, that music.*

(We would like to here make a semi-major detour and get into Luan de Oliveira’s section for a minute, which is actually kind of hot and offers one of the few reasons for optimism re: this next generation of multinational young Flippurs, alongside Nordberg. His switch frontside heelflip means business and if he can keep away from those humdrum switch boardslide to TKTKTK ledge combos he will do well – fast skating, decently built lines and an eye for tricks that are hard and look cool, for instance the very first ledge jam.)

Not sure if it was the best-best, but for sure the most interesting part in this Flip video is Shane Cross, he of the headbands and Hawaiian shirts, whose posthumous part gets some heavy stylizing and ghostly effects that harken back to Arto Saari’s Penny dream sequence in the first Flip video – another one of those Bones Brigade type of moments. It might be reaching to interpret the edit here as an indication of where they hoped Shane Cross might’ve taken things eventually, but the tricks are intense – the side view of the nosegrind makes all the difference and the execution generally is top notch. To me the effects didn’t detract from the skating so much as broaden the universe of the sort of things we might be able to see when putting in a new DVD, quite a bit different than a lot of what’s come before and heavy skating to boot. The biggest bummer is that Shane Cross has gone, and the Flip dudes did right by him with this part, but it’s too bad they didn’t save a few more of the genius pills for the rest of the video.

*The editors of Boil the ocean will ride for the Pink Panther song, however