Video Reviews

Round 3

Almost

We’ve waited a while. Supposed “footage” from this video surfaced at ASR in the fall of 2003 when Almost debuted as a company. It was incredible then; it’s incredible now. But if you were there, don’t think you have one up on anyone who wasn’t, because lots of new stuff has been filmed since-that ASR loop was just a teaser.

Round 3 is just plain fun to watch, and the soundtrack is good, too. Chris Haslam has people stoked lately and delivers a part full of his signature tech/hesh, early 90s/mid 00s hybrid skating. And yes, for anyone who was worried they wouldn’t see it, he’s wearing his orange western shirt in his part. Ryan Sheckler is tiny and skates big. Sometimes it doesn’t look like he could possibly get enough pop or speed to land what he tries, but he does, and it’s sick. Little dude will probably be even more insane a few years from now.

Greg Lutzka seems to be the best headphone-wearing skater of the moment-big stunts with ease. And Rodney-Jesus, Rodney-the man doesn’t stop, constantly one-upping himself because no one else really can. Well, except maybe Daewon, that is. Obviously the two are in a league of their own, but Daewon shines in this one. Manual madness like you’ve never seen-and probably never will again until his next part. There’re roof-gap tricks (some with rails) that’ll have you in disbelief and a Cardiel-dedicated ender to end all enders-I almost had a heart attack watching it.-Rob Brink

Freedom Fries

Clichà‡

George “Dubya” seriously tried to change the name of french fries to freedom fries because France didn’t want to support his power-hungry, oil-money-crazed invasion of Iraq. Think about that for a minute. That’s something a six year old would do. Well, on to this video-why did they name it Freedom Fries? I could venture plenty of guesses, but I won’t. What matters is the quality skateboarding the Clichà‡ team consistently puts out and the artistic wizardry of French Fred Mortagne that captures it all on film. Do you realize they just put out Bon Appetit less than a year ago? That’s like back in the Plan B days when they would put out a full-length video every year. That’s harder to do Stateside nowadays where every spot is a bust and kids are getting injured due to the status quo of handrail dieting. But when your team lives in Europe, and you have access to the most buttery spots seven days a week, you can crank out a new video every year. Half the fun of watching Clichà‡’s videos is to see all the new spots these guys find in Europa. I get jealous, and my travel legs start itching. The Clichà‡ team has some new additions in this video: Englishman Franklin Stephens and the most proper Frenchman J.B. Gillet. Standout parts go to Gillet and Lucas Puig, but the entire vid is good start to finish. Check this video, and you’ll be dying to get to Europe.-Blair Alley

Good And Evil

Toy Machine

A lot has changed since Toy Machine’s last non-tour video effort Jump Off A Building. The team has completely revamped itself and that includes the roster, which most of us have become quite familiar with-plus a few newer members like Johnny Layton and Matt Bennett to boot. How many decade-old skateboard-company owners can still produce enjoyable video parts? Not many, but Mr. Templeton’s one of them, and he opens this particular video. Toy’s new am Matt Bennett embarks on some crazy handrail mission loaded with tricks you don’t normally see. Josh Harmony front boards a huge hubba that’s literally as wide as his wheelbase. The hang-up factor is 99.9 percent-pretty gnarly. You haven’t seen too much of him yet, but Layton is good, real good. He’s got one of the better debut video parts you’ve seen in a while. Always stylish (and I don’t just mean his clothes), Austin Stevens, although injured for much of the filming of this video, still makes us metrosexual skateboarders proud. There’s plenty of bonus footage included-Billy Marks has three legit parts in this video.. It’s pretty crazy.

Speaking of bonus footage, Good And Evil is full of it. From heaps of unused footage, a gnarly slam section, a friends section, to random non-skate high-jinks, tour and art-show coverage, and Austin Stephens’ sponsor-me video, which includes one of the hardest-to-watch broken-bone slams ever-seriously disgusting. Good And Evil’s fun, there’s plenty of content to keep you occupied, and the skating is wonderful.-Rob Brink

Destroy Everything Now

88 Footwear

With a title like Destroy Everything Now, 88 gave themselves some big shoes to fill; but then again, they’ve got the team to do it. Peter Hewitt starts this video off right-fast, on the edge of dying, Cardiel-style barging. It’s damn exciting to watch. And that boneless he does to cap off his part-bananas. Justin Strubing and Corey Duffel came through with their second video parts in 2004 (Foundation’s That’s Life being the first). Duffel gets the curtain call once again with a two-song-long part-the kid produces. The ams come through hard, especially Adrian Mallory and Peter Watkins. Unfortunately, Alan Petersen’s only footage is in the slam section. J.T. Aultz cruises smoothly through his part and ices it with some heavy bangers. The soundtrack is all good punk rock-music by the Minutemen, Zero Boys, Modern Lovers, Dead Boys, Cock Sparrer, and others. And that’s good-the kids need to be turned on to good music. Straightforward editing, no skits, no dragged-out intro-this video stays true to its name. 88 helped end 2004 with a video barrage that raises the bar to an unprecedented height. The videos of 2005 have their work cut out.-Ric Flair