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Original Issue

Indoor Adventure Director Spike Jonze shows skateboard savvy in a new DVD that captures the freewheeling spirit of the sport

Directed by Spike Jonze and Ty Jones
Rhino Transport, $19.95

There is no Oscar for best skateboarding film, but Yeah Right! is
squarely up the Academy's alley--or would be, if that alley
contained a staircase, railing or park bench that a skater could
grind upon. The DVD is co-directed by former best director nominee
Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich). Jonze has street cred in the
skateboarding world as well; his first job was as a reporter and
photographer for Transworld Skateboarding magazine, and he is the
co-owner of the Girl Skateboard Team, which sells skating gear,
and its (all-guy) pro squad. The DVD, shot over three years,
features the 11 Girl members and the 11-man Chocolate Skateboard
Team. It also includes some trippy visual effects, such as a
sequence in which riders swoop around on invisible boards. (The
skaters used neon-green boards, which were digitally removed.)
Actor Owen Wilson even drops by, playing his usual role of
amiable trash-talker before displaying his skating skills down
the railing of an eight-step flight of stairs. (As Wilson puts it
to his hecklers, "No warmup, first try, b----.")

There are also plenty of virtuoso fakies, ollies and tail whips
amid the fancy camera work. The most impressive boarding is
turned in by 19-year-old Paul Rodriguez Jr., who happens to be
the son of the comedian and actor. The DVD effectively captures
the riders' anything-for-a-trick ethos, such as when Justin
Eldridge dislocates his right ring finger crashing into some
bleachers, then pops it back into place and keeps skating. It all
makes one wish that these guys could be turned loose on Oscar
night's red carpet. --Pete McEntegart