It's 1221

x games 3d movie premiere + the crystal method
21 September, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Posted Friday, July 31, 2009 @ 12:33 in Culture by Areti Sakellaris
Published on

Sal Maselaka from E! warmed the audience up, making some awkward insinuations about a particular Heroes starlet and an athlete, but gossip aside, he got back to MCing and presented X Games founder Ron Semiao with a plaque acknowledging the fifteen anniversary of the games. Semiao was beaming and with Steve Lawrence, the movie’s director, they introduced the show and we were underway. BTW, they both came out wearing their 3D glasses; the event was laid back and full of hollers from the audience–not your everyday premiere.

Kevin Loza gets things going as he’s revving up his dirt bike, making jumps, and landing in the foam pits. He said he doesn’t like dirt bikes, they’re “scary” but the adrenaline high seems beyond worth it for these athletes. Not gonna lie, it was pretty hot.

The film is more of a documentary than a movie, and it shines a spotlight on Loza, Danny Way, Shaun White, Travis Pastrana, Ricky “The Goat” Carmichael, and Bob Burnquis. It intersperses the slams, drama, and joy of last year’s X Games with behind the scenes footage of practice sessions and, in the case of Way and Burnquis, jamming in the band they share.

Disney teamed up with ESPN to produce the movie, which will only run for one week, beginning August 21st, and the attention to production details resulted in this superb visual ecstasy. When White is snowboarding, snow flakes seem to fall on your shoulders, and your stomach drops when Way keeps attempting to hit his run (or break every single bone in his body, your choice) on the Big Air ramp–Disney makes things unbelievable.

The soundtrack was sick, featuring the lush tones of L.A.’s own The Crystal Method. Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland were spinning on the decks during the Red Carpet festivities, and the Nokia Plaza was crawling with skaters of all ages, shaggy hair, Supras, and all. Personally, I cannot listen to “Drown in the Now (feat. Matisyahu)” without starting to dance, which I did in my seat (confession!). Crystal Method tracks, expansive as they are, just lend themselves to the majesty of these guys flying through the air or Pastrama racing his Rally car at breakneck speeds in a cloud of dirt. Peter Gabriel and Lord Jamar sing the opening with a performance of “X Games Without Borders,” a remake of sorts of an older Gabriel number. Tobias Enhus loans his expertise on original tracks… and an X Games movie wouldn’t be complete without Green Day’s “Restless Heart Syndrome” and “See the Light.”

Inside, there was a surprising number of little tykes with their parents, the ones in front of me were swooning over Tony Hawk, who was a few rows behind. The glimmer in their eyes was really touching, and they were completely into it, which made the event more fun. Plus, with each athlete came a tale of sacrifice, and confessions about their goals, drive to succeed, and practicing hard until they nailed a trick. Very inspirational and, even if some of the tricks are downright insane, the creativity required to imagine soaring through the air, 70 feet above the ground, turn this way and that, then land backwards is enough to make your head spin.


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