Bustin' Down the Door (2008)
Narrated by Edward Norton, Jeremy Gosch's Bustin Down the Door tells the tale of how a group of ambitious young men helped shape surfing into an international phenomenon in the winter of 1975.
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Critic Reviews for Bustin' Down the Door
This impressive sports doc finds enough drama in the situation to involve a wider audience, since the archive footage of these chaps gliding through waves the size of a house is quite something.
The film tries to tell us that money hasn't spoiled the fun, but I was much more curious about the black shorts than the Quicksilver brand board shorts.
[An] insightful account of the rise of a, pardon the pun, new wave of surfers that transformed the sport in the mid-1970s.
Some of the talk gets a little bombastic, but it's hard to deny the thrill involved.
Bustin' Down the Door entertainingly captures surfing's last great hoorah of no-holds-barred radicalism.
Happily, the filmmaker, Jeremy Gosch, puts his wide-eyed narrative together with an easy touch. With its amazing wall-to-wall footage of oceanic derring-do Bustin' Down the Door plays like visual air-conditioning.
Most importantly, Bustin' Down The Door elucidates upon the spirituality of surfing.
Almost all of the surfing footage is beautiful stuff, though you'll likely want to see even more.
Watching top surfers in action is never a chore, but the film's archive footage would have been even more enjoyable to lay viewers if the commentary had better explained why the men's innovations were so daring and controversial.
Clearly designed to give credit where it's due, this film spotlights the guys who broke new ground to create modern surfing. But while it's an important, interesting document, it's rather too detailed for non-surfers.
A subject worth exploring but, whilst old footage illustrates the storyline, this doesn't manage to strecth up until the present day.
If it can't compete with the best surf documentaries, Bustin' Down The Door is never less than diverting - the thrill of conquered waves eclipsed only by the picture's educational value.
The characters aren't quite as charismatic as the Z-Boys and the editing isn't as abrasively cool, but it does give a glimpse of how an outsider lifestyle evolved into a multibillion-dollar business.
The documentary celebrates the athleticism and creativity of the sport's unsung Nureyevs and Nijinskys.
Despite the group's many successes, self-pitying tears are rarely far from their eyes. It's fascinating stuff and unfathomably bleak.
Although you'd expect moist eyes from bitter, fading stars desperately trying to scrawl their names in the history books, the film avoids this indignity with engaging characters, an informative narrative and tons of awe-inspiring archive footage.
The vintage surf footage packs some thumping wipeouts and there's fresh relish in the sidestory of local Hawaiian surfers handing out beatings to their gnarly foreign invaders.
The movie lacks the jaw-dropping spectacle of 2004 surfing doc Riding Giants, and conveniently sidesteps the issue of what happened to the sport's spiritual side when it became an industry.
Packed with awesome footage and revealing interviews, it's one to bust down the cinema doors to catch.
Once or twice - making it all worthwhile - an interviewee touchingly chokes up at his own memories, and brims with sudden tears.
At times it's quite moving - Wayne Bartholomew breaks down on camera as he recalls his hardscrabble childhood - though Edward Norton's narration has all the nuance of an I-Speak-Your-Weight machine.
Fuelled by nostalgic anecdotes rather than insightful comment, the film really comes alive in the superb archive footage.
Impressively shot and well researched, but the narration is extremely dull and the film occasionally feels like a ten minute anecdote stretched out to feature length.
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