Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 2
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Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 0
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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 356
Dragonslayer documents the transgressions of a lost skate punk falling in love in the stagnant suburbs of Fullerton, California in the aftermath of Americaʼs economic collapse. Taking the viewer through a golden SoCal haze of broken homes, abandoned swimming pools and stray glimpses of unusual beauty, Dragonslayer captures the life and times of Josh "Skreech" Sandoval, a local skate legend and new father, as his endless summer finally collides with the future. Set to the alternately roaring
Nov 4, 2011 Limited
May 14, 2012
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Like many good documentary filmmakers, Tristan Patterson is a talented eavesdropper who lets characters articulate overriding themes.
In following this scattered character around, "Dragonslayer" director Tristan Patterson makes a very purposeful documentary about the pessimistic worldview of the nation's youth, and what that means for the future.
A youth culture backdropped by the crumbling edge of California is rendered with punk rock energy and grace.
The portrait is dispiriting overall, inspiring little affection from viewers, but feels authentic and fair.
Despite a slew of skateboarding films in recent years, each one quite distinct, Patterson's pic arguably comes closest to channeling the culture's punk vibe and youthful abandon, albeit filtered through an outsider's aesthetic.
Patterson's one-of-a-kind hybrid captures a socio-historical moment with the kind of charged authenticity that only comes from a willingness to embrace contradictions: It's discursive and hypnotic, laconic and urgent.
This fabulous skating documentary has echoes of Gus Van Sant with its hazy, daydreamy look at the lives of skateboarding youths.
... another award-winner that leaves me scratching my head. To me it's a well-executed but minor subculture film, yet it won the grand jury and cinematography prizes at South by Southwest ...
Dragonslayer is an amazing window into a particular part of the culture and how we live now.
Dragonslayer is an amazing window into a particular part of the culture and how we live now. You'll think about Skreech -- his father's day gift for his son, his new job at a bowling alley -- for a long time after you leave the theatre.
There are parts of Dragonslayer that look like Laguna Beach and others that look like Gummo. Either way, it's a looker.
Is Josh "Skreech" Sandoval the least deserving documentary subject ever?
Departing from the conventions of documentary portraiture, "Dragonslayer" delivers the cinematic equivalent punk rock candy.
Dragonslayer - which incredulously picked up the Best Documentary award at SXSW - is probably the first ever hagiography made about someone who is, without doubt, completely unremarkable. But at least at 74-minutes, it won't keep you for too long.
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