review by Zach B.
Running Time: 74 minutes
Starring: Brian Anderson, Mike Carroll, Tony Ferguson, Rich Howard, Eric Koston, Rick McCrank, Paul Rodriguez, Jeron Wilson, Brandon Biebel, Robbie McKinley, Jereme Rogers
Directed by: Ty Evans, Spike Jonze
Retail Price: $19.95
Features: Alternate Edts, Athele Interviews, Ad Series, Photo Gallery, Enhanced Soundtrack
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Stereo, Chapters
Released: January 27th, 2004
Ah yes, the wonderous world of skateboarding. Skateboarding has been a pretty big thing for a long time, but in the past few years it's seemed to have really blown up and stopped being stereotyped as an 80s/90s-California-only thing. Thanks to such superstars as Tony Hawk (and his fun, addictive video game series) and ESPN's X Games, the sport has definitely gone more legit and has gotten more respect - these guys are athletes in their own way and certainly there's a lot you can do with a skateboard. I personally can't skateboard for my life (then again, it has been a few years) and some of the tricks these guys can pull off are just insane.
There's not much of a plot to "Yeah Right!" as it is basically just 74 minutes of some amazing skateboarding footage featuring the skaters from the Girl Skateboard Company. Set to a very cool soundtrack mostly, we see skaters in their prime and in-between there's also some set pieces to this feature that play out like short films. These little set pieces are nifty and add a bit to what would mainly be a bunch of edited skateboard footage. Each skater gets his moment in the sun, as they are some nice highlight reels. Still, the angles that the directors get and the stunts that are pulled off are often jawdropping and just a lot of fun (though if they go awry it's not always pretty). It's stuff that must be seen in action. Oh, and their might be a few surprises in store along the way... (okay, if you don't count special effects there's one and that's actor Owen Wilson).
It's known that Spike Jonze, who has become a pretty big director these days, has always had a love for skateboarding. The name escapes me as I write this, but he used to be pretty involved with a now defunct skateboarding magazine. The man has also always had a knack for quirky projects, and this fits the bill perfectly. No, there's nothing quirky about skateboarding but there is some pretty crazy stuff in this feature - and while this movie is credited to three directors (who all do a good job, but Cory Weincheque is actually an "assistant director"), it's not specific who directed what. Still, I think it was Jonze who mainly did the filmed set pieces though I could be very wrong.
"Yeah Right!" is not for everyone - it really depends if you love skateboarding and love watching crazy stunts that may seem like the impossible. Still, if you're highly entertained by that and don't think it's all the same, then do check this DVD out. Also, this is the clean version of the feature. I guess if younger audiences want to see this or you can't stand some of the more dirty language and stuff, then this is for you.
Presented in 1.33:1 full screen, it is definitely hard to judge a transfer like this since the footage shown has been shot in all kinds of video and on film. Still, it is a good looking transfer that is not atrocious. The footage is video-based features some shimmering and an awful a lot of noise, which can be a bit distracting. The filmed portions look good too, but aren't perfect - they can be a bit grainy and unrefined in their images at times. The filmed images also have some little flaws but have good color saturation and detail most of the time. The video overall is not exactly a mixed bag, but is consistent and is decent enough for a project like this.
The audio isn't directly specified, but I believe it is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (in English, of course). There isn't much to say about this track except it's fine for this project. It is all very direct and straightforward - it comes in clear and you can hear everything, though at times some of the sound is a bit muffled. The music sounds particuarly well, as well as all the crashes and skateboards sounds, but nothing particuarly stands out. It's good pretty much and nothing more - though I bet a remix through the channels could have helped this greatly.
There are some Alternate Edits: meaning a different intro from Jereme Rogers, a Skatetrix montage of sorts, nearly four minutes more of Owen Wilson, some of the invisible ramp and two minutes of green boards (it's really just another set piece). Slideshow is just photos, and The Ads is posters for the feature played out automatically. To top it all off, there is 24 minutes worth of some very entertaining Outtakes which really are a lot of fun.
"Yeah Right!" will probably only appeal to skateboard fanatics, but if you like watching some great skateboard stunts and yes, even cool music, then this is a feature well worth checking out. The extras are pretty good, and the presentation is decent so if this sounds the least bit appealing, you'll probably enjoy what this DVD has to offer.