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Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4
he problem with Dana Brown's surfing documentary, STEP INTO LIQUID, can be
described in two words: BLUE CRUSH. The latter is a fictional film by John
Stockwell about a group of female surfers. Whatever you may have thought about
BLUE CRUSH's story -- I liked it -- its gorgeous cinematography and awesome
sound set a certain standard for what moviegoers now expect in a surfing film.
BLUE CRUSH brought viewers into the picture so that they could feel the
incredible power of the waves. In contrast, STEP INTO LIQUID has a flat look,
blas‚ sound and dull colors. More than making you want to go surfing, it makes
you want to see BLUE CRUSH in the theaters again.
The documentary does provides some fascinating background on the world of
surfers. Far from being confined to surfers on lush Hawaiian beaches, we meet
surfing fanatics from Ireland to Wisconsin. The latter features respectable
waves from the ugly brown water of Lake Michigan.
Surfing is as much as an obsession as a sport. Surfers range from would-be
Beach Boys to nerds to graying guys with potbellies. We meet one aging surfer
who is closing in on his ten-thousandth consecutive day of surfing. Even
tonsillitis isn't enough to keep him from his goal.
As proof that surfing is more than a mere sport, one of the aficionados asks,
"How many people do you know who would go and gawk at a tennis court." Surfing
fans can stare at waves for hours with a near religious conviction.
STEP INTO LIQUID runs 1:28. It is not rated but would be a G and acceptable
for all ages.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes