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DVD Reviews:  Chlorine - A Pool Skating Documentary


The Final Say!

Feature Score:
10/10
DVD Extras Score
10/10


Reviewed by Tory Favro
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 65 Minutes

"Sick as hell.. a true tribute to the art of pool skating"

This disc is pure plastic magic and an absolute must for anyone even vaguely interested in the art of skateboarding. Art? I hear you question, but you bet, this is sheer poetry in motion and the fact that it's been documented is something that I actually consider myself lucky to have been able to watch.

What's pool skating? Well it's exactly what you would think it was, skateboarding in an empty pool. It was a movement from back in the day where skaters, sick of the limited environment that they could ride in, found old pools around the neighbourhood that they would empty out by any means necessary and ride until they were forcibly removed or circumstances made them leave.

Being a bit of an underground movement, pool skating attracted only the most hardcore skaters who were prepared to go to great lengths to access pools they spotted. From directly asking the owners, to pretending to be pool cleaners in vacated housing so they could empty the whole pool out with a pump they carried with them.

We are taken on an amazing ride with these skaters, many of whom were the stars of the scene back when I started skating and they are still out there doing what they love. It's a journey of sorts and for some the very act is spiritual in a sense. For me I guess it was a reassurance of sorts and also a chance to see some of the true greats on their boards again carving it up like no one else can.

I think skaters will get a buzz out of seeing these guys ride as much as I did and from a purely historical viewpoint, Chlorine provides a valuable insight into what made the scene what it is and the mindset of the skaters that do it. It is truly a style unto itself and the sheer speed and grace with which it's done is a delight to behold. Add to that the thrill of being ejected from a backyard or hostile gang members stopping your fun and you find yourself in for one entertaining tale.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this DVD, and also how much you will also enjoy it. Congrats to The AV Channel for a superb release and I can't wait to see more documentaries in this vein.

Brilliant stuff and well deserved perfect score. Let's skate!

Video

The disc is shown in full frame 4:3 original ratio and for the most part shows a fair amount of grain. Footage is excellent however and I would tend to associate the light grain with it's digital and analogue origins, not due to any real problem with transfer or original recording difficulties.

Audio

2.0 Dolby Digital was used and sounds just fine. All audio is crystal clear and in the one section where it is a bit low (Steve Alba is talking over a fence), there are some well placed subtitles very briefly appearing to let you know what is going on.

Take a moment to have a listen to the music featured on this disc as well as there are some killer tracks on it that really suit the feature.

Then take another listen and listen good and hard as there is nothing, I repeat nothing as good as hearing those skateboards moving through all those pools.

Extras

This is where we get even more cream, with extras that are just as worthy of a perfect score as the feature. There is a lot of information packed onto this little ol' DVD and whilst it won't take too long to work your way through most of it, I found every single part of it worthy of inclusion and totally complimentary to the feature.

Possibly, no, without a doubt my favourite part of the extras is the audio commentary by Salba and Reuler (Steve Alba and Dave Reul). These guys provide a solid amount of entertainment as they reminisce about different pools skated and the crazy people they have come into contact with in the quest to skate new pools, come what may. If you don't listen to the commentary, you are really doing yourself a disservice.

We also have a Super 8 Diary with Lance Mountain on the disc which was a trip back down memory lane. I must admit I wasn't a huge fan of Mountain back when he first started skating for Powell Peralta, he always appeared to be something of a smart arse, but now as an adult, the enthusiasm and style with which the man skates has made me admire him.

There are also a number of other extras you can make your own way through, including some pretty damn entertaining trailers which normally don't impress me at all.

Chlorine Features

  • Lance Mountain's Super 8 Diaries

  • Audio  Commentary by Salba & Reuler

  • Secret Spots by Toby Burger

  • Photo Gallery

  • Eye on L.A.

  • Trailers

 

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