Lords of Dogtown (Exclusive Steelbook): Blu-ray Review

Arriving at Wal-Mart this week is their exclusive steelbook release of Catherine Hardwicke’s 2005 drama, Lords of Dogtown.  Mill Creek released a standard edition Blu-ray in 2018. While we basically get the same disk, the new steelbook art is definitely a huge improvement. This was Hardwicke’s sophomore feature after her acclaimed debut in 2003 with Thirteen.  When I first saw Lords of Dogtown upon its’ initial release, I really wasn’t much of a fan. However, the film has grown on me over the years, especially Heath Ledger’s performance as Skip Engblom.

Set in the Dogtown area of Santa Monica during the mid-70’s a group of young surfers, Tony Alva (Victor), Stacy Peralta (John Robinson), and Jay Adams (Emile Hirsch) wind up becoming part of a skateboard team for Skip Engblom’s Zephyr Surf Shop. Known as the Z-Boys, the team begins to find success at local competitions. During the drought, many Los Angeles homes were forced to empty their pools. The Z-Boys took this opportunity to sneak into numerous back yards and skate inside the waterless pools, ignoring Skip’s practice sessions in the process.

Between the competitions, magazine covers, and television appearances, Tony, Stacy and Jay start to become skateboard celebrities. They also begin to go their separate ways, finding new representations. Tony signs with a sleezy company owner named Topper Burks (Johnny Knoxville), Stacey finds his own direction and Jay finds trouble. Meanwhile, Skip is pretty much left behind.  When one of their close friends, Sid (Michael Angarano) winds up getting terminal cancer, the former friends do come together to support him.

Lords of Dogtown benefits from some strong editing and a true feel for the decade, thanks to cinematographer Elliot Davis. There are tons of “before-they-were-famous” cameos from America Ferrera, Sofia Vergara, Shea Whigham, Jeremy Renner, Joel McHale and more. If you are a skater fan and haven’t seen this film, I recommend checking it out.

Bonus Features:

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Making-of Featurettes
  • Gag Reel
  • Uncensored Director & Cast Commentary
  • Audio Commentary by the Original Z-Boys

By: Marc Ferman