Catherine Hardwicke’s gritty adaptation of skateboard docu “Dogtown and Z Boys” got shredded at the B.O. this summer, wiping out with the skate crowd and nostalgia-minded adults despite remarkable visceral punch. This misfire goes a long way toward explaining the unrated, extended cut of “Lords of Dogtown” with excised sex and drug references added back in to entice youthful auds. Thankfully, these “extras” don’t come at the expense of features exploring the original ’70s Z Boys, production hijinks and mishaps.
Original Z Boys Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva both had a heavy presence on the set — Peralta wrote it based on his docu, while Alva trained the actors and stunt doubles on their moves — and their commentary makes it clear how complicated matching stunt double to actor and original skater could be. They compare notes as friends and rivals they once were, both praising Hardwicke for involving the skaters who hung out at the decrepit, and now gone, POP pier straddling Santa Monica and Venice.
“This is where ‘Endless Summer’ meets ‘Mean Streets,'” Peralta says.
Hardwicke plays den mother to pic’s Emile Hirsch, John Robinson and Victor Rasuk in their commentary, which is given to boyish enthusiasm over Rebecca De Mornay’s crotchet bikini or the Malibu girls in the film when the thesps aren’t exclaiming over the difficulty of certain skateboard moves.
The helmer jokes about ratings battles over racy dialogue — the MPAA preferred “vintage ass” to “gray beaver,” we’re told more than once –and the one of the extras shows actors riffing on increasingly goofy alternate versions. The bonus features don’t shy away from the injuries during filming either, which included a nasty spill by Hardwicke. But the most touching extra could be the cameo featurettes, juxtaposing original skaters’ appearances in the film with their reactions to seeing their lives played out by others.
“It looks like they hit it pretty good,” says Jay Adams, the troubled natural. “Emile reminds me of myself when I was younger.”
One observer likened their presence onset to a “Star Trek” episode. Says Peralta, who had a cameo as a TV director working with the actor playing himself: “It’s going to take me decades to figure this one out.”