Riding Giants

2004

Documentary / History / Sport

140
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 4,142

Synopsis


Downloaded 7,272 times
May 2, 2019

Director

Cast

Gabrielle Reece as Herself
Gerry Lopez as Himself
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
866.94 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.63 GB
1920×1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by film-critic 10 / 10 / 10

Fe...Fi...Fo...Fum

Riding Giants is a brilliant documentary that dives deep into the world of one of the most under-appreciated sports and brings to the surface a very human and raw emotion that only director Stacy Peralta could capture. Everything from the structure, to the players, to the amazing stock footage, to even the style in which this was filmed only reinforced the beauty and power behind the sport of surfing. Of all the surfing films that I have seen (Endless Summer, Billabong Odyssey, and Step Into Liquid) this was the most consistent and relevant. Beginning with the early ages of surfing (a brief history lesson) lasting all the way till Laird's infamous ride, Riding Giants goes further into the mind, heart, and soul of the sport than any of these other documentaries. How does it do this? By giving us the whole story, from start to finish, without fictionalizing or jig jagging from wave to wave. To begin this film was structurally sound. In the other films that I have seen about surfing, you sometimes find yourself jumping from new person to new person, wave to wave, event to event, without any knowledge of why or who? In Riding Giants, we have a very small cast of veterans and newbies. This allows you to really go deeper into the mind of each one. Also, instead of just riding waves, we are handed more history and more personal insight to the world than before. This is what really attracted me to this film. I was impressed that instead of showing all these big waves (because it is a big wave movie), we listen to stories and see first hand what these surfers had to overcome to get to those waves. I loved the information about the "beach bums" or father's of surfing. I am still floored by the amazing tales of Greg Noll and his early adventures into the harsh deep blue. Then, to see him in person, talking about what was going on in his mind, only added more fuel to the fire. The straightforward structure that Peralta followed allowed me to follow and walk away with more knowledge of the sport than with any of the earlier films. Peralta shows so much emotion and passion that you cannot help but be amazed by what these brave people have done, and where the sport is going. Add to a immaculate structure some intense and creative cinematography, and you have darn near perfect film. Using techniques that I last saw in The Kid Stays in the Picture, Riding Giants creates some scenes that almost feel as if they are jumping out of the screen. While it isn't 3D, it is that flat dimensional feeling that you get when you put two pictures on top of each other. In this film, it worked. It created more depth to the scenes, and really added to not just the shock value (man these waves were huge), but also the danger that these guys constantly faced. If it broke differently or they maneuvered wrong, these waves would kill them. Some did die, but it didn't stop the sport. It only created more excitement and more passion to do better. It is this love of the ocean and sport that leads me to my final point. The human element. So many of my earlier adventures in the world of surfing documentaries left me with beautiful waves, but very little about the people. The films knew that people were watching for the waves, so it would basically go from wave to wave to wave and the maybe a short second about the person. This film was the direct opposite. Peralta created this masterpiece by still giving us the waves, but devoting so much more attention onto the surfers and the immortal question of why they do this everyday. What rushes through their minds, what pushes them to go further, and the bonds that are formed while out there on the wild blue yonder. I felt like after watching this film that I not only knew more about big wave surfing, but also about the emotional side to the sport. This was an element not as developed in the other films and pushed Riding Giants to a whole new personal level. Overall, this film was brilliant. Never have I witnessed so much passion, devotion, and love wrapped in a structurally sound film. From beginning to end, I was impressed. I would be very happy if this film won the Oscar this year for Best Documentary, and to see a new rebirth in the surfing world and open more doors for films of this nature. Grade: ***** out of *****

Reviewed by baho2 10 / 10 / 10

An A+ Entertaining Documentary

Wow! Stacy Peralta has followed up Dogtown and Z-Boys with an equally stunning documentary about the history of the big-wave surfing culture in America. Piecing together insider archival footage along with interviews from surfing legends, we are transported into the daring and free-spirited life of the early pioneers whose sheer passion for the sport spawned an industry that today touches the lives of millions. It's getting to know these icons and their stories that gives the film its warmth. You can feel the respect Peralta has for this group as we hear accounts of Greg Noll striding from a pack of awestruck fellow surfers on the beach to singularly challenge 50-foot swells off Hawaii's North Coast. Or Jeff Clark, surfing the outrageously dangerous Maverick off the northern California coast all alone for 15 years before it was discovered and became the surfing destination in California. And the storybook history of Laird Hamilton, today's surfing icon. Hearing Greg Noll reverently refer to Hamilton as the best surfer ever sent chills up my spine. (As an aside, Noll, Clark and others were at the Sundance screenings. Noll humbly described himself as an old, over-the-hill surfer. He was deeply moved by the audience reception of him and film. Both he and Clark were as likable in person as they were in the film.) Riding Giants pays homage to these extraordinary athletes while at the same time rewarding us with an insight into the magnitude and terrifying power of the waves they seek to conquer, the gut-wrenching vertical drops required to get into them, and the almost unfathomable combination of adrenaline and fear that the surfers experience each time they take on a monster swell. All this, and the movie has more. For those of us that didn't live in California in the 60's, we get an insight into the impact of surfing on American pop culture. (And, to my surprise, the impact of the movie Gidget on surfing!) Peralta also weaves in a primer on some of the technical aspects of the sport and the history of innovation in equipment. I'm not a surfer, but like the rest of the Sundance audience, I was absolutely captivated by this film. Peralta is staking his claim as the Big Kahuna of American documentaries.

Reviewed by DangersMyMiddleName 10 / 10 / 10

Brilliant

Riding Giants is an incredible documentary detailing the history and stories of three influential big-wave surfers, Gregg Noll, Jeff Clark, and Laird Hamilton. Stacy Peralta did an amazing job taking on the role of director and should be congratulated for doing such a brilliant job. The structure of the film is edited brilliantly and works perfectly with the narration, interviews, animation and surfing footage. The music soundtrack just adds to the overall satisfaction of watching this film, making Riding Giants brilliant viewing. Personal highlights include any of Greg Noll's comments, what with his straight-to-the-point frankness, Laird Hamilton's footage at Teahupoo, and the out-takes at the end of the movie. But really this entire film is one big, recommended highlight that comes highly recommended if you have the opportunity to see. It's a shame it isn't more well known, but it is a gem deserving of attention. 10/10

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