on the whole hollywood produces a lot of dross. most of it is regurgitated storylines, with bog standard acting, that quite often just feels half hearted. i am glad to say this is not one of those movies. the feel of the film is great, slightly grainy, with sun bleached colours, and a rip snorting rock soundtrack that propels you directly into the era. the acting is sensational. for all of those who thinks heath ledger's best acting role was the joker, you are wrong. this is. he is absolutely stonking as the misguided, wayward Skip, yet despite all the brashness there is an underlying compassion and vulnerability that really engage you. emile hirsch too is outstanding. i saw him in the girl next door and although i really enjoyed the film i felt like he was going to be just another one trick pony. i couldn't be more wrong. his journey as a character and person is highly believable, and is one of the highlights of the film. when i first saw this film i wasn't aware it was based on real life. since my first viewing i have seen the documentary and was surprised by how closely the film follows the story. the looks of the individual characters too are spot on, especially peralta. this is much more than a movie about a bunch of skateboarders who found fame. it is a story about life, and friendship, desperation and hope. it truly is a joy to watch.