Pure joy all the way! And absolutely great photography!
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 07/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's not likely I'll every step onto a surfboard. But I do love to live vicariously. I was able to do that with this 2003 surfing documentary. Splendidly! Written and directed by Dana Brown, the son of Bruce Brown, who created "The Endless Summer" in 1966 (and who appears in this film), the words that roll out with the opening credits are "No special effects. No stuntmen. No stereotypes". How refreshing! The sport of surfing has come a long way since it started to become popular in the late 1950s. It was started in Hawaii, of course, hundreds of years ago. It was then, and always has been, purely recreational. This film is about the pure joy of the sport and this comes through loud and clear in every frame. We see children having a blast. We see professional surfers. We see the fun a group of big beer-bellied guys in Sheboygan Wisconsin have when they put on wet suits and surf the small waves in the muddy waters of Lake Michigan as well as and surfers who actually surf in the waves made by oil rigs in Texas.. We see what is called the "pipeline" in Oahu and watch the experts in serious battle with nature. Here, the surfers know that injury is almost inevitable and they just hope that when it happens it is something that can be fixed. Later, we meet a young man whose neck was broken while surfing. He's paralyzed from the waist down but he still rides a surfboard on his belly. It must be quite a thrill. And scary. Surfers say they think "I'm gonna die" often. But still they surf. It's impossible to paddle out to the really big waves. The surfers need a buddy on a "ski tow" for this. This is a dangerous job because the guy on the ski tow has to rescue the surfer when he falls off his board. We meet Dale Webster, a man who works in a fast food restaurant but who made a commitment to surf three waves every single day. He's been doing this for 25 years and will likely continue for many more, always supported by his family who understands his need to surf. We meet the three Molloy brothers from California. They travel to Ireland, where their grandparents came from Here, they put on wet suits and surf the cold and dark turbulent waters. The locals are delighted, especially when they teach the children from both Catholic and Protestant schools to surf. The children are wonderful to watch and they enthusiastically speak on camera to the filmmakers. We meet the men, now in their 60s, who were the original surfers in "The Endless Summer". One of them lives in Costa Rico now and he surfs with his grown son. We meet Australian champion surfers and learn what creativity in surfing is all about. Some of the surfers we meet are women who are wonderful athletes but tend not to go for the really tremendous waves. Then there are the GIGANTIC waves. We follow a group of four surfers who have to take a boat 100 miles into the Pacific to catch these waves. Wow! There is a great shot of them surfing in a wave a full 66 feet high. The cinematography is absolutely fantastic. Later, in one of the DVD's extra features, we meet the photographers and learn about the excitement and the danger of their craft. They have specially made housing for their cameras and do not have a lens to look through.. They have all been injured and recovered and came back and took more pictures. They specialize in surf photography because they, too, share the passion for the sport. Yes, passion is what it's all about. I felt it while watching this film. And I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch all the fascinating extras. There's even a lesson on how to surf. I give this film one of my highest recommendations. It's pure joy all the way."
Linda Linguvic | 08/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The waves are the star of this documentary about the world of surfing today. The film shows many different aspects of surfing from top competitors and extreme sports to weekend athletes having a good time. It is definitely a feel good movie with humorous sections and breathtaking footage of the largest wave ever ridden. The downsides of surfing faced by the average surfer are not dealt with (crowed conditions, aggressive surfers, the common minor injuries).In the classic "Endless Summer" the surfers were young men; in the 1960's few women, kids or older people surfed. This update shows surfers of all ages and abilities enjoying the sport. The section with the top female surfers is particularly beautiful. Robert August, who was one of the surfers in "Endless Summer" appears in this film surfing with his sonThe film will speak to surfers and people who love the ocean, but can be enjoyed by everyone. The footage is spectacular and the music is great. Enjoy. Aloha"
An Amazing Film
Jade L Sevelow-Lee | Charleston, SC United States | 10/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a surfer I see how competitive it gets out there, especially because I'm a girl. This movie really takes you back to the REAL reason we surf and that's the joy of the ride and being one with the wave. What an incredible thing to see big waves on the big screen too! I went to see it wioth my surf club and we had a great time. Even non-surfers would greatly enjoy this movie, it's funny and at the same time it really taught me some life lessons, not just surfing ones. I would reccomend it to anyone. And if you do surf and you want someone you know to understand why you do it, show them this movie, they'll get the picture."
Step Into Liquid - The Surfing Community
Jade L Sevelow-Lee | 09/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fabulous movie. My husband is a surfer and I'm not, but the both of us could not wipe the smile off our faces during the entire film (and for an hour after). This movie is made unique by it's survey of the surfing community. It shows that all different types can be and are impacted by surfing. If nothing else, it'll open your eyes to see that a surfer can be a factory worker in Wisconsin or a child in Vietnam. This movie ranks up with 'In God's Hands' as far as quality."
The true "Endless Summer Revisited"-- definitely see it!
Baltic Books | Portland, OR USA | 08/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Laird Hamilton and Dana Brown (son of Bruce Brown who produced "Endless Summer" back in 1966), produce and direct this documentary which I expect will become the new surf-film standard for our generation in the same way endless summer was in 1966. In my opinion Dana Brown's "Endless Summer Revisited" (2000) was probably a practice run for this film. Step into Liquid introduces us a new breed of world class surfers as well as "revisiting" the original Endless Summer crew plus introducing us to a few of their peers, all now in their 60's still living their dream. Hamilton and Brown add a few unique views of surfing that really made the film enjoyable beyond the huge waves we expected to see. The best was a view of surfing from Ireland's northern coast where young Irish-American surfers use the sport to bring young Protestant and Catholic children together for the first time. In another we saw Lake Michigan surfers at Sheboygan, Wisconsin. That was a great moment. There are a lot of others you'll enjoy.Of course you'll go expecting to see spectacular waves and wipeouts- you won't be disappointed. Cinematography was brilliant and alone worth the price of entry. Perhaps the only weakness was a lack of really good inclusion of women surfers in the main storyline- they were just a section shot in 3rd person style- we never felt like we really got into their lives even though the title was even taken from one of their comments. "Stepping" was definitely a male-driven, male-centered film that missed an opportunity to do more, and at the same time truly set itself apart from "Endless Summer" in that sense. I strongly recommend seeing it. Our theater here in Portland was packed, and the audience response was spontaneous applause when the final credit rolled. You might want to rent and see the 1966 "Endless Summer" and possibly Dana's "Endless Summer Revisited" as prequels before you go out to see "Step into Liquid"."