DVD Reviews

Get Familiar

As major skate video productions keep pushing back release dates in a hope to up the ante one knotch higher, and optimise shifting units, only to be raped and bootlegged onto the net before the credits have rolled, the sure-shot videos worth copping are the independent ones.

Get Familiar is Washington DC local, and East Coast steadfast Chris Hall‘s private project, and by running things solo, he gets good dibs at who gets to feature: Bobby Worrest, Fabio Cristiano, Casey Rigney, Donny Barley, James Craig, Reese Forbes, Zach Lyons, Joey Pepper, Mark Gonzales, Daewon Song and Darren Harper. Whoa! That’s a heavy line-up, and all of them come correct in the perfectly timed and mounted 40 minutes of footage.

With that many riders, plus a friends section, this review could get a bit long-winded and steal the merit this production deserves, so I’ll try and keep it short and sweet in resume. Bobby Worrest starts the show and all you really need to know about is his opening and ending lines. Creativity, acceleration and power mixed together to make a firestarter part.

Fabio Cristiano breaks it out like any self-respecting South American would with a solid part dubbed to some Portuguese rapping. Fabio has a good backside 360 on him.

Casey Rigney came as a surprise because I usually associate his name with video magazines and 3rd place ratings in street comps. Well, this is Casey’s time to shine as he throws down some heavy street tech manoeuvres.

After three amazing street parts, it’s about time someone took care of some transition- in the streets- and there’s only one man for the job: Donny Barley. Expect plenty of wallrides, thread the needle lines and ballsy moves.

Right, I might mix up the order here but that doesn’t really matter because the skating’s good all the way through with Get Familiar.

James Craig is back and in top form again. Wahey! I had honestly begun to doubt if James would ever make it back after his knee injury, and I’m glad to say he’s stamped his authority on this part.

Reese Forbes might be Leo Sharp’s estranged brother, either way this part illustrates the phrase “Witness the fitness”. Power pops and mad speed from Reese.

Joey Pepper has been a favourite of mine since his Aesthetic’s debut, and aesthetics are exactly what this Bostonian’s about. Speed and smooth skills play for one of the finer parts of Chris Hall’s video. On a side note, Joey, Reese and James all skate to some trippy headshop rock, and I must say it’s groovy.

Zach Lyons reps Washington in style and I reckon the retail price of brown corduroy will go up a knotch after this part alone. This kid has got a lot of pop for such a lanky frame, and I’m pretty sure Zach’s heading for bigger and better things in the very near future.

And then there were three.

I must admit that Mark Gonzales is quite a character who can produce epic footage even without his skateboard, but I was slightly worried when I heard classroom rumblings of madman antics and senile accusations in regards the Gonz. Either you get it or you don’t, and if you don’t then you probably haven’t understood skateboarding.

Daewon Song proves yet again that this year was his skateboarding wise with a part that rips every imaginable piece of architecture a new asshole. Just watch the body language on his 360 flip to fakie over the doorway at Channel Street. That’s control, and that’s why Daewon was crowned Thrasher’s Skater of the year for 2006.

Darren Harper seals the deal, and the jury might still be hung on this badboy done good. Darren was born and raised in the hood, so I can imagine image and wealth play an important role in everyday life. Possibly a skate video faux-pas bringing in homey Dre Black to rap over his part and blend the footage into a sub-rap video, Darren almost gets the thumbs down, but… The music is actually good (personal taste, obviously), and Darren does more than his fair share of incredible skating to top this video off. Just in case you thought Darren was too cool for school, Chris managed to edit in a hefty slam by Harper, and judging by the height Darren can carry his healthy frame (read- nipple height to us minions) it must have hurt.

Voila! Approximately 40 minutes of great skateboarding from a good selection of skate heads that you might already be familiar with, or need to get familiar with. Oh, and if you’re not already out the door after watching, check out the bonus section for old footy of various East Coast royalty such as Pepe Martinez (R.I.P.), John Igei, Chris Hall himself or Reese Forbes.

Click here for trailer.

Ralph L-D