"There's a tragic turn in "In God's Hands," but sometimes reality is most chilling. Todd Chesser surfed in typically wild, radical fashion as a dead-ringer for George, and on a huge day in February of '97, he was supposed to be at Jaws, playing the George character as he attempts to paddle into (instead of being towed) a giant wave. Chesser didn't go to Maui that day. He stayed on Oahu and attempted to paddle into a 20-foot swell on the outer reefs near the Leftovers/Alligators area. He never came back. The swell quickly escalated to 25-plus, Chesser got mowed, and he drowned - somewhat mysteriously, along the lines of Mark Foo, because the exact cause could not be determined. But it was a death swell, for anyone attempting to paddle in on his own power, and it claimed one of the most respected surfers in the world.
I just thought I'd throw that in memory of Todd Chesser
Here's a comment by some film critic : (I agree that the movie itself sucks, but if you surf or have a love for the ocean or travelling, it's good. :o)
"The ocean waves have all the good lines as they rumble through an abysmally turgid and pretentious mess of quasi-documentary, tepid adventure, ponderous philosophising, unromantic romance, forced symbolism, bogus mysticism, and vapid travelogue. The thin, vague story thread has a bunch of surfers travelling the world together to ride the biggest waves, while engaging in relationships that don't have any dramatic value or point. The spectacular surfing footage has a definite sense of danger and beauty, but the characters are so non-existent and Zalman King's direction is so full of dreary, pompous esoterica that the film becomes a hollow, arty vacuum. None of the surfers seem to have the slightest acting talent, and King's fussy music video style does nothing to enhance any serious effort they might have made." -Dale Winogura
The story revolves around three surfers who are, in essence, searching for the 'ultimate' wave to ride on. That's basically to story. Very simplistic and dull to most people. Shane, 25, is good-looking, quiet, reserved, and considered by many to be the best surfer in the world. Like his two friends, he has adopted the raw intuition of a dreamer and traveller. Mickey, 30ish, is a very blunt, hard drinking, hard living kind of guy. He is constantly getting the three into trouble. Keoni, 17, is a spontaneous and emotional character. He hails from the spiritual surfing grounds of Hawaii. His will be a journey into manhood.
For me, I had the impression that this movie was just going to bluntly suck. 'Cause of the sh*tty reviews and the lame story line, I figured that it'll be another Point Break or something like a 'fake' surfing movie. I was wrong. I rented this movie out last night, and was supposed to watch it with a bunch of friends who eventually cancelled on me 'cause it was a school night kinda deal. Good thing though, 'cause I ended up watching it alone with some gummybears to keep me company (until they mysteriously disappeared!) and was so awe-struck by the scenery and cinematography, that I had to see it again. I called up Kris and zipped to his place just to watch it again and make a tape of it.
The things that really made this movie especially touch me in a certain way, was the familiarity and closeness I could feel with the lead character (Shane Dorian). As sickly dull and boring this may sound to most people reading this, I have always felt a certain longing to find myself in a place on this earth that is indescribable and unforgetful. If you click on the picture below, it’s a very simplistic and short spurt of words that somewhat relate to the to way I feel about surfing and life in general.
I know it may sound crazy to relate so closely to a 'fictional' character in a movie, but I can't help it. Shane's waaay better looking then me no doubt ! His surfing is so stylish and fluid that he's magical to watch. I've surfed with him and a few other pro's while in Baja last summer and let me tell you…this guy is so humble and nice. It's pretty cool. I just can't help but see myself inside his character. Not the looks or surfing experience or travel experience, but the emotional and personality side of him. It may be hard to believe, but it's true. I know myself, and I always purely rely on my instincts for thoughts and direction.
Back to the movie and enuff about me. hehe
The first 1/4 of the movie, personally, didn't have to be there. It basically opens up with the three surfers on a beach in South Africa and Mickey's supposedly 'teaching' this native beautiful woman how to speak english. Ya right ! She turns out to be the daughter of a powerful drug/police guy and he tosses the three surfers in a very primitive jail. From then on, the story unfolds as a writer/photographer follows the three surfers on their epic journey.
The movie is worth watching just for the scenery and cultural aspects of the different countries they visit. The surf is purely amazing. I've never seen anything like the footage they have captured. Truly spellbinding. The thing that rocks about this movie, is that all the actors are the 'real' surfers. They do their own stunts and surfing which is almost unheard of in today's movies.
You can tell that Shane really stands out from the other surfers when he's gliding across the face of the waves. His style just rocks so much that it's trancient. They travel from South Africa to Madagascar to Bali(Indonesia) to Hawaii and then Shane journey's to Todos Santos Islands in Baja, Mexico.
The music really flows smoothly throughout the movie. There is a lot of music and sound that really shapes the feeling and essence of the film. It ranges from soft almost Sarah McLachlan kinda style, all the way to hard-core techno/grunge NineInchNails kinda music. Very diverse and very tasteful.
Just the surfing alone will blow anyone's mind away. The wipe-out sequences are scary as hell, considering they are REAL!. Click on the picture below to see a few clips of the new-school, bigwave surfing.
All in all, I would recommend this movie to everyone. I really enjoyed it, and it made me think of the way I view life in general and it was refreshing.
The movie starts out pretty cheezy, but trust me. After the first 30mins, it gets good. If you don't like it, I'll buy you a beer or something ! ....heheh ;o)
It only costs $4 or something like that the rent so please do it and tell me what you think. It should be out in most places now.
If you really want to see both of the clips (above) and the most wicked shots ever, click on the pic below. Trust me, it's worth the 9.5Meg download!
This is the official movie trailer and if you don't see this and like it, then I'll eat some surfwax! ..hehe