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Swirl Films presents

Destined for Second (2002)

"Meuu."- Surfer in Cow Suit

Stars: Ben Bourgeois, Jesse Hines, Tommy O'Brien, Noah Snyder, Jeff Myers, Asher Nolan, Gabe Kling
Director: Brian Townsend, Pat Stublen

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable; language in extras)
Run Time: 00h:31m:09s
Release Date: 2003-05-20
Genre: sports

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B B-B-B C+


DVD Review

This is a very brief, 31-minute DVD of 29 surfers in action. Period. There's no plot, no travelogue. Just surfing. There are a few personality shots of surfers off the boards goofing a bit, but its really just nothing more than guys riding the waves. I have no objection to plain surfing action shots, but I was raised on the classic surfer movies such as Break Point and the Endless Summer films, as well as Extreme Surfing. Those were very exciting stuff, but this DVD just doesn't measure up to the standards set by those pictures. The action for the most part takes place on small surf indeed. Perhaps its a generational thing, but watching back and forth, up and down the faces of little waves, is just not that exciting. Surf's down. On a second viewing, it becomes apparent that this is very much a dancing sport on small waves; legs always in motion, getting the most of the energy. It's not bad at all, but different than what I am accustomed to in a surfing film. There are one or two segments of what could possibly be Banzai Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu, with some fine big waves. There are also some pretty shots with backlit waves. For the most part though, this DVD focuses on the apparently everyday types of waves that the current dudes have to live with.

For the most part the sequences are labeled by surfer name and an occasional vague reference to location. I suppose there is still pressure on the best spots and there's no need to draw a map to get there. The mildly thrashy music that accompanies sounds much better on the second listening. Some of the most interesting scenes accompany the credits or are in the bonus material.

I would give this a 7 out of 10, but only because the subject matter is surfing. My bias: any surfing movie is better than no surfing at all. However, within the genre of surfing movies, I would take any of the others over this one. Especially the extreme sports ones, or even the corny Endless Summer ones. The surfing action is just much more interesting in those. But I admit that my surfing experience is purely vicarious, and that I certainly qualify as an "old fartess" relative to the target audience for this program.

I applaud the energy of Pat Stublen and Brian Townsend in putting this disc together. I think their audience of 24-year-old surfers and 12-year-old wannabes will love this, excepting its brevity. If you are an old relic surf movie lover like I am, you may want to get this for the sake of completing your collection. Fun, and a nice job by fellows that I assume are relative newcomers.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The full-frame picture appears to be shot on video, with all the attendant visual issues that that format implies. Colors are uneven but generally acceptable for video shot in natural light only. Focus is uneven, and the camera work is decidedly amateurish, though the camera operator generally is able to follow the surfers well enough without losing them from the frame.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The soundtrack prominently features nearly a dozen alternative/post-punk bands, including ...Trail of Dead, Heatmiser, Rival Schools, Q and not U, Hot Snakes, Burning Brides and others. The audio quality is generally acceptable, with tons of loud bass. The sound has a slightly boomy quality and little in the way of directionality. The audio material is of fitting quality for the visuals, but nothing more.

Audio Transfer Grade:

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
3 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Gladiator style 2-pack
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. CD Soundtrack
Extras Review: The principal extras are a set of three deleted scenes which, at 21 minutes, run nearly as long as the program itself. There's plenty of interesting material here, though there isn't any indication as to why they weren't included in the main feature. The photographic quality is not quite as good as in the main feature, so that may be the explanation. The audio on a large chunk of these deleted scenes consists of seemingly random answering machine messages that have nothing whatsoever to do with the visuals.

The menus are awkwardly constructed; after each scene concludes, the disc takes you back to the main menu instead of the deleted scenes menu, making for much unnecessary button pushing. There's also a CD soundtrack that runs about 32 minutes, for those who want to play the soundtrack on a CD player, but there aren't any track listings of any kind to be found.

Extras Grade: C+

Final Comments

This disc features some attractive surfing footage but not much else in its short running time. Great for the young surfer fan, and it does feature a guy surfing in a cow suit....

Joy Howe and Mark Zimmer 2003-07-02