Spreckles Theater, San Diego
Friday, September 10, 1999
There was some insane action on the big screen at Spreckels Theater in downtown San Diego at the double-feature premiere of the new Standard Films and Mack Dawg movies on Friday night, but by far the best turns were performed by the SDFD fire engine that barreled around the corner onto Broadway”in full lights-and-sirens code-three regalia”fishtailing through oncoming traffic right by the cheering throng of moviegoers that’d just exited the theater.
Standard Films’ latest offering, TB8: Infinity, wasn’t too shabby on the action quotient, either. Although the movie confirmed suspicions that Standard wasn’t holding as much of the jaw-dropping, breath-taking AK footage as they usually have, it actually made for a good balance between huge hucks off kickers and the gnarly big-mountain footage the Totally Board series is famous for.
Word filtered through the grapevine this past spring that Standard was forced to nix its annual pilgrimage to Alaska due to shitty and dangerous conditions. But these guys are pros, and they improvised, scoring killer freeriding footage in other locales.
As Infinity started, I feared that Standard had abandoned the big-mountain stuff altogether as I saw huck after huck flash across the screen, but it wasn’t long before I got what I wanted”steep pow, trees, cliffs, etc.
So without further adieu, here are some random thoughts from my first glance of Infinity: Jeremy Jones is the hot big-mountain rider right now. Temple Cummins only has one run in the movie, but it’s a sweet one. North Cascades Heli looks to have some insane terrain. Jim Rippey knows how to ride a sled (his snowboarding part is good, too). Rippey’s also a glamour glutton, as evidenced by how he was lapping up the attention of admirers on a tour of Japan. A segment filmed in Whistler/Blackcomb really captures the place”lots of snow, grim weather, badass pillow drops. Brian Savard rules the it (Whistler, that is), as does Shin Campos. There’s a scene in which Savard pays the piper, getting caught in a slough slide”heavy stuff mere mortals rarely get to see. Victoria Jealouse breaks off a well-balanced segment, showing off her serious freeriding skills. It’s extremely obvious that Jimmy Halopoff, Dave Downing, and Kevin Jones are super solid all-around riders who know how to boost & spin like crazy AND how to rule the natural terrain. Last but not least, Kevin Jones’ dachshund stole the show, full stop.
There was plenty of supertech backcountry freestyle riding in Infinity”probably more than in past TB flicks”but I must admit that throttling back the big-mountain stuff (whether on purpose or out of necessity) and making it a roughly 50/50 blend of freeride/freestyle resulted in a movie that was always entertaining and never monotonous (which was a complaint with some of the other premieres). Throw in a well-balanced soundtrack and stylie interstitial segments, and once again Standard Films has delivered a winner.