Note: I have no affiliation with Globe or anyone that had anything to do with this movie. I'm just trying to help you decide if you want to buy it or not. The answer is yes; but I couldn't give a crap if you decide to.
I missed my local premiere of the new Globe film, Strange Rumblings in Shangri La. I was off doing something probably far less important on the same evening that they brought out their film during the circus that is the US Open at Huntington Beach. Chances are, you probably also missed the local premiere in your area, because of work, or bong rips, or hopefully because you were off surfing.
At last, the wait is over, and those of us counted among the unfortunate can now download the film, which features Dion Agius and his band of merry men galavanting around the world. Yes, you can download it from iTunes - for the low price of about $13. You may ask yourself, “Is this really worth the 13 bars of surf wax I could spend it on instead? There are so many free surf movies available these days...”
Yes, you cheap goon, there are plenty of free movies full of shredding you could download. But you’ll pay for it down the line, with the elevated price of shoes or boardshorts or whatever that company was trying to sell you in said movie. Strange Rumblings, on the other hand, costs $13 (at least in the US) and none of your soul, and is worth every penny. Here are four good reasons why.
#1: It’s an adventure. Plenty of surf movies hand you a steaming plate of context-free surfing and leave you to fend for yourself to connect the dots. Here, director Joe G paints a picture of the world around their travels, showing what happens on surf trips outside of the water time. Let’s face it: you’re never going to rip like these guys, but you might be able to drink wine and swoon over locals and eat weird food the same way they can. That’s half the fun anyway.
In showing us the world around their in-the-water antics, we get an expanded visual palate much of surf cinema lacks. We get a world outside of the normal dull, yellowish sand, royal blue water, black wetsuit, white surfboard stereotype. There are striking greens, blues, muddy browns swirling around our protagonists bedecked in brilliantly-colored shirts atop surfboards that span the full color spectrum.
#2: It ain’t, “The Air Reverse Show: 2014 Edition.” Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of hang time, which you’d expect with names like Dion and and Noa Deane and Creed McTaggart lined up in the credits. But because this flick was filmed over the course of a few dozen months (and has been hyped for basically that entire time), it’s jammed with airs, barrels, and rail work that will hold the test of time. There’s no half-assed little bunny hops for minutes on end. These dudes are hucking full rotators and massive boned-out grabs (especially Deane, who is earning a rep at a young age for just how tweaked an air he can throw). Creed’s on-rail surfing solo at a Sumbawa right-hander, from grab-rail turn straight to barrel, should clam up anyone who claims this cast is only worth watching above the lip. Not to mention the Mozambique tube-fest that leaves CJ Hobgood hooting up the beach after parking himself in barrel after barrel.
#3: Nate Tyler. In my opinion, this goofy-footer is one of the most underrated guys out there, and this movie is chock-full of goodness from the central Californian. Surfing Magazine ran an interesting profile on Nate Tyler a few years back, and now every time I see his name pop up in a movie, I take note. He seems to surf for all the reasons all of us should attempt to remember every time we paddle out. On top of that, he rips consistently from scene to scene throughout this entire flick.
#4. Dion Agius’ Mohawk. Ha! Just kidding.
For real, #4: 54 minutes of goodness. A lot of the ‘free’ movies that have come out in the last few years repeatedly clock in around the 20 or 30 minute mark (John John Florence’s Done, and Mick Fanning's Missing come to mind). This isn’t to say they aren’t great films, but at damn near an hour, Strange Rumblings will reward you for opening up your wallet. There’s not downtime, either: the ‘lifestyle’ shots I referred to earlier are seamlessly added in, with a bit of Endless Summer-meets-Hunter-S-Thompson style narration that ties each chapter together without making you get up from the couch in search of beer and snacks.
Bonus: Goofy-foots. Are you among those of us that stand with the wrong, erm, I mean, your right foot forward? Well then you’re in luck! Dion, Nate, and the Hobgoods feature predominantly throughout the movie, so you’ll feel right at home watching those guys go left, or pigdog through right-hand barrels. Those of us that stand with the right foot on our tailblock aren’t disappointed, as Creed, Noa Deane, Brendon Gibbens, and Taj stand up to be counted for the regular footers.
Only complaint? Not enough Taj (really, there’s never enough Taj). He shows up in the final scene to shred with his regular gusto and put help put an exclamation mark on the film, but I would have loved to see more of him. The only benefit to him (eventually? soon?) retiring from the WCT is that he’ll have more time to film for rad projects like this one, and he’s shown he’s not slowing down anytime soon.
Still not convinced? Well, watch the trailer below, and then go download the movie. If for some reason you’re still playing Scrooge McDuck and don’t want to open your wallet, go make your own movie. If it doesn’t suck, I might even buy it off iTunes.