Tag Archive: The Endless Summer

tcm summer movie cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

We’re just a little over the midway point of Summer 2021, so there’s plenty of time to squeeze the pulp out of the sun and fun.  Summer means movies, often big movies, and Turner Classic Movies’ latest in-depth research into the best of classic and genre films continues in the new book, TCM’s Summer Movies: 30 Sun-Drenched Classics available now here at Amazon.  Think about it–What would you recommend for the 30 best summer movies of all time?  Writer John Malahy makes his selections, and pulls in an additional 30 movies as suggested “double features,” meaning you have 60 key suggestions that will either re-affirm your own picks, or more likely, provide at least a few new films you may want to try out.  Over the past decade I have reviewed most of the books from publisher Running Press’s chronicle from the TCM library, and this latest is on the heels of TCM’s The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter and its sequel (reviewed here and here least year).  Today I’m reviewing and previewing the new volume in what has become a major film library for the film historian.  You may quibble with some of the picks, but I bet you’ll find at least 20 movies that make your own list of movies or at least help get you in the spirit of summer.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

In the realm of cool it’s really hard not to begin with something like Bruce Brown’s 1966 surfing documentary The Endless Summer.  Whether or not you’ve ever tried to surf or even been to the beach, the carefree attitude of these 1960s surfers is infectious.  Brown’s follow-up in 1994, The Endless Summer II, showed us what changed–and what hadn’t changed–in the intervening 30 years.  A documentary airing the rest of this year on Starz provides another perspective on catching waves.  It’s Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story, a highly-praised, multiple film festival pick in 2016 and 2017.

Clark “Turbo” Little is “the award-winning photographer with the largest social media following in the world,” who carved his own niche in the coastal photography market.  While other photographers were clogging beaches trying to get the best shot of the most dangerous waves and those attempting to surf them, Little started taking photographs of a world nobody else was paying any attention to: the shorebreak–that zone where the waves hammer the beach, and the photographer takes repeated poundings to get his perfect image.  In the documentary we watch director Peter King film Little as he films the unique natural formations that occur inside the waves as they slam him into the surf.  The result is a wealth of breathtaking photos that have been featured at international museums including the Smithsonian Institution, in advertisements, in outdoor magazines, and even in a memorable National Geographic Magazine spread.  Now a full-time career for Little, his clients include Apple, Nike, Nikon, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Anheuser Busch, Starbucks, Whole Foods, and more.  Little has filmed both stills and video on the North Shore of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island, California, Japan, and French Polynesia, and published two books, The Shorebreak Art of Clark Little and Shorebreak

Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story, reveals Little’s pathway to creating his photography subject of choice.  It’s a similar kind of mellow ride as found in Bruce Brown’s surfing documentaries–the kind of movie to meditate to or focus in closely with the benefit of quality HD and Little’s beautiful imagery.  Little’s work can cause some sore muscles or even a broken neck if not done properly, but his work doesn’t have that tense risk factor of the big surf crowd.  Yet he seems to be embraced by the community, walking the walk and talking that very cool vocabulary familiar to the beach community.  Little shoots much of his work from nearby his home in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

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Point Break 2015

The original 1991 theatrical release Point Break starred Keanu Reeves as an undercover cop with the lame name of Johnny Utah playing against free-wheeling surfer turned thief named Bodhi played by the late Patrick Swayze.  Directed by Katherine Bigelow (Hurt Locker) Point Break became on of those films like Road House–overplayed on Cinemax and HBO over the years so you couldn’t help seeing it at some point but usually not from beginning to end.  The film set up Reeves as B-movie action star, readying him for his big hit action film break three years later with Speed. 

As hard as it is to watch Reeves’ trademark stilted recitation of dialogue (which still defines the actor), Point Break was at least an easy watch, with an interesting group of thieves cleverly sporting the masks of past presidents.  But the film also cemented Patrick Swayze as the real deal as cool goes.

Original Point Break Swayze Neo

But Point Break wasn’t much more than a passing summer flick.  So why a remake?

The first trailer for the new Point Break is out, and the answer seems clear.  Someone wanted to make a James Bond movie.  The locations for the new flick look pretty spectacular.  The story spins similarly around an undercover cop named Johnny Utah, this time played by Luke Bracey whose only notable credit is playing the guy in the Cobra Commander suit in G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  Edgar Ramirez plays Bodhi this time around.  The problem?  These guys are pretty obscure to head up a big action film.  Why are we going to lay down ten bucks to see this in the theater?

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