Above: The trailer for the much-anticipated follow-up to Stoke Factory’s 2012/13 release, Home Brew.
Remember bodyboarding films – those full-length features that were longer than three minutes and didn’t live on the internet? Yes, we live in an age when a booging DVD release is a rare treat and a cause for celebration, and the Stoke Factory fellas did the latter on Friday night with the world premiere of Home Brew 2 (“Liquid Hellfire/Misfire”) in Wollongong. It had been a long time in between film drinks for the SF collective, with the fan favourite Home Brew being released at the tail-end of 2012/beginning of 2013, so they had a lot to live up to. Did they match expectations or was the follow-up a flop a la I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (yeah, there’s a third one)? We fired up the laptop and gave Home Brew 2 a spin this morning and here’s a few things we learnt from it.
Above: Firing up the ol’ girl this morning. Best served with a brew.
The dudes in the movie surf good and stuff. While Stoke Factory admits it was a bit slack in getting this thing done and dusted, the two-year-ish filming period ensures there’s pretty much zero filler. Jase Finlay, Jordan Putland, Dave Winchester and Tom Rigby, in particular, shine in Home Brew 2 with full sections or close to it. Then you’ve got other Stoke regulars like Chris James, Matt Young, Sam Bennett, Damien Martin, Miguel Macias and James Kates putting in big performances too. (Non profile section) Highlights include a beautiful (think pulled-back deserted slab scenes and stunning nature shots) Tassie section; a rare NSW dredgie beachie section; and a mixed-rider section with Winny surfing out of control across Oz, the Pride team with some reckless charging at a Central Coast slab, Griz being Griz and solid cameos from guys like Michael Novy, Ivan Pulic, Nick Gornall and Alex Bunting. Travel aficionados will enjoy the Bali section, but apart from some Central American stuff with Riggaz there’s not a whole lot of other overseas stuff, which doesn’t necessarily take anything away from the movie. Home Brew 2 did get a bit disjointed at times with the intro, mixed section and outro jumping from location to location and from rider to rider seemingly just because. But ultimately the quality of surfing in the movie was never gonna be an issue so don’t worry your pretty head, sunshine.
Above: Remember this thing of Damien Martin from Riptide’s #195 cover? Yeah, the footage in the film is the bee’s knees. Pic: Andrew Chisholm
Stoke Factory has a knack for making bodyboarding look cool.
Yeah, I know that’s an uncool as statement, but it’s true. Like Movement magazine or Nick Gornall’s hair, Home Brew 2 manages to create the vibe that booging has a style, flair and substance that elevate it above the stickered-up professional gloss of other “extreme sports”. Sure, it helps that the film stars some of the sport’s most stylish figures, but when it’s all wrapped-up in elegant filming and an eclectic indie soundtrack (tbh the tunes have a similar vibe/sameness to the first film – if you’re looking for Tension style soundtrack variety you’re in the wrong place) you’ve got yourself a movie you could show to someone totally unfamiliar with bodyboarding and still have them come away feeling like we’re all a bunch of sick c*#ts.
Above: Mooty’s VB commercial cameos threaten to steal the entire show.
Keeping the larfs intact is important. As mentioned above, Home Brew 2‘s got that effortless cool (to borrow another intensely uncool phrase) that’s at the opposite end of the spectrum to contest jersey grovelling or three-minute online d-grade clips to the sound of alt-J. But thankfully the Stoke fullas know not to take themselves too seriously. Every time the film threatened to get mired in slow-mo or dimly-shot scenes, Moot Young would pop up in a faux VB commercial laughfest that I’m not even gonna try to explain here. The final outro track – featuring Stoke Machine-themed lyrics complete with karaoke text – was a nice touch too.
Grab your copy in-store or at the Stoke Factory website, or – we’re guessing – keep an eye out for it at good bodyboarding shops soon.