Coming of Age, Indie-Style, in the Oh-So-Familiar Skateland


Directed by Anthony Burns
Freestyle Releasing
Opens May 13
Village East

Ritchie (Shiloh Fernandez) wants to write, but he’s not getting any closer to the Nobel working at a roller-skating rink in Nowhere, Texas, sucking Lone Stars at quitting time with his buddies, lake-house lothario Kenny (Taylor Handley) and Brent (Heath Freeman), a pushing-30 former motocross rider just back in town. Fernandez looks like a young Joaquin Phoenix, and everything else here is off-brand familiar. Writer-director Anthony Burns’s coming-of-age cheapie poaches from the various regional I Vitellonis of American independent cinema: He strips Adventureland for spare parts, while Handley at one point drawls Matthew McConaughey’s “All right, all right” direct from Dazed and Confused. (Skateland’s early-’80s milieu splits the chronological difference.) If this is a personal movie for Burns, little indication of that fact comes across. An opening tracking shot and a car chase seem to attract the filmmaker’s attention, but one stagnantly staged dialogue after another shows his indifference to the character study ostensibly being made. It is a dictum of the small-town-purgatory genre that leaving the nest to pursue one’s dreams—almost always a career in the arts—is an intrinsically noble goal. If Skateland is the sort of work Ritchie’s future holds, it’s proof that some talents are better off staying home.

My Voice Nation Help

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!

Movie Trailers