As the summer season of filmgoing winds down (well, sort of. . .Guardians of the Galaxy looms around the corner this weekend, so maybe that’s a premature statement) my inspired posts have really ramped up! Today’s TBT comes at you not from the brain of. . .well, me. . . but yeah, from someone else. Someone else’s sick mind is responsible for today’s throwback. And I won’t mention any names (Keith), but suffice it to say — this man has a great taste in movies! I had almost forgotten all about these campy Disney originals, until now. So, he suggested this one and, for anyone who has seen this, I’m sure they’ll also wonder how I could possibly go without talking about
Today’s food for thought: Brink!
Rolling brakeless since: August 29, 1998
Ahh, Brink! Yes, the movie title with the mysterious exclamation point at the end, the one to this day I still don’t understand. I mean, why so excited? Everytime I write that title I sound more enthusiastic than I really should about a Disney channel original movie, but you know, whatever. #YOLO.
There’s a great many things yours truly does not understand, and this movie title, not to mention how inexplicably awesome the film itself actually was, are two more things I might as well add to the list.
I ain’t gonna fake it, brah. Brink! is a pretty damn cheesy movie, but it features some blasts of summer fun that time and again recall a much simpler, innocent time. The days spent careening down streets and heckling passers-by on the boardwalk can be recalled fondly for every Californian at home catching it on T.V. for the umpteenth time at 4 p.m. right after school. For those playing the long-distance game, who don’t live in California and who aren’t steeped in the rollerblading culture, it perhaps served better as a postcard from Venice Beach.
When a group of enthusiastic young in-liners led by Andy “Brink” Brinker (that’s not an awkward name at all) clash with a rivaling group of “professionally sponsored” skaters, Brink (Erik von Detten) is forced to decide who to skate for when given the opportunity to raise money for his family by joining Team X-Bladz, the über-serious and totally rad side of skating. But does he have it in him to sacrifice his friends and the simple joy of having fun while skating in order to make money? Dedicated Brink-sters tend to view this fairly asinine struggle as Anakin slowly joining the Dark Side. You desperately want him to turn back, to use reason and logic. Possibly, The Force, if necessary, to escape a lifetime of. . . well, selling out.
Of course, deep down Brink knows that “The Force” is just him having an identity crisis. He was once a passionate skater but now finds it necessary to use his talents as a way to financially help out his family. He betrays his bro’s (Brink, c’mon man), and he even endangers the life of one of them during a street race between himself and Gabby (Christina Vidal) when trying to prove who is the better downhill skater. If there really is a Dark Side in Disney’s eyes, it’s the whole selling one’s self out to corporate greed and uniformity. Ironically actual skaters view the world the same way. Unfortunately even the corporate-sponsored ones still have to fight for food, as the sport is not — as one might imagine — a highly-paid profession.
But enough of the practical talk, this is a Disney Channel movie throwback, for crying out loud. Enough with statistical probability of making it successfully in the industry (yes, the sport of rollerblading has garnered corporate sponsorship, despite what skateboarding might have you thinking otherwise), and enough with the damn comparisons to Star Wars. I just lost an entire paragraph to that metaphor. And about to lose another one to an explanation of why that was weird. Whatever.
At the end of the day, if you haven’t experienced the fast-paced, corny-as-corn action of Brink!, you’re basically missing out. And, brah, you have been for quite some time. The child in me who sat far too close to a television set still wants to think it was longer ago than 1998. Then again, that was well over a decade ago now.
Recommendation: I feel like if I need to recommend Brink! to my readers, I’ve already lost the race. You’ve either seen this one or you gave it a wide berth. I’m not really sure how some of my readers would go about even tracking it down out of curiosity now, unless they are comfortable with sifting through hours of mindless drivel on the Disney channel. Although, that might be a worthwhile sacrifice if you find yourself just curious enough.
Running Time: 99 mins.
Quoted: “Whatever brah, let’s blade.”
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Photo credits: http://www.bustle.com; Google images