A splash or a puddle?

Our avid surfer and movie reporter Tim Ryan waxed rhapsodic about the documentary "Step Into Liquid" that opened yesterday at the Art House at Restaurant Row. But how will it play in Newark, N.J.? The Star-Ledger's Bob Campbell, whose film reviews we occasionally print, had this to say about Dana Brown's doc:

" 'Step Into Liquid' comes across as an endless Indian summer. ... With neo-rock replacing Beach Boyisms, and new optical technology permitting crisp Steadicam close-ups of ballet-like aquabatics, 'Step Into Liquid' is state-of-the-art non-art. ... (Brown) snapshots the real 'Gidget,' model for the 1959 Sandra Dee funfest (with James Darren as Moondoggie and Cliff Robertson as the Big Kahuna). This is no mere sidelight. Brown credits/blames the movie with turning the hobby of a few thousand into a craze for millions. Can 'Grapes of Wrath' or 'Braveheart' claim equal influence? ... Nude surfing, if existent, remains unfilmed, a challenge for the next Brown generation. ... The consensus: Wow, far out, it's spiritual."

We can safely guess Campbell doesn't feel "the stoke."

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