Will “Night Moves” ignite aggressive environmentalism?


Big names Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning have attached themselves to what appears to be a very bleak look inside the plans and actions of environmental “terrorists” who look to violently take down an Oregon dam.

Now, that’s not a term I prefer to use, but it will be lobbed about plentifully by “Night Move’s” detractors, which will no doubt surface in hoards once this movie makes its wake.

The similarities to Abbey’s “Monkeywrench Gang” are clear. And if you watched director Kelly Reichardt’s previous films, you know just how harsh a truth can be put on film, regardless of audience sensibilities. “Wendy & Lucy” didn’t just tug at the heart strings of any dog lover out there, it violently yanked them from your chest and severed them with something dull. And, Reichardt seems to be very in touch with the dirtbag mentality of seeking ways to carve out an untraditional lifestyle. “Meeks Cutoff,” a western she directed, was widely praised by critics.

The movie is in limited release this weekend.

So Danny MacAskill visited a lakeside town in Argentina

The freeride cyclist who apparently found his center of gravity while still in the womb is once again leaping, teetering and finding new ways to punish bike rims in another Red Bull sponsored video. This time, he’s doing it against the apocalyptic backdrop of Epecuen, a small town in Argentina that two decades ago was flooded into oblivion and left to rot under the shore of the lake it borders.

A lot of the usual MacAskill is on display here, but watch for some particularly impressive moves like a front flip off of a broken seesaw and his use of a fallen tree trunk. And more impressive is his mere attempt at some of these moves given the prospect of taking a header on piles of jagged concrete slabs and spears of rusting steel beams. This bike show far exceeds his last, which was more silly than captivating.

Snowdonia Wavegarden prototype now operating in UK, surfpark to open next year

We’ve been hearing about the rise of man-made waves for years now. And no, those things on cruise ships don’t count.

This wave pool concept, to open in Snowdonia National Park in North Wales next year, appears to mimic quite well the qualities of surfing, sans a few of the more learned aspects of the sport, like wave selection and lineup etiquette. This is because, at least according to this video, every wave is a drop-in and you have it all to yourself. Sounds like heaven.

For some, it might be.

But for many others, surfing is not just about riding a wave, it’s also about embracing the action of the ocean and absorbing the visceral experience of floating above a dark aquatic underworld. It’s about the exploration of swell, physical empowerment and the simple joys of unraveling the nuances a recently discovered wave.

In short, wave parks are the indoor climbing gyms of surfing, even if placed in the middle of an outdoor recreation hub.

There’s no question I would pay to solo ride a few perfect waves generated by a machine controlled by a guy in a booth, especially since I live in the desert. I’m certain that it wouldn’t come close to the true experience.

The ocean is a complex system. We may be able to mechanically clone its surface actions and bring surfing to the plains states, but we’ll never be able to re-create a real wave.