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Volume 25 No. 196
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New HBO Surfing Documentary Premieres To Positive Reviews

HBO's "Momentum Generation," which premiered Tuesday, is a "revealing documentary about a tightknit group of professional surfers who achieved fame" in the '90s, and viewers "don’t have to know or even care that much about pro-surfing history to become absorbed by it," according to Hank Stuever of the WASHINGTON POST. The doc, which is also available on HBO Go, features "plenty of satisfying and even breathtaking shots of surfing," but filmmakers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist are "less concerned with delivering a standard surf movie than exploring the ways in which boys become men." The film features "household names" like Kelly Slater and "makes a clear case for the ways surfing saved these kids from less happy fates" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/11). In L.A., Robert Lloyd wrote viewers "do not need to be interested in surfing to be excited and moved" by the documentary. Even with "so many characters," the film has a "solid narrative drive and focused arc, while leaving room for disagreement, ambiguity and lapses in memory" (L.A. TIMES, 12/11). TV INSIDER's Matt Roush wrote it is a "beautifully filmed documentary" that features "plenty of thrilling surf photography." What viewers will "likely remember is the camaraderie evidenced in revealing interviews, as the surfers happily recall sharing a group home as up-and-comers on Hawaii’s North Shore" (TVINSIDER.com, 12/11). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Andrew Bucholtz wrote the film "will appeal to longstanding surfing fans given the new access and interviews, but it’s also accessible to those who don’t know much about the sport or its history." It is an "interesting look at a culture and a sport that’s very different than mainstream American professional sports, and a window into how surfing transformed" in the '90s (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 12/11).

TWITTER REAX: ESPN's Will Cain: "Loved it. You can pretty much lure me into any surf, Hawaii, 90s doc. But even without all that, it’s an awesome story about buddies." Barstool Sports producer Henry Lockwood: "I might watch Momentum Generation 25 times this week." Austin-based KTXX-FM's Trey Elling: "One of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a long, long time. Even if you’re not infatuated with surfing, it’s well worth a viewing."