'Dogtown and Z-Boys,' Stacy Peralta's first movie, was the darling of the 2001 Sundance Festival, and while 'Riding Giants' doesn't have quite the same focus, it still reset the bar for surf doc style and verve. 'Giants' breaks down the history of big-wave surfing into three chapters, and the opening section, with California's Greg Noll leading the charge in Hawaii during the fifties and sixties, rises above nostalgia and is thrilling all over again. Huge waves, wooden boards, palm trees, and a bit of chicken-stealing to put dinner on the table – it's enough to bring tears of appreciation to even the most jaded cynics.
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