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TB 7: North Of Heaven
Standard Films
Running Time:
53 minutes

Standard Films has again put the "fun" back into the fundamentals of snowboarding videos. This year's cinematic standard sticks to 16mm quality combined with constant exploitation of the vastness of interplanetary terrain.

The focus narrows in on the El Niño bastard child that brought suffering to millions except those privileged enough to enjoy its wrath. Choice bits of select speech from the likes of Johan, Ami Vontilainen and the testimony of Tom Burt give brief relief to the "immortal" stature of these freaks before relentless death pursuits ensue.

"For 55 minutes TB7 transports you North Of Heaven and gives you sickening chutes, spine tingling steeps and endless spinning..."

The only problem I have with the "standardization" of the boarding video industry is the structure. The year in and year out style of documentaries backed by angry speed metal leaves plenty of room for other inventive, possible plot inclusive tales of boarding badasses. Unfortunately few try and keep up with Mr. Hatchett's editing awe, thus leaving room for him atop the cinematic throne year in and year out.

Having said that, this year's documentary never ceases to amaze. The day at the Tahoe windlip gives those who know the difference between Terry Kidwell and Shaun White (teacher and student of the same school) a brief glimpse into snowboarding's history.

This touching segment is followed by Shaun White showing his eleven-year-old stud status. Thankfully they included a stacking sequence to quell those who might suggest the talented young one might have less length to fall. I'm also thankful they included Shaun's duo with skate ruler Bobby Burquist, but not the crash with the skate giant that sent Shaun to Oz for a couple hours.

The other epic inclusions: the sinister Dr. Jones sledding and spinning in his backyard piece of heaven; Johan's flawless fluidity making any line look like his home; and finally, we find Tom Burt explaining lines that he has been waiting six or seven years to fill in. And we thought Tom had simply ridden it all. Tom proves his vision by sticking his second attempt and staking another "claim" in Tahoe's backcountry.

The "standard" soundtrack is broken up with some strange injections of Rush and Black Eyed Peas, but for the most part, the scorched speed track confirms that with a name like Hatchett, you were probably born with OZZY tattooed across your knuckles.

For 55 minutes TB7 transports you North of Heaven and gives you sickening chutes, spine tingling steeps and endless spinning. The lure beyond the pearly gates is facilitated by the short narration and transmission blips that help you believe you're one of them. Johan sums it all up with a smiling "feeling alive" after a enlightening descent in Alaska. Alas, the thumping soundtrack and relentless ragdolling segment expose the horrors of Mr. Hatchett's true home and inner workings.

Lastly, in the rolly listy thing at the end of the movie, the makers reveal themselves reveling in the rewards of such fine editing. If you ever wondered what these guys do in their spare time...they rip.

— Hans Prosl, Mountain Zone Staff
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