Movie Review: Thomas Campbell’s Newest Flick The Present

I’m a fan of Thomas Campbell. And contrary to popular belief, I can be as irie as the next flannel wearing hippie. I just watched Thomas’ latest film, The Present. I call it a film because it’s shot on film and it looks like film with its beautiful colors and lush textures. Anyway, The Present stays the course of Thomas’ previous films, The Seedling and Sprout—featuring a mix of log sliding, quirky commentary, a jazzy mix of music, and some funny skits. The Present stays true to the log sliding roots it grew from, but adds the spice of Dane Reynolds, Dave Rastovich, and Ry Craike to the mix, which may cause some of the most granola-fueled hippies wanting to ditch their log and blast an air—but wait, that would be against the whole message. Basically, Thomas Campbell’s ethos has always been that of “ride everything”—and this movie pushes that theory. Dane rides fish boards and bodysurfing-handguns, Rasta, Dan Malloy, and Chris Del Moro charge Wiamea and Sunset on Alia boards, Kassia, Devon, and CJ look lovely on some logs on perfect waves at Shipwreck Bay in New Zealand, etc. The mock surf contest hosted by Machado and Dane is my personal highlight and could be one of the funniest surf-flick-skits I’ve ever seen. The music is perfect as well, one of my favorite bands The Mattson 2 are prevalent through the score and it made me so happy.

The Present is one of the best surf films I’ve seen in a long time, and many a shred dog would agree. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trading in my skate shoes for Birkenstocks any time soon, and I will still be riding my … Lost fish and 5’8” Plus One swallowtail on the daily while watching 5’5” 19 ¼ Redux at full blast—but if the conditions call for it, I may have to dust off a log and get irie as f—k thinking about The Present the whole time.—Chris Coté

For more info on The Present, head to trimyourlifeaway.com/home/present/index.html.