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“Skate Kitchen” Where Girls are King

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia, Sr.

Very worrisome at times, the movie Skate Kitchen opens the door wide concerning the growing habits of teens in New York. I would like to believe that the film doesn’t really represent a huge number of teens, but the way writer Crystal Moselle depicts a group of skaters that throw caution to the winds in both their skateboarding and their personal life reveals them as sex crazed, pot smoking and alcohol swilling youngsters.

In a statement Crystal says that she “immersed herself in the lives of the skater girls and worked closely with them, resulting in the film’s authenticity, which combines poetic, atmospheric filmmaking and hypnotic skating sequences”. Really?

Jaden Smith and Rachelle Vinberg in SKATE KITCHEN photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

The film opens with 18 year old Camille (Rachelle Vinberg) skateboarding in a Long Island skate park where she tries a trick and it results in an injury to her pubic area. After being attended at a medical center her mother makes her promise not to skateboard anymore. It doesn’t take long for Camille to break her promise and this time decides to go into the City of New York where she meets a group of female skateboarders.

Rachelle Vinberg, Nina Moran, Dede Lovelace, Ajani Russell and Alexander Cooper in Skate Kitchen. Photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Around the same age, Ruby (Kabrina Adams), Indigo (Ajani Russell), Janay (Dede Lovelace), and Kurt (Nina Moran) have banded together in a form of a sisterhood so to speak. Kurt recognizes Camille from her Instagram videos and complements her on the amazing skateboarding. Taken by surprise and feeling welcome Camille warms up to the girls and they invite her to become part of their group.

So begins a story of how Camille starts to push her mother away, get involved with underage drinking, smoking pot, accepting sexual advances and minor theft. Writer and director of the film Crystal Moselle moves her film along at a fast clip with ups and downs and bad choices by all the girls. She introduces Devin, a love interest for Camille, played by Jaden Smith and uses this more level headed boy to give her plot another direction.

Director/writer Crystal Moselle with Rachelle Vinberg on the set of SKATE KITCHEN, photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

The skating is amazing in the movie as the skaters traverse some of the most difficult street tricks. I am impressed by Rachelle Vinberg who has been skateboarding for several years now and unless it’s movie magic, she has it down pat. Her acting ability is convincing and her character should open other opportunities for future projects. Keep an eye on this one, she has potential. You can see many of her skating videos on YouTube where she pops some mean streets.

Skate Kitchen has been rated R by the MPAA for drug use and language throughout, strong sexual content, and some nudity all involving teens. If it’s all reality then get ready for a sexual revolution beyond what we have now. You can see the real Skate Kitchen on YouTube, but beware they hold nothing back including “streetspeak”, sexual gestures and rude hand signals. https://youtu.be/MXGnUn0IJ4s ,
https://youtu.be/lb01eAGSnlM , https://youtu.be/9YsPiJLRFpQ

FINAL ANALYSIS: Not for everyone, but still entertaining. (3 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Rachelle Vinberg, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Abrina Adams, Ajani Russell, Jules Lorenzo, Brenn Lorenzo Hisham Tawfiq, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Jaden Smith
Directed and written by: Crystal Moselle
Genre: Drama, Sport
MPAA Rating: R for drug use and language throughout, strong sexual content, and some nudity all involving teens
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Opening Date: August 17, 2018
Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures
Released in: Standard

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