brobom review of Nomads!

“So happy to get a review like this from ” -Pollard

In Contrast to “Contrast”

Written by chrasual on September 14th, 2010

It’s no secret that the BroBomb collective was less than blown away by Nimbus Independent’s 2009 project Contrast—a difficult admission as the Nimbus crew’s attitudes towards skiing and ski culture are so in step with our own. Where Contrast was overly-long and mired in philosophical meanderings of the “skiing as life” variety, En Route Nomads is a lesson in filmmaking brevity and, fortunately for us, the shots themselves do all the necessary talking.

We’re not taking credit for the stylistic Departure (see what I did there?), but it’s nice to think that maybe Pollard and Co. had a similar sentiment when they sat back and watched last year’s flick.

Nomads is the second of three webisodes to be released by the collective this year. Much to this guy’s surprise, conspicuously absent from Nomads was the $5 price tag that accompanied the release of the first, Departure (You now see what I did there). Where the more cynical of us might have expected a drop in quality to match the drop in price, Nomads actually surpasses its predecessor…and arguably everything else bearing the Nimbus logo this side of Idea.

So where exactly did Nomads go so right? Well, everywhere. The filming is more dynamic, the editing is sharper, the skiing is better, and the soundtrack is probably the best of any ski film that isn’t the brainchild of Kris Ostness.

So much of the BroBombian ire leveled at Contrast was a result of the excessive vocal reflection throughout; it came across as overly self-conscious and referential. Here, what little talking there is, simply guides us through the crew’s travels and gives us a candid look at the relationships that the riders have forged in their never ending quest to GTS. Bentchetler’s appraisal of Tony B’s steadily receding hairline serves as a prime example of the type of dialog that made the cut.

en route nomads poster

Keeping in tune with the dialog, the skiing on display also seems to have been boiled down to just the creme. Some will undoubtedly miss the usual abundance of glade and pow turns that have become a Nimbusian hallmark, but what’s left are raw and uncut bangers served up by the core crew and some new faces (Sean Logan of Montage Inc. fame shows up just long enough to drop a couple of hammers). Relative Nimbus newcomers Blake Nyman and Anthony Boronowski waste little time in showing why they were recruited as full-time members of the squad. Before “Under Pressure” fades away at the end of the intro, we’ve already been treated to more BC dubs than probably every other piece of Nimbus media put together. The quality of shots never wanes. Have no fear ye faithful, it’s not all techy-spinny-flippy madness of course, style is still the name of the game. Credit everyone (particularly Pep and Chris) for taking their style to bigger tricks.

The editing is taut, minimalist, and clever. As Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” gives way to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” (which samples the aforementioned “Wild Side”…a careful, thoughtful touch in this guy’s opinion), Chris Bentchetler sends a HUGE cork 9 just as Q-Tip’s verse starts. A ridiculous zero spin and a couple of dub rodeo 9’s later, Bentchetler’s mini seg gives way to Pollard’s…just as Phife Dawg takes over for Tip for verse 2. I promise you this was no happy-accident on Mr. Pollard’s part, and it works. Gloriously so.

In between segments, stop motion footage of a 1950‘s(ish) toy car and trailer make their way across a map of North America tracing the gang’s trek from CA to BC and beyond. It’s a charming little touch, and it’s indicative of the care and thought put into the project as a whole. Nomads isn’t perfect, but it’s noticeably closer to perfection than the majority of other ski flicks this ski bum has sat through.

As good as the film is, it’s also notable in that it (and the other En Route entries) marks the first time in Nimbus’s history that their season long project will be released exclusively digitally. Perhaps sensing the change ‘a comin’, Pollard has opted not to produce a DVD hardcopy.

If I was forced to point to something that could have ended up on the cutting room floor, the paintball scene went on a tad too long, even if it did feature some nifty go-pro footage. I guess it “fit” but I’d personally skip it on repeat viewings.

This review is already overly long…suffice it to say that this 32 minute free MOVIE (webisode or not, make no mistake…this is a standalone film that measures up to any $30 pro DVD that came out last year) is well worth at least one viewing— even if you’re not much of a Nimbus fan. If you are, well…prepare to be amazed.


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