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Movie Review: Fistful of Moguls

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Even though it's a few years old, I just got around to watching Stumpy's "Fistful of Moguls." It's billed as a celebration of mogul skiing and loosely follows Jonny Mosely on his quest for gold in Nagano. There is very little competition footage; most of the scenes comprised of a bunch of solid bumpers out having fun. They show his medal winning run at the end (which is still awe inspiring to me).

Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with the movie. For a film dedicated to bumping, I thought it didn't have enough mogul skiing. There was a LOT of air. I'm pretty sure this movie got released before all the jib videos we have today so it may have been the start of the new trend but I thought there should have been more on-snow stuff than off snow. The bump skiing they did show was top notch. Some of the guys skiing at the Whistler bump camp (shirtless, no less) were incredible displays of agility and athleticism. Ah, to be 22 again!

One trademark Stump element that was missing was terrain recognition. In most of his previous movies, Greg puts the name of the run somewhere on the screen. As Hattrup dropped into a chute, we'd learn it was Agui de Midi or Granite Chief or Blackcomb Glacier. This may not seem like a big deal but, for me, identifying with the terrain was a huge part of why I enjoyed the movies. In the older films, I would undoubtably be impressed watching Schmidt or Plake take a cornice at full speed. However, I was SUPER impressed and even terrified when the name of the cornice appeared at the top of the screen and I had been there. I remember standing at the top of the Palisades at Squaw and thinking "Oh my God, they straight-lined this chute in 'Blizzard!' those guys are NUTS!" I think Fistful would have been much better if I would have known the runs they were skiing. I'm pretty sure a lot of it was shot on Gunbarrel at Heavenly but I would have loved to know.

Not missing, was the normally goofiness of a Stump flick. We see Mosely sing La Bomba with an outrageously fake Mexican accent. We visit Plake in the hospital after lacerating his liver on a ski pole. Not as good as the super-strange stuff in Maltese Flamingo or Skier's Guide or Requiem but still mighty goofy.

Perhaps my favorite part of the movie had nothing to do with actual skiing. As the movie begins, Plake is talking between cut scenes of some great bump skiing about how he feels about mogul skiing. Basically, he says that if you want to ski powder, just take your marginal technique out and buy some fat skis and for $650 you can ski powder! Want to carve better? Spend $650 on hourglass skis and you can outcarve him (his words, not mine). And all these "extreme skiers" flying off cliffs? Is he skiing or does he just happen to have skis on? But you can't buy mogul skiing. You can't fake it. If you want to find the best skiers on the mountains, go look at who's skiing the bumps!

You tell 'em, brother!

Buy it through EpicSki by clicking the "Just Push Play" link at the bottom if you're interested. $19.99.
post #2 of 12
Just Push Play's shipping is super fast, ordered on Friday, got movies Monday (CA-CO.)
Just watched Groove this morning for the first time since the world premier, still got my autographer Schmidt poster hanging in the garage. I think Groove is one of his best films, although it has a little too much snowboarding for my taste.
post #3 of 12
Isn't this movie the first one to capture on film Mike Douglas' Misty Flip? It must've looked outrageous next to the twister-twister-spreads...

post #4 of 12
Note that there is some disagreement with Plake......

web page

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 06, 2001 12:05 PM: Message edited 2 times, by milesb ]</font>
post #5 of 12

Concerning that "the best skiers on the mountain" statement, what Plake actually said follows below. I read the thread you referenced and it makes a valid point that mogul skiers often don't have the broad expert skill set which the best instructors and for that matter ski racers do. Plake did not make any blanket statement but rather that one "ought to take a hard look at whose skiing bumps". Meaning at most resorts the guys (often instructors and other locals) skiing bumps are often some of the best skiers on the hill. Plake has been around enough to know full well that there are a lot of disciplines at the top of this sport.

As for Fist Full Of Moguls, I think it is Stump's best movie. As KevinH relates it is not a "best of mogul skiing" type of film but rather a very aesthetic and artsy movie in the best of the Stump style. Decades from now it will be THE mogul film that defined the generation. On the other hand a film which showcases top mogul skiers attacking the worlds most famous mogul runs with all that video technology can offer has yet to be made. -dave
================================================== =========

So Plake was right again. Exactly tens years earlier, Plake had...

While everybody's out trying to chase down who the radest professional is, we got world champions in our country and they can't even get a free pair of skis.

Its time you know,....I mean uh....uh its time to say good bye to all the gimmicks.

You know a lot of people are having trouble skiing powder. Its, you know, so difficult. But, hell, there an answer for that... Get yourself some... some fat skis!

You know I'm having a hard time skiing powder and uh, I just uh, I don't know uh... You know its really difficult.

No kidding its difficult. Its, skiing's a difficult sport. But for $650 bucks go get yourself some tongue depressors to slide around on and guess what man? Your skiing powder. In fact your chasing me around in powder! (:

The old carved turn. Nobody can carve a turn. Your not supposed to be able to carve a turn. That's like the sacred cow man. But for $650 bucks, go get yourself some hourglass skis and you'll out carve half the guys teaching skiing at Vail! (:

Everybody's that ever been to Squaw Valley has counted to three and hurled their bodies off Pallisades. Big Deal! What is a big deal is mogul skiing. You don't buy it. You don't fake it. It's real. It's alive, and if you want to find the best skier on the mountain you might want to take a good hard look at who's skiing the bumps.

But moguls now there's something you do not buy. You earn. There's something you do not talk about in the bar about how bad ass your mogul run was, cause everybody was there. Everybody saw it. It was right there under the chair. There's nothing to hide. There's nothing to buy that can help you.

You know what comes from skiing? Moguls. Moguls are a product of our sport. It's not something you've got to go spend a million dollars on building a little... little playing field. It just happens naturally.

Moguls are a fact of life now. Since all the extreme skiers are out extreme skiing everything's a bump run now. Corbert's Coulour: great mogul run. You know you see people jumping cliffs and cornices. I wonder if those people are skiing or do they just happen to have a pair of skis on?

Why everyone says, "Well I don't ski moguls very much". Yeah, show me a mountain in America that isn't covered with moguls and I'll believe you. (:

We're coming at you Suckers! (:
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<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 06, 2001 08:18 PM: Message edited 1 time, by dave_SSS ]</font>
post #6 of 12
I would have to agree with Mr. Plake here, it is sad that people are substituting $ and equipment for skills. Me, oh, I am still riding 200's that are straight as a 2x4. I am interested though to hear what Schmidt says.

"...'cause believable ski heros, at least in my opinion are the ones who ski the extremes"

I like Plake alot, but Schmidt is always just alittle smoother, not as crazy, more calculating, and technical.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
WOW DAVE! I can't believe you have the whole transcript, including the "ums!" Great work.

You're right, I did mis-paraphrase his statements and make them stronger than he intended.

I still agree with him though! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 12
I have to complement Stump, who is of course a bumper too, for using that to set up the rest of the movie. And Plake did it well in his silly laughing way. -dave
post #9 of 12

Trying to find a copy of Fistful of Moguls

Anybody know where I can find a copy? Doesn't seem to be in production anymore, & all of the online-video outlets that I've checked, (including one overseas), are out of stock.
post #10 of 12
Too bad Stumpy has burned out on too much of Maui's finest. I know he is trying to make a "sequel" to Blizzard of Aahs but I dont think that Bruce Benedict ( The Key to those films success ) will be aboard and neither will Schmidt.
post #11 of 12
Wow how quickly time passes. I made those posts four plus years ago. Well I still have my "Fistful of Moguls" and every now and it will always be a good film to watch with other skiers. ...David
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by Gimbals
Anybody know where I can find a copy? Doesn't seem to be in production anymore, & all of the online-video outlets that I've checked, (including one overseas), are out of stock.
Ditto. I would like a look at this movie as well, but no one seems to have it. Push and Play doesn't have it?
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