If Wes Anderson and Charlie Kaufman collaborated on a movie about skateboarding, they would be hard pressed to come up with something as whimsically original as the comic fantasia Machotaildrop. Teen skateboarding star Anthony Amedori, a Paul Dano lookalike, plays a nice kid named Walter Rhum, whose videotaped exploits win him a lifetime contract with eccentric skateboard mogul the Baron (the splendidly theatrical James Faulkner). Taking up residence in the Baron's Bavarian castle, Walter must deal with jealous rivals, evil henchmen, an invading army of skate punks, and, most dangerous of all, the Baron's plans to turn him into a brand. Amedori and his co-stars do their own skating, which is as much fun to watch as filmmakers Corey Adams and Alex Craig's obvious pleasure with their imaginative set designs, costumes, and story. What really elevates this film out of Tim Burton wannabe territory is its sunny good nature. Amedori and his friends let the good times roll.
March 4-6; March 8-10; March 12-13; Tue., March 15, 2011