If you’ve watched Good Company’s output so far, you’ll know their movies have had a pretty consistent style: incredible skiing and nothing much to distract from it. When I reviewed Vice Versa last fall, my one critique was that I found the whole thing difficult to relate to and then enjoy as a result. For Guest List, they’ve kept the insane level of skiing but from my point of view at least, have massively improved the final product.
The movie is a bit longer, running at almost an hour, but the pace and variety of the film keeps it moving nicely. Athlete segments are gone for this one, replaced with trip by trip segments featuring 2 or 3 of the crew at a time. There’s a great balance of powder and street and not one of the segments is the dud ‘skip part’. Everything in this film deserves its place and that’s an impressive achievement given the length.
Mt. Baker Preview Segment
With the location-based format comes an element of storytelling, largely in image form but also some small amounts of interview and narration. That does just enough to break up the near impossible quantity of shots achieved in just one season, presumably thanks to the incredible snowy winter North America was blessed with. It helps that the music is largely good, and always fits the shots well.
A key element of keeping things interesting for the best part of an hour was the abundance of new spots in trips to both North and South Dakota, which both apparently got dumped on and form multiple segments of the movie. Interesting side stories like the crew getting permission to shred spots all over a university campus in the northern state help bring the whole thing to life. I guess being an X Games medalist is a big bonus in the streets too.
The highlights were abundant, but for me, seeing Mike Hornbeck back in a big production stands out. He doesn’t get nearly enough credit for either how talented a skier he is or how vital a role he has played in skiing becoming what it is today. He has a whole host of bangers and with any luck, it’ll earn him the spot in Real Street he so deserves. Alongside him, Wallisch, Dale Talkington and Khai Krepela make up a street wrecking crew that stomps tricks with perfection from start to finish. Even the fact that much of Wallisch’s Real Street part reappears isn’t immediately obvious thanks to clever spacing throughout the movie.
A wild legend appears, no spoilers here
Meanwhile, Karl Fostvedt, Lucas Wachs and Thayne Rich make up a backcountry jib squad that only The Big Picture can really even compare with. There are a smattering of tricks here and there from a host of others including Lupe Hagearty and GC stalwarts Tim McChesney, Niklas Eriksson and John Ware. But the bulk of the footage, excluding the park shoots at Sun Valley and Seven Springs, is just that cast of seven making the 55 minute runtime all the more impressive.
In all, I really enjoyed Guest List. It’s without question my favourite Good Company project so far. If you’re into the crew, then this one is a no brainer: pick it up. But even if not, you might be surprised. There’s probably an element of internal backlash against the shaky dadcam swerving (and before you start, I am generally a fan of “the style that shall not be named”) that has dominated edits this past winter or two, but it’s nice to see some crisp, clean skiing of the highest calibre grace my screen again. I wasn’t the biggest fan of GC before, despite the insanity they unquestionably put out, but I’m a convert.
Buy it now: iTunes