Magma. Great vibes and insane ski stunting, set at everyone’s favorite volcanic vacation destination. A passion project with no expectations and mind-blowing results.
And now we have Magma II, dropping Friday 13th November. This time around there are undoubtedly expectations. In fact, they’re sky-high. You can’t make something as good as Magma without setting the bar almost too high. With Magma, they won awards and made the top-rated of all time list right here on Newschoolers.
But I say ‘almost too high’ because Magma II hits it out of the park again. It’s actually hard to write a review of this one because you, the viewer, already know exactly what you’re getting. It has 100% fewer volcanos (as far as I can tell) and at least 70% less shirts/shirt sleeves but otherwise, the formula remains much the same as Magma (I). Except just slightly better on all fronts.
Owen Dahlberg is perfecting his art, and Magma II has a little extra flavor on the filming and production side. It’s the same style as before, but little tweaks born of another year of experience. It’s a fast-paced, flowing watch, easy on the eyes, and never boring for even a second. On the riding front, things are similar too: Alex Hall and Hunter Hess, two of skiing’s finest, sending a vast number of rotations and flips to slushy spring landings. But there are subtle improvements here too. The spot builds are more ambitious and more varied lending more variety to the movie. Oh, and they somehow topped the vibe and stature of the ender of the last movie. To me though, much like the original, the most important thing Magma II does is recall the unmatchable vibe of building something and shredding it with your friends.
This summer, I experienced the reality of ‘private parks’ first hand with the park in my adopted home of Saas-Fee going pros only for October. As I write this, Europe’s ski resorts are mostly shut down with the exception of those in Switzerland. Only ‘proper’ pros can train in Austria’s glacier parks. You need athlete accreditation from a professional organization to travel to most countries to enjoy the sport we all love. The ‘free’ side of freeskiing had already taken a hit in recent years and the current situation will only make it harder, both in terms of access to sponsorship money and literal access to skiing, for those who choose not to go the federated skiing route.
Which, after a significant divergence from the movie, brings me to my point. Alex and Hunter are two of the leading lights of the new generation of freeskiers. They are right at the pinnacle of the competitive side of things, but by putting their time and effort into Magma and other projects, they provide a vital, and very welcome reminder that freeskiing is supposed to be about doing fun shit with your friends, that there’s no right way to do it. Watching this movie for the 3rd time today, the thing that really hit home was ‘thank fuck these guys are still out there doing this’.
They aren’t the only ones. I’ve been incredibly stoked on all the projects we’ve been able to premiere on NS this Fall. I’d like to say a huge, public thank you to everyone involved in the making of those. We’re stoked to show you guys more bangers from Laurent DeMartin, The Bunch, Forre, and Buldozlife in the coming weeks. Keeshlife, Traveling Circus, and I’m sure countless others I’m forgetting should be on the list too. But I guess Magma II, was just a great reminder today that things are still going strong on the other side of freeskiing. l pray that the kids out there are taking the time to watch these full-lengths and see how much fun, how much of an art, this strange activity we that we all love can be.
Enough ranting for now though because I wanted to end on a couple of Magma II related points.
1) There’s actual evidence, or at least evidence that the president would go to court with, that Alex Hall is actually Jesus. The intro will make you shout out loud, laugh, and possibly shed a tear for days gone by.
2) Hunter Hess will make your girlfriend feel some kind of way, so maybe don’t watch it with her.
Magma II releases tomorrow, November 13th, right here on Newschoolers.