“That’s how it starts, you know? First, you do something that you really love. And then, you start doing it for the money. And before you know it, you’re just another sellout.” These wise words are not from a Dear Abby advice column or an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show or an inspirational poster that's tacked up in the cold waiting room of a dentist office, but a made-for-TV-movie about rollerblading. I am, but of course, referring to the half-pipe-tastic film that is Disney Channel Original Movie Brink! . (Oh, here's an objective truth: Anyone who says Brink! is not half-pipe-tastic is 100% wrong.)
After it skated onto the small screen for the first time in 1998, Brink! quickly secured a spot in the pantheon of must-watch DCOMs, and for good reason: It’s a story with a moral, there are dueling rollerblading cliques, there’s no shortage of gnarly skate tricks, it stars late ‘90s teen heartthrob Erik von Detten, and the line “Let’s blade, brah” happens. But does it hold up, you ask? Uh, are Erik von Detten's flowing locks the picture of perfection?
Brink! is an essential DCOM, an essential TV movie, and an essential work of oh-so '90s art. Allow me to share 11 of the 10,000 reasons why I cherish this movie so:
1. The Sister From Smart House Is Brink’s Sister
Yep, Smart House's number one chocolate chip waffle fan is Brink’s younger sibling. And yep, actress Katie Volding is basically DCOM royalty.
2. Brink Wears A Magic Helmet
Throughout the movie, Brink zips around the Pit with the clasp on his helmet totally undone. Whether he’s doing a 540 or getting body checked by a member of Team X-Bladz, the helmet stays put. Way to defy the laws of gravity and physics and science, you enchanted helmet!
3. Brink’s Untouchable Explanation For Why He Was Suspended From School
“Val and his crew were dissing us, so we started giving them beef right back, and they wanted to hit it right there at school, and clearly, we couldn’t step off, so we had to battle.”
Wow. What poetry.
4. Val Sinks His Teeth Into A Worm Sandwich
I must’ve blocked this stomach-churning scene out entirely, because when I revisited the movie the other day, the worm sandwich really caught me off guard. And it really grossed me out (I am who I am: a wimp about bugs). Who knew Disney had such a disgusting scene up its sleeve?
5. As Gabriella Points Out, There's A Better Way To Do A 540° Turn
The secret: “Don’t fall.” What can I say? Soul Skater Gabriella's advice is foolproof.
6. “Check It Out: Jerkweeds At Two O’Clock”
*Makes mental note to incorporate this phrase into daily conversation.*
7. There’s A Suicide Machines Song
This has to be one of the punkiest, if not the punkiest DCOM soundtrack ever.
8. Brink Gives X-Bladz The Best Letter Of Resignation Ever
When Brink decides X-Bladz isn’t the skate team for him, he chucks an entire milkshake at the team captain’s face. As far as "I QUIT!" movie scenes go, this has to be in the top five.
9. A Power Ranger Is On Team X-Bladz
Walter Jones (aka Zack Taylor/the Black Ranger) is one of the members of the enemy skate team. Go go Vert Ramp Rangers!
10. Team Pup N Suds
This is quite possibly the greatest team name in the history of team names. (And yes, I am seriously considering ponying up a few bucks for this gorgeous T-shirt.)
11. What Soul Skating Is About
May we never stop skating from the heart.