Tag: Documentary

Through Greenland (Gennem Grønland)

Greenland. Green. Land. Greeeeenland.

A country with a lot of mystery, because honestly, they don’t have an army and don’t affect the world in any other way that makes us look at them. That isn’t a bad thing. Just somewhat of a truth. People hear about Greenland mostly when we hear about melting ice sheets and similar topics and that is bad.

Enter Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. You may know him as Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones. You may know him from Black Hawk Down, you may even know him from Wimbledon!

He has a history with this country, but also knows little about it. His dad worked here in the 1980’s away from their home in Denmark, and his wife (Nukâka) is a Greenlander, also an actress and a former Miss Greenland. So he has been to the country, he has met with her family and friends, but he hasn’t really experienced all of what the country has to offer.

So in this five part mini-series, that is what Nikolaj is going to do. Experience the shit out of Greenland. He wants to go Through Greenland, which yes, is the name of the thing.

train
Regardless of content, it is a bitchin’ graphic to open the show.

At five episodes with around 45 minutes an episode, there is a lot of Nikolaj to go around. It is spread over a longer period of time of course, with various people he knows acting as camera men and guides along the way. He is visiting towns and communities, both small and really small. A military base! Schools! And places far from the communities as well. The ice sheets to spend the night, to go on a long arduous hunting trip and more.

Nikolaj has always cared about climate change and so it is clear another reason for this series is to focus on the changes that are affecting Greenland that are notable to the residents, who can attest to the melts.

And if you want your content to be in Danish, then I have good news for you. This is a lot more Danish than I expected. It started out misleading, since the first thing he did was go to an American military base, but after that it goes a lot out of the window. I can’t tell you if it is mostly in Danish or Greenlandic, but maybe our host knows the latter and thus naturally can communicate anywhere on the island.

This small docu-series is not going to change the world. But it does offer some insight to a country that is often ignored for its human population. When we speak of Greenland, we speak of ice and emptiness, and ignore that it has its own communities, customs, and ways of life. So it is good that something is putting a stamp on it.

It features Nikolaj going the whole Greenland experience, I don’t recall him saying no to anything really. And it really shows those details which might be a curse or a blessing. I feel at times we spend a lot longer on a scene than necessary, or conversation. As a viewer, you may wonder if they didn’t want to do too much editing? That becomes the problem. If they edited it down, then we wouldn’t see the real country. But then they’d also need more content to fill five episodes. I hope the goal was to showcase the country and then give it the episodes they felt represented their footage, and make it a goal specifically to just pad it to five episodes.

Oh well. Two-Handed Jamie Lannister does manly and impressive things in nature with friends. That is what most people might take away from this.

2 out of 4.

Well Groomed

How many people here have dogs? Are you a fancy enough dog owner to get them groomed to looking their best? I know I am not fancy enough for that. I have a hard enough time cleaning up my dog’s sleeping area to worry about how pretty she feels. But that is why I cheated and got a dog with short fur that handles her own business.

Assuming you actually get your dog groomed, you might already be aware that there are dog grooming competitions out there! To see who can style their dogs to look the neatest, with the most precise cuts, and best brushed hair, I guess. Well, if you are interested in that, then this is not the documentary for you.

No, Well Groomed goes that step further. Because there is dog grooming, then there is creative dog grooming. Where you take your precious fluffy, and you add color, bling, art style, pizzazz, the whole nine yards. You make them into a real life pinata, or statue, and you show off your “doggy sculpture.”

No really, this is a real thing with competitions and judges, and trust me, people love it.


The dog is now multiple chickens.

The creative dog groomers end up doing a whole lot to make their pets stand out. They dye their hair, they add other accessories, and they still get all the normal grooming aspects, like nails cut and everything in its perfect place.

But is it cruel? Well, it could be. But if you talk to the dog owners, they go out of their way to make sure anything they use is safe for their pets, especially the dyes. They make sure their pet is loved, and only do it to pets that show a willingness for the act. They aren’t forcing a dog to accept it, the dogs look happy to be receiving so much attention, even if they don’t get it themselves.

I will admit, I expected to hate this documentary. It has been available on HBO for awhile, and I never got around to it, but the version I watched is a longer version, with 20ish more minutes of footage, and it was a delightful evening.

The documentary follows four contestants through a normal circuit of competitions, so we get to see them hone their craft and designs, take their ideas and turn it from concept to actual doggo. The women that are seen are very different, at various stages of their careers as competitors, have businesses related to dog grooming and really explain their drive and why they are passionate about this competitive scene. After all, that is what really matters, having passion (and fine, pet safety, get out of here PETA).

Without Well Groomed, I likely wouldn’t have known about the creative side of dog owning. I would have just continued happily with my Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show knowledge (which is close to zero) and been content. But it is fascinating to watch what people can still learn to do as a new form of pet owning, and that we still have somewhere to go creatively as a species. Even if it means dressing up other species.

3 out of 4.
And you can see a video interview with the director of Well Groomed, Rebecca Stern, here!

Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo

Who is Danny Trejo? Okay, well, for this one, you might not know his name, but you have likely seen him in a movie. As of this moment he has 383 acting credits to his name, from TV shows, to movies, to things still in production.

The title, Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo, comes from the fact that many of his early roles in films since the 1980’s did not have a real name for the character. He was known as Boxer, Inmate, Prisoner, Tattoo Artist, Chink’s Gang, Costello’s Bodyguard, and even once apparently “Mean” was his character, which I assume was not a name either.

So how did this man, this tough burly Mexican, get into acting at the age of 40, and how did he get over 300 roles in less than 40 years?

Well, the main and obvious part of this documentary is that he didn’t start as an actor, but as a regular kid who was involved with crime. He was in a gang, his family members were in a gang, and he did a LOT of bad stuff. Robberies mostly, but having weapons and threatening his community, he was in and out of juvenile detention. And once he got to being an adult, he did more that got him put away for a long time. And when he was in prison for real, that is when his life really began to change.

danny trejo
Let’s assume that backdrop was a green screen. Would be fucked up to do an interview in what looks like an actual prison or…abandoned school or whatever this is. 

So how can someone go from being a life long criminal, with lots of trauma in his life, to being an actor that no one seems to have any problems with, and is known for his huge amounts of work ethic? Well if I tell you all of that, why would you watch the documentary?

But needless to say, things happened in there that changed him. His life took on new meaning, and once he got out of prison he had a focus to make not just his own life better, but the lives of his friends, family, and the community he had wronged. He has spent the second half of his life writing those wrongs, and what came as part of that? Well, a vibrant movie career.

And he was able to take that and evolve from scary background Hispanic man, to friendly scientist in Spy Kids and eventual leading man of his own over the top franchise, Machete. He was SIXTY-SIX YEARS OLD when Machete came out, which is probably the oldest aged person to lead a new franchise (who also had never been the lead man before). Hell, Liam Neeson was in his 50’s when Taken came out (but again, he was already known as a leading man).

The reason I liked this documentary is it presented Danny Trejo as a real person. His flaws, and his successes. He has a message of hope coming from someone who was a pretty bad dude into someone who wasn’t. He has grown from his mistakes and in order to do that, you have to admit you have them. Pretty easy to admit mistakes when they are on public record of course, but still, admitting them is important.

Thank you Danny Trejo for bettering your life and showing people there can be a way out if you can get help from your community.

Also featuring some of his friends and famous people telling stories (along with his former crime buddies and family). You will see Cheech Marin, Michelle Rodriguez, and Robert Rodriguez in here, amongst others.

3 out of 4.

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Who is Walter Mercado? No really, who is Walter Mercado? I don’t think I have heard of his name before watching this movie and review.

Now, I saw reviews of this, brief reports, and that it was now out on Netflix. And looking at the pictures, I just assumed he was an eccentric weather man on Hispanic based television. Boy was I wrong. Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado isn’t about weather at all.

For those of you who do not know, Walter Mercado was a famous (and likely, the most famous), Astrologist in the world. Astrologist? Yes, Astrologist. You know, zodiac signs and horoscopes.

Mercado grew up different than his friends, and was always seen as a spiritual person. Apparently in his community he was slightly worshiped as a kid because a neighbor saw him “heal” a bird back to life and fly away. So people wanted to come by and touch him. It’d be hard to grow up thinking you were a mini-god at that point I imagine.

After being an actor for awhile, with lots of substance, Walter was put on the air once to do an interview for an upcoming show. The interviewer didn’t want to talk about the show, wanted to talk about horoscopes, because Walter talked about it a lot to the staff before the show. Because the show got so many calls during that segment, they asked him to come the next day and do it again with new readings. And the rest was history.

walter mercado
History is fabulous!

So what happened after that? He eventually got his own Astrology show, which had lots of ratings. That show led to another show. It led to him being on the news, and to traveling across the world to various shows and getting his readings out there. Basically, if you grew up in a Spanish home in the 80’s or 90’s (or 70’s?) you likely knew about this mysterious man.

And then he went away at some point, and no one seems to know why, which is what this documentary wants to explain.

You see, it is all about law suits. He trusted a manager to be a good person, and this led to him signing a bad contract letting them do whatever they wanted with him. Once the money stopped flowing, Mercado wanted answers and out, but this led to big legal battle that lasted years. Overall, Mercado got to keep his name, but the company got to keep his likeness and old material and shows for profit. At that point, Mercado had tried a few comebacks but failed, and the rest, again, is history.

Now my biggest issue with this documentary is two fold.

First of all, astrology itself is all just made up, and that should not be a controversial statement to make. Vague statements that can be applied to most people, and if it doesn’t, well, you usually remember the ones that are spot on. There is lots of information out there on this and similar topics. So Mercado got big and famous over lying to lots of people. Okay, whatever.

The second thing is that this documentary is 100% a puff piece documentary, not going to much nit or grit of his life. The entire last third of the documentary is preparing for and being excited about a museum show honoring his life in Miami in 2019 and just drags. But Mercado was involved with some shady shit. He had a psychic hot line and also was involved with selling “magic” jewelry (which the documentary left out) and the documentary swept it under the rug. They blamed his manager, said Mercado wasn’t out to hurt people at all and then moved the hell on.

Come on, this is a documentary, lets be truthful. It is okay if you did bad shit. Talk about it, admit to it, and lets move on. Instead they focus on this person only being an angel and worshiped, but ignoring the bad stuff and that it is all based on a lie anyways. It just rubs me completely the wrong way.

This documentary will definitely inform you as to who he is and why he became popular, but I find myself skeptical at other parts of it due to the glaring obvious parts that are ignored.

And hey, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Eugenio Derbez are in here, and they are famous. The former also opens the documentary and has an extended part at the end. I also did like to hear about his long time best friend and assistant Willy Acosta, and I wonder what he is up to now with his life in his own hands.

1 out of 4.

Who Killed Garrett Phillips?

Who Killed Garrett Phillips? Is the third out of 3 HBO documentaries about really recent and important court cases involving a dead body. This follows I Love You, Now Die, and Behind Closed Doors.

Clearly the third and final one is removing any sort of clever title behind and getting straight to the point. Garret Phillips is dead, and we have no idea who killed him.

Garrett was a 12 year old boy, son of a single mother and a brother of another boy of similar age. He liked skateboarding. And when he got home alone, at some point someone else was in his house. There was a struggle, a strangle, and eventually when someone can open the door to find him, he is so close to death, he cannot talk and he cannot say who did it.

We know for sure it wasn’t something done on his own, mostly because of a window that was broken out of, where the most likely killer jumped out and ran away. Oh, this all happened right around 5pm in a very white town after school.

deadboy
A story about a dead white kid and I didn’t hear about it sooner?
The main stream media must be slipping.

So who did it? Well, the people who might have been in position to see someone leave the window couldn’t see it, because they came inside due to police presence. It really comes down to one person, according to the local police force. It must be Oral “Nick” Hillary, the local African man! You know, the one who stands out and used to date the mom of Garrett, but they broke up.

And the rest of this documentary, overall a bit over 3 hours, examines the police findings on him and his trial and his defense. And I will be honest, this documentary is extremely compelling on why it wasn’t him and who it likely could have been. It is someone you would imagine really early into it as well, thanks to foreshadowing, before they go out and say it, and it seems like a huge injustice in the world.

This is very dense and full of important information on the trial, but not 8 hour miniseries on Netflix dense. This is a good amount of dense.

I am shocked to not hear about it earlier, and honestly, it made me feel outraged and a little bit scared. And as of right now THEY STILL DON”T KNOW WHO DID IT. Fuck. No wonder this true crime stuff is addicting. It is teasing you up the whole time and no release. Erm.

4 out of 4.

Tell Me Who I Am

Alex Lewis was in a motorcycle accident went he turned 18 years old. A bad one, but it didn’t kill him. It did fuck with his brain real good though, giving him that amnesia.

Yes, most of the time amnesia is a dumb plot device in shows who don’t know what to write about, because it is super, super rare. But this happened for Alex. When he woke up in the hospital, he didn’t know anyone who sat beside his bed, except for Marcus. Who was Marcus?

Marcus was his twin brother. That is good, because if anyone can help Alex with his life, it would be someone who spent most days with him growing up, and someone who knows everything about him. Marcus’ job is literally to tell Alex who he is, which is why we got the fun title, Tell Me Who I Am.

And that is a big job for anyone, especially if you have something to hide.

bros
Well, if they turn the lights off, I guess they are mostly hiding from each other.

You see, when Alex asked Marcus about their home and their past, he gave answers and Alex had no reason to question them. He told them about their home layout, their previous vacations, their routine, their parents, their friends and all of that.

Eventually questions got more detailed and less basic, and Alex had answers for them too. Why were his parents like whatever, why did they do blank in their house, why as their dad a jerk. You know, advanced questions.

And it wasn’t until after both parents had passed, when they were cleaning out the house together, when Alex found something incomprehensible from what he knew about his own past, and his brother confirmed it when asked. But he refused to give details, and they started to drift further apart.

In this documentary, we hear Alex’s side of the story after waking up from the accident, we then hear Marcus’ side of the story and why he did what he felt necessary, and we find out what they’ve been dealing with for the last 20 years apart. But finally? They get to meet in person and just get the truth out there. Alex needs to know for closure, and Marcus has to tell him and relive his own worst nightmares.

This documentary is so goddamn compelling. For basically just being two guys talking separately, than to each other, there is so much to unwrap and follow. It breaks your goddamn heart, especially when you realize that at this point, there is nothing that can be done. The bad people are gone, the lies were told, and now they just have to live out the rest of their lives.

Bless these men for not only going through these terrifying experiences, but by also choosing to tell their story in a compelling and unique way. If it wasn’t for Marcus’ cowardice, we would have never had something to fucked up to even follow. It is heartbreaking, I never want to see it again.

Thanks, I hate it.

4 out of 4.

Aquarela

When I first heard about Aquarela, I knew I had to see it, because I knew a lot of people wouldn’t go out of their way to see it and what’s the damn purpose of my site if I don’t go and see it?

It’s a documentary, and I try to champion documentaries on here. It is about water. And that is about it.

This is not a documentary talking about climate change. It doesn’t have scientists explaining things over beautiful footage. It doesn’t have an overarching story of people doing things in the water. It is more or less just footage of water, or its frozen version ice, just doing its thing. We have /some/ talking, which comes with subtitles, but that is few and far between. Because the humans are not meant to be the star, but the water is.

Now, this film was done with incredibly detailed cameras. It was filmed at the insanely high 96 frames per second. If you remember all the Hobbit fiasco, some of those films were shown at 48 frames per second, and it rubbed plenty of people the wrong way. But because this is nature, seeing it in a higher frame rate seems like a fantastic idea just to get all hard on nature.

I can’t tell you what level I saw the movie at, but I assume I saw it at 48fps, so not as good as the filmmakers intended.

Oh, and because this movie is Denmark in nature, it also features a lot of metal music. In fact the composer was the main member of Apocalyptica, a Finnish cello metal band. You’ve probably heard their covers of Metallica or some Christmas stuff.

It's Water
It’s Water, folks, water.

Okay, now yes, there are actual problems with this documentary. Not including the over hour wait to see it due to having the wrong codes. For 90 minutes, I think around 45-50 minutes of it are about ice and glaciers. That is half the movie! About ice!

And it had some great shots. In fact, the best part of the movie is in the beginning. Just so you know, a person dies in the first 20 or 30 minutes. We don’t see their body, but we see what causes it, we see the attempt at a rescue, and we see reactions of his friends. It is the highlight due to being a tragedy. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie does not hold up.

One of the main problems with the film is of scale. We eventually are on the ocean, with two people on a boat, and for way long we get footage of them, I dunno, turning dials and cranks on their boat. No dialogue, no reason for what they are doing, just cranks cranks and waves. And we see very big impressive waves! Or tiny ones. I don’t know, because the scale is really damn hard to tell.

Eventually we also see some hurricane disasters, and river things, but they have way less time than the other two parts. And also during this part is this very strange out of focus cave scene, and it takes FOREVER to get through with no real reason for its purpose.

It feels like this documentary has too much filler and didn’t get enough diversity in its extreme water scenes.

It also doesn’t have enough metal music. I think it brings in metal only three times, maybe four, during the movie. And that is great. This whole thing should just have gone for extreme footage and metal. That would have made it more entertaining, like a concert film with water extreme visuals. But the metal is too few and far between.

Overall, it is pretty to look at, but its unevenness with its structure and focus, its lack of scale, and lack of party, means almost no one will care about this documentary.

2 out of 4.

I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter

Sometimes a court case comes along that captures the attention of America, either because of how terrible it is, or how silly it is. OJ was the case of the century in the 1900’s. We had the Hot Coffee case that the media ran away with and influenced the public about, without going into the real details surrounding the case. We have courtroom drama shows, courtroom drama movies.

We love the law, but we we love it when people break the law and do bad things to have this drama.

I Love You, Now Die looks at a recent case of which you most definitely heard about and have a strong reaction to. Two teens, one dead boy. Suicide. And on his phone, dozens of text messages for him to kill himself from his girlfriend, including maybe telling him to get back into his truck which was how he eventually went out, when he was having second thoughts.

Have you heard it? I bet you have. And from that, we were all thinking the same thing. “That Bitch!”

However, media blurbs and unresearched news might be the real story here.

nowdie
That’s the woman who you are calling a bitch.

The 24/7 news media cycle is constantly going, constantly searching for clicks and ad revenue, because the newspaper is dying. So anything to get people to click your site is great, anything juicy or disturbing. And yes, the facts about this case are disturbing. The outcome of the death is disturbing.

But what about the history? What about the years before that July 12th, 2014 moment? What is the greater context?

This documentary is in 2 parts, overall over two hours long. The first part goes over the case against Michelle Carter, what was argued in court, the texts, and all of that. The second part focuses on the defense, using the same evidence, the same laws, to argue something very different. And of course the second part includes verdicts, reasoning, and the appeals.

And you know what? This documentary reminded me about Hot Coffee. I went into Hot Coffee thinking one thing, and left with a new opinion. Documentaries that can effectually change your opinions are a magical lamp of desire. Most of the time, I either watch because I agree, or disagree and hate it the whole time.

In attempts to remain unbiased, they didn’t have a voiceover reading texts, adding inflections or sarcasm or anything. So there is a lot of reading of the text messages between Carter and the boyfriend and other people involved.

The only reason I am not giving it a 4/4 is because in their attempts to stay unbiased, they got really biased at parts. During some of the text exchanges, they had somewhat scary background images. The faces of the couples distorted, with lots of distortion and strange background music. It made those aspects feel clearly a lot more “evil” versus the more generic backgrounds used throughout most of it.

This documentary does such an amazing job of showing both sides equally and fairly, it is a bit sad to see it mess up a few times on those details.

Either way, this is an important documentary, and one that reminds us to check things out and not just take a shitty news article for face value.

3 out of 4.

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal

I want my youngest daughter to go into gymnastics soon in her life. One reason? It looks fun. Who doesn’t want to be able to do flips like a goddamn wizard? And two, I wanted to be in gymnastics when I was a kid and didn’t get to, so you know, living through your kids and all not.

And knowing all of this, I definitely was aware of the USA Gymnastics scandal by the end of the trial. The ending moments (which if you didn’t hear, I won’t spoil and tell you right now) made really big news. It felt just, it felt like closure for dozens of women, and it was a powerful moment.

But for this documentary, At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, it goes over the whole story. From the beginning in the 80’s and 90’s, to how many people must have turned a blind eye. Into how Larry Nassar even got to a point where he could be around kids.

Evidence
Yeah, tell him he is a fuckface!
Unfortunately for the world, Nassar was apparently good at his job as a sports scientist/doctor. He did know stretches and ways to prevent injuries. He was always seen as the good cop at practice. The main coach would yell at the players, make them try harder, fight through the pain. Nassar would be the savior, who would take the kids into the room to fix their bruises, sprains, and pride.

He got so sure of himself and his methods, he was able to sexually assualt girls in his medical room with parents also in the room. Sure this would be behind a sheet or cloth or something, but this helped normalize it for his victims and make them less likely to speak out.

It is fantastic that eventually he got what he deserved, although he probably deserved a lot more. I am happy that over 200 people were able to speak out against him, and that hopefully those who heard reports and did nothing can also be looked at. I am happy he had to sit there and hear the stories against him.

What I am not happy at is how goddamn long it took to happen. How many reports he was able to skip by, meaning dozens and dozens more girls had to have their lives ruined and innocence destroyed.

I still want my youngest daughter to go to gymnastics. This sort of documentary should be a light of hope. “They got the bad guy!” while also unfortunately making me weary of the fact that predators exist in the most and least likely of places. This is a story of good eventually winning, but at such a cost it should make even a regular law abiding citizen question if they are doing what they can to protect those around them.

4 out of 4.

Movie Roundup – Documentaries 2018 Part 1

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Documentaries 2018 (Part 1)! Basically, the documentaries I watched and didn’t yet write about, and need to really review, or else.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.


Documentaries 2018 Part 1

The Bleeding Edge

The Bleeding Edge is a Netflix medical documentary, and one I assumed was targeted towards Women. You know, because of bleeding.

And sure it isn’t about periods, but it is definitely geared towards women in some aspect, as two of the three technologies would only go into women. Long story short, there are a lot of “cutting edge” technologies out there that can save lives, be put into people, to solve problems. You know, like the pacemaker. However, the medical technology field is the least overseen of the official fields, unlike food and drugs. Anyone can get their device approved, especially if you just say its the same as a previously approved device, but one change. You can daisy chain approvals, and get to a point where what you are claiming was approved, was only approved from something else now discontinued for not working.

That is scary, people can get hurt, watch what you put in your body, and check the testing. That is what this documentary teaches, which is fine, but I can’t fully explain its science. I will assume dozens of real people testimony about other side effects should be heard, and this documentary gives them a voice, it is just a bit boring.

2 out of 4.

Bleeding

Death of a Nation

Look who it is. Dinesh D’Souza, this fucker. This guy who breaks the law, gets pardoned by Trump, and keeps making these documentaries.

I wanted to watch this one in the theaters and review right away, but still, I knew how it would be, and knew how angry I would be, and didn’t want to give it any more money. So I yes, waited, until I could see it for free, and then blast it, and here is the blasting.

A lot of this documentary is saying the same things he has said in past documentaries. No one gives a shit about Thomas Jefferson and it isn’t relevant to now. The past is not now, and right now Republicans are racist and shitty. Very simple. He badly tries to tear down Democrats and there is nothing new in this documentary at all. He isn’t even trying, he just needs his documentary every 2 years to take from Republicans, to give it back to Republicans. Hard pass.

0 out of 4.

Dinesh

Fahrenheit 11/9

Speaking of political documentaries, we have Fahrenheit 11/9, a sequel or sort. I will say the title is very clever, since it is about the election, and that happened on 11/9. Fantastic work on titles, Michael Moore.

A lot of people don’t like him and that is fair. He is brash and in your face and annoying. But this is not just an inverse of the previous documentary. Like one that only Liberals will like or anything. It is definitely in its sort of own path, and plenty of liberals won’t like it, either. Moore does a better job of shitting on current Democratic leadership and practices over the last decade than D’Souza has in his last few movies. There are real truths here and they are important and useful for us to move forward.

Overall again, not a great piece of work, but it is better, and highlights some interesting aspects of the Flint water crisis as well.

2 out of 4.

Fahrenheit

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

I think that this is one of the first movies I watched that started my giant backlog of things to review. I saw it, couldn’t figure out how to write about it, and it just sat there on my list, forever, waiting and waiting, and then other films joined it, and here we are today.

Robin Williams is fucking amazing. Everyone knows it, or should know it, and if they like him they should see it. It gives a nice life arc, the darkest times, the better times, his family, and so on. And it goes over his passing, the aftermath, and some of the reasons why it occurred. It made me realize some of the friendships he had with some other big names that I never knew, and they tell some touching anecdotes. I watched it, I loved it, and surprisingly it didn’t make me cry.

It still feels odd as a documentary, and was never close to being as impactful as something like RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. Which is odd, because as a viewer, I would say I actually had a relationship with Williams unlike the other two, but still couldn’t get as engrossed in this documentary on his life.

3 out of 4.

Robwilliams

Shirkers

There are documentaries, and then there is Shirkers. Shirkers is weird, and haunting. It draws you in, while seemingly being about nothing.

I had no idea why it hypnotized me when it seemed that it was about the making of an independent movie far away, like, how could it be good? Why should I care? And at the end, it is still hard to answer that question, even when you find out who the documentary actually ends up being about. The amount of footage of the film is incredible, and it seems like the type of movie I definitely would not have enjoyed.

And yet, I could not look away. The only suggestion for a documentary like Shirkers is to just watch the documentary. Give it a try. See it. If it doesn’t look good after about 10 minutes, then bail, but really any information on it outside of what I gave is just something to be discovered.

3 out of 4.

Shirkers

Overall, there are lots of documentaries out there that I have seen this year, and more that I have (because this is just part 1). But I put some of the bigger names in this one, because I am ashamed they didn’t have reviews already. Not that part 2, or 3 will be bad, but hey, they will come out soon enough.