Tag: 3 out of 4

There’s Something In The Barn

There’s Something in the Barn was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Bill (Martin Starr) is taking his family to Norway! You see, his Uncle owned a cabin and land out there, but he passed away, and Bill was left the property. So why not upend his whole life to a new place to start over.

You see, Bill’s original wife died in the past. So he had gotten a new wife, Carol (Amrita Acharia), but he had two kids before that, Nora (Zoe Winther-Hansen) and Lucas (Townes Bunner). His new wife, the kids don’t really full accept as a replacement mom, but she is trying. She is into self help seminar speaking. Bill is excited to open up a bed and breakfast place with their new land.

However, and forgive me as I say this, but there appears to be something in the barn. Only Lucas sees it at first, so of course no one believes him. But a local tells him about the Barn Elves that supposedly live in the land, and how they are different than those silly American lawn gnomes. They have rules, they hate noise, they hate bright lights, and will leave you alone if you leave them alone.

So no one cares, there are parties, and sure enough, the elf gets pissed. Time to get revenge with a bunch of his elf friends. Just like they did to the last owner.

Also starring Calle Hellevang Larsen, Jeppe Beck Laursen, and Henriette Steenstrup. And of course some elves were played by actors like Kiran Shah, Paul Monaghan, and Alexander Karlsen El Younoussi.


“I’m not even sure how the debt collectors found my new place in Norway!”

Christmas horror comedy flicks. Is this genre on the rise or what?

Now, I like the idea of a good multi-genre film. For example, we didn’t really have a lot of Christmas horror comedies, besides like, Gremlins sort of. Then eventually we got a Krampus and it became a big hit. And last year we had Violent Night.

I would put There’s Something in the Barn solely between those two movies. Better than Krampus (which was just okay for me), and not as fun as Violent Night. It IS a fun movie in its own right though. There are creative deaths, and a lot of silly moments. I mean, these elves are so dumb looking, it is hard to not find it humorous. But Starr is no David Harbour, when it comes to the physicality and outrageousness of his Santa.

Of course of course, this is not the point of Starr’s character. He is playing the classic screw up father, who is trying to make everything nice, when nothing is. In fact, this might be the first time he has ever played a dad on screen? He was a nerd on Freaks and Geeks and has been sarcastic asshole for so long, its weird that we are getting to that stage in his career.  Am I old now? (yes)

But back to the film. This film is 100% going to join the rotation of others of the similar genre. If you like comedy horrors at Christmas, you will like this one as well. I think it offers something new and interesting, including a bit of a rewatchability factor.

3 out of 4.

The Coffee Table (La mesita del comedor)

The Coffee Table was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Can a piece of furniture ruin a marriage? Ruin a family? Of course it can. But is it really the tables fault? Probably not.

You see, for Jesús (David Pareja) and his wife (Estefanía de los Santos). See, she just had their baby. And they have been redecorating their apartment. But according to Jesús, she has decided everything. All the decorations. When they should have a kid. What to do with their free time. Even their son’s name, is a name that he despises. So they have had their arguments. For whatever reason though, she said in their redecorating, that Jesús can pick a new coffee table for their apartment.

So what does he do? Well, he listens to a salesman about a very exotic and recently on sale table. It is glass on top, unbreakable! And the legs are just two naked ladies, plastered in gold. It is absolutely gaudy, and his wife doesn’t like it, but he takes it anyways due to pride.

Now he just has to put it together. But it is missing a screw. These dang Scandinavian designed furniture, and it doesn’t even have all the parts!

It turns out, the missing screw is just the first and smallest of problems. Literally and metaphorically. Things get bad, and get bad quick. The coffee table was a bad choice.

Also starring Paco Benjumea, Eduardo Antuña, and Claudia Riera.

As you can see, the wife was right to judge her husband. 

The Coffee Table, if I had to say anything, is a hard film to recommend. It classifies itself as a dark comedy. And the DARK element of that is super true. I am used to dark comedies dealing with death, and things spiraling out of control. And usually I can find humor in this as well. But holy shit, this one went really dark, really fast. I wasn’t sure where the comedy part was hiding?

I mean, it is awkward still. There is an uneasy chuckle in a few scenes, and the beginning scene is played out for laughs. I was still downright horrified at the events and stayed horrified for the rest of the film, watching as things continued. The conversations were unbearably uncomfortable. I almost turned it off early on, after a scene. I didn’t think I could handle much more of the film. At the same time, I figured the impacts of the scene would move on and we’d see the spiral. But it actually never really moves on. It lingers and it makes you feel and deal with the events.

The ending is a bit predictable. You can tell where things will end up, and it does not disappoint.

The Coffee Table is not for everybody. Hell, it isn’t for most people. But it is for people who want an experience about why not all relationships can just wash away their problems.

3 out of 4.

The Wait (La Espera)

The Wait (La Espera) was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Sometimes being a simple man isn’t always so simple. For Eladio (Victor Clavijo), he doesn’t even know how to read, but he has a wife (Ruth Díaz) and a son. He works at a ranch, which comes with a free house to live in. What does he do at this estate? Barely anything to be honest. He maintains the grounds for the rich owner, who never comes out to visit.

But the main crux of the job is that sets up various stands to rent out to hunters to hunt deer and wild boar from. He makes sure the (normally ten) stands are safe and don’t overlap, so that they don’t have any crossfire. Other people find hunters to pay for the stand usage for the day, while they get really easy places to hunt! However, this time, his coworker says he actually already sold 13 stands worth of people. And if he doesn’t tell the owner, and sets it up for 13, he can get a nice under the table bonus. And his family needs the money…

Eladio takes the deal after his wife convinces him to. Sure enough, something bad happens. Which leads to another bad thing happening. And then hey, even more bad stuff happening. Oh fiddlesticks.

Also starring Pedro Casablanc, Luis Callejo, and Manuel Morón.

OH NO HE HAS A GUN! Oh yeah, there is hunting. Everyone has a gun.

Now real early on in the film, you can get a sense of what is likely going to go down. You could figure it out from my description. It is called foreshadowing. And sure enough, it does happen! But honestly, earlier and faster than I imagined. That is because a great deal of this film deals with the snowball effects of the events. Things get worse, because it makes sense for things to get worse.

But certainly, I can say the ending I did not expect at all. Things got weird, things got creepy, things got downright extra-evil. This became a sort of mystery film, instead of a sad spiraling drama. And for one, I can say, the ending feels like it lands on its feet.

Clavijo as our main character deals with his issues in very believable ways, and honestly, at no point do I not feel bad for him. There is not real gotcha moment where its like, surprise, he is a bad guy! This shit is at some point just how bad life can be and pile up on those in the lower working classes.

The Wait is a film that honestly really draws the viewer in, and is not something you should be waiting awhile to see before seeking it on your own.

3 out of 4.

What You Wish For

This film was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Check out my interview with the director, Nick Tomnay, here

In every horror movie, if it involves wishes, you know you are going to need to have a lawyer to go over the wish with a fine comb to watch out for loopholes. Hell, even the comedies about wishes usually follow the same rule. The Monkey’s Paw is a fierce and fickle bitch, as it were.

But thankfully, this movie just has Wish in the title, and isn’t about a sarcastic asshole djinn spirit.

What You Wish For is more just part of a saying with the words be careful. I guess the grass isn’t always greener in this thriller mystery. Huh, what a wild concept.

No joke here, I just had to edit the poster to get a second photo for the review.
Ryan (Nick Stahl) has hit a bit of a rock. And that rock is on the bottom. He is a chef, with some excellent cooking abilities, but no great place to work, and he is broke. He also is a gambler! So not only is he broke, but he owes some nasty people some money, and he is on the run for his life.

Lucky for him, one of his old pals in cooking school has a place for him. Jack (Brian Groh), arguably not as good of a cook, is living an extravagant life in Latin America. He has a beautiful house, and he is a chef for some rich rich people. He is living the life anyone could dream, and yet, he is alone. And Jack invites him to a visit, perfect timing for Ryan.

But there is something mysterious and secretive about this arrangement. How can a chef afford such luxuries? How great is Jack’s cooking? Well. Ryan is about to find out, because he is going to be given an opportunity to take over from Jack, without knowing the finer details. And maybe he won’t have the stomach for what happens.

Also starring Tamsin Topolski, Randy Vasquez, Juan Carlos Messier, Penelope Mitchell, Ariel Sierra, and Greg Winter.

Fancy food? Hooray a film on how to cook, finally.
I am trying not to hint too much at this. Because a creepy movie involving food usually means one thing. But hey, if you remember The Menu from last year, then you should know it can mean a lot of different things. Just. Food will be involved. For an expensive meal. And even if you THINK you can guess what happens, you won’t be able to guess the events around these actions still.

Nick Tomnay, the director, has only done one other feature film, and it was 13 years ago. The Perfect Host, with David Hyde Pierce. It was a charming film where people weren’t as they all seemed and there was a dinner! Oh great, similarities in his body of work.

For this film, the mystery was only part of it. Because by the halfway point, the mystery has been give away. It’s what you DO with the mystery that really gives the film its flavor. I am going with a cooking metaphor here, please accept it. I was kept on the edge of my seat, wondering how various characters would cope with the situation, when the stakes seemed to just keep getting higher. And the end is a stark realization that even when it comes to the elite and rich, no one can get by life’s cruel twists of fate.

Now I just gotta hope a similar situation comes my way for my dumb skill set so I can be rich forever. Just kidding. Kind of. Maybe.

What You Wish For is an interesting look at not the most interesting story, but it does its own unique blend of herbs and spices to give it a kick that is quite enjoyable.

3 out of 4.


#Manhole! was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

What would you do, in a world, where holes in the ground exist? And they want to swallow you whole? Even if you are a full grown man? That’s right, killer Manholes! This time, the holes are coming for men.

Well, that is not what this film is about. It is actually about Shunsuke Kawamura (Yûto Nakajima), a rich business man, who after drinking at a pre-wedding engagement, finds himself stumbling the streets, and sure enough, falling into a manhole. The cover was removed! Now he is at the bottom of a hole, with some pipes, a very broken ladder, and great cell service. Oh and his leg is cut. His attempts to get out go badly, and no one will answer the phone except for one of his exes. But when he attempts to get the police involved, and her, they all cannot find him, despite his GPS saying where he is!

So, Shunsuke does what any sane person would do. He creates a new “twitter” account (well, in this movie its called Pecker) called Manhole Girl, to try to get help from the internet. He picks girl, because people want to save women more than men. It goes viral, people start help finding his location through the stars, through rain maps, and start trying to figure out how they got there in the first place. Was he drugged and kidnapped? Or was it something worse?

But sometimes, manholes are like closets, and they can have skeletons inside of them. And maybe there is a lot more going on with this situation that we are just not prepared to handle right now.

Also starring Nao, Kento Nagayama, and Haru Kuroki.

Maybe he can eat the flowers. That will save him.
You see, the “hashtag” in the title is actually important, not just a silly little modern fad. Because of the reliance on (Twitter) Pecker, and a little bit more social media to move the story forward, this guy gets stuff trending for his own survival. And his strategy is a pretty smart one, most people will agree. It’s just went the investigators get a bit too aggressive is when things start to get more than he bargained for. Internet sleuths can dig up a lot of things. Some social media users can be willing to do a whole lot of stuff, for quick internet fame.

That all feels like appropriate teases for what may or may not actually happen in this movie.

Now, our main character acts so incredibly weird down there early on, both in terms of who he contacts, why, and his reluctance on the police. But by the end, a picture is painted, and everything checks out, even if it is a bit silly. Thankfully the big reveals are all things that lead UP to the final act, and not as sort of end pieces to the movie, so the narrative can change in interesting ways for the viewer. There was no Keyser Soze big reveal at the end. Our big reveals got to fester and leave a very fun and satisfying ending to the story.

It can be hard to narratively tell a good single location film, especially about someone being stuck. Its fun to think outside of the box, when someone is often stuck inside of one. Sort of like we had with The Pool a few years ago. Whether or not #Manhole has rewatchability, it is hard to say. It does however provide a very interesting first time experience at least.

3 out of 4.

Stephen Curry: Underrated

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).

Alright, this one is a big shocker for even me. I barely know who Stephen Curry is. In all honesty, I get him confused with Blake Griffin all the time. I don’t know anything about either of them besides them being NBA players. My brain just put them in the same Venn Diagram circle. In fact, when I started to talk about Stephen Curry to someone else, they were like “Who? Oh, Steph Curry”. Oh he goes by Steph? That isn’t my fault, the documentary calls him Stephen! Stephen Curry: Underrated!

It isn’t that I think the NBA is bad. I certainly would put it up as higher than MLB. I just don’t like it as much as NFL and NHL. All of my basketball love has really come from watching College Basketball games, and March Madness, not the professional level.

So what do I know about Stephen? I heard he is good at 3-point shots. And, right before I watched this documentary, he got 50 points in a Game 7 Playoff Series. A pretty big deal. A coincidence for the timing of this documentary.

But at the same time, I was wondering…why is he getting a documentary? Is he retiring? Is he done? He has still so much more NBA to play, I assume. And a documentary on a basketball player partially through his career feels very awkward. Hell, does Lebron James have a documentary about his life and career yet? Weird choices all around.

“Stephen! Stephen! Have you peaked? Is that why you are making this doc?”

This documentary was made at a specific time in his career. When he made the 3 point single season record. All the way back in 2015-16. That was big news at the time! And honestly, only part of the news for this documentary. It was used to give context to the great NBA star, who achieved great things. But it turns out, this is meant to be a documentary focusing a lot more on his younger and college career. Like, a huge primary part of this documentary.

Oh hey, that is the stuff I care about? Nice.

We learn that Stephen was shorter than most, his dad had to reteach him how to shoot in High School to get more serious, and eventually, getting drafted by Davidson College and absolutely causing a scene.

Now here is where it gets personal. I started caring about College Basketball as senior in HS, which happened to be his first year in College. So hearing about his first trip to the March Madness tournament was a little bit interesting, as I could contextualize it in my own life. But my first year in college, at UNC, I saw every game they played, a lot in person. So that means I likely saw Stephen Curry play on the TV, before he was NBA superstar famous, and that just feels a bit odd, and fun. Hearing how they did in that year’s tournament, I know for a fact he helped mess up my March Madness bracket. He made me lose money!

Honestly that is hilarious.

Besides the fact that it became personal. This was a very moving documentary, about someone who lacked the statue for a typical NBA player, and succeeded despite everything. Even with his career still going, it feels like a good enough time to tell his story. Because hey, if people are going to be in the top 5% of the league, they likely will do a lot of things that might need highlights to fit into a single documentary. I cried, I laughed, I got nostalgic, and I had fun learning about Steph Curry, the basketball player.

3 out of 4.

Chasing Chasing Amy

Chasing Amy is one of my favorite movies. Still is. It used to be my favorite at some point in my life. I think it was the first movie I ever declared as my favorite, being a question I would often avoid and ignore. But I realized if I watch a lot of movies, and like them, people are going to be coming at me with that question, so I better figure out an answer, and for some number of years, it was Chasing Amy.

I know some people have said Chasing Amy didn’t age well, or was always bad, and things like that. But I didn’t understand it. When I look back and reflect on Chasing Amy, I see a movie that was ahead of its time. On one view, one can say its about a guy making a lesbian turn straight, and being a complete dumbass at the same time. In another view, it is a film about someone with a fluid sexuality that is hard to define with labels, and despite one cis white hetero males dumb opinions, she is just trying to live the best life she knows how.

Sure enough, I was pretty excited to get to watch a documentary about how Chasing Amy affects someone’s life. In Chasing Chasing Amy, director Sav Rodgers, credits the film with saving his life as a kid in this Ted talk. Because (as you can see in the link), for Sav, this is the first time they ever saw a movie where there were Queer characters who had personalities and intelligence and not just the butt of a joke in some other movie. They watched it hundreds of times. And it helped them feel acceptance in the world, with themselves, and get them through high school and on.

So why not make a documentary about how it has changed his life? In more ways than one. And, also, the controversies behind it, how it got made, and is it a bad film now?

Quick Stop?! That isn’t in Chasing Amy! Shenanigans! 
So where does Chasing Amy story come from? Thankfully, Kevin Smith is a storyteller and has told this story. But a good chunk of it comes with his relationship from Joey Lauren Adams that came after Mallrats. It is also the story of his producer Scott Mosier, and his intense friendship with a lesbian in the film industry. A mish mash of ideas, but made up of real situations and real conversations and real pain.

When it comes to Sav’s story, it is great the parallel’s of Chasing Amy and on his own life and in relationships, which the documentary goes out of its way to set up and highlight. In dealings with labels, and what it means to be in a relationship and what it means to be true to your body. It becomes a deeply personal story, and technically that is one of the main aspects of the film.

Now obviously a lot of the film is also about the making of, and impact of, Chasing Amy. Kevin Smith is in it a lot, and is an open book to Sav and to the documentary. Heck, Harvey Weinstein was talked about in this as well, given that being the promoter of the film and incidents he did during the film festivals at the time. Topics are all over the place, and yet, connected.

Despite all of this, the biggest and strongest takeaways from this documentary from Joey Lauren Adams. We had older interviews, and some with her and Kevin together, but Sav went to Adams’ house for a one-on-one to get more great shots for how Chasing Amy impacted her life and career and Sav’s.  But what we get is a really raw and emotional interview, about her life in the film, and her relationship with Smith, and it just blew me away. It really puts a lot of things in a different context. It doesn’t take away from the other context, but it adds a deeper level to it all.

And honestly, it feels like a second epilogue to Chasing Amy (the first coming from Jay and Silent Bob Reboot).

Do I better understand where the LGBT+ community can both love and hate a film? Yes.

Do I better understand where the story came from? Yes.

Do I now hate the movie and Smith? Absolutely not.

More context to me gives me a greater impact and deeper understanding of the story. I don’t know the next time I watch it, but I do know when I do, I will reflect back on all of these things, and can’t wait to see how that changes things.

3 out of 4.


This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Monica had its Seattle Premier during this festival.

I am thankful that at this point in my life, I haven’t had to ever “return home from a long period of time away because my parent is dying, and also I am very different.” It is a trope. It is often used when either the parent figure is abusive, or the child who left is rambunctious and rude and now finally better. Maybe even DRUGS are the reason for this.

The prodigal son plot line.

But with Monica, it is certainly a big twist on the story. Which I will stop stalling on, and just get forward with why.

Something is potentially sinister in those there woods. 

Monica (Trace Lysette) has been living in California, doing her own thing for some time. She is a massage therapist it seems, and seems to be fine with her life. Although she does have current relationship problems with someone. But then she gets a phone call.

Apparently, her mother (Patricia Clarkson) is close to kicking the bucket. And it has been a long time since she has been home. Over ten years. She didn’t even return when her dad died. And she decides to drive home to see it happen. That is where she meets her brother (Joshua Close) and his wife (Emily Browning).

Now, this is of course important. When Monica left, no one knew her as Monica. In fact, they knew her as a man. And one of the main reasons she left, is because her parents wouldn’t let her stay. So she has changed dramatically in this time. In fact, not just because the mom is older and sick, but just because the changes are so different, the mom doesn’t even recognize her. And she is instead brought in as an extra caregiver, to live in the home and watch the mother, where the mom doesn’t even realize its her child.

The hope is for closure. The realty? Who knows.

Also starring Adriana Barraza.

That is just one of the few changes.
Here is the first note of this film. It is filmed entirely in a 4:3 aspect ratio. We got a square film. And at no point does it go widescreen for effect, or change at all. 100% 4:3. Most of the time when I get to a 4:3 movie, it breaks it at some point, even if just for one scene. But this one, it keeps that feeling. It really makes it so we are looking at one, maybe two characters at a time. It gives that sense of feeling trapped inside a very uncomfortable, situation.

This is not a very standard film. It does tell a story, but it is one that likely wont be satisfying to the average audience. The ending comes a bit at a shocking point, very suddenly, without the closure one would fully expect. Was there some closure? Yes, a little. In times and parts you might not expect fully when they are occurring. This is a film where I needed to reflect after it was over, just what I got to see, what walls were broken, if any. And what the whole thing meant.

Lysette, as the lead role in Monica, does a fabulous job acting this film. So much pain and sadness in her eyes, while not telling their story. We get a lot of the feelings through music, including the delightful and not forgotten Dragostea Din Tei. Clarkson, as well, gives probably the best performance I have seen her give. And I saw a good 80% or more of the Sabrina television show. Now, sure, the acting is unfortunately her being an old feeble woman, who is just waiting to die. And it is a bit of a sadder role for older people to get praise for, being close to death. But I digress, she is fantastic in it.

Monica won’t be a film for a lot of people. But it should be a film for everyone who likes a strongly acted and unique story.

3 out of 4.

Egghead & Twinkie

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Egghead & Tinkie had its Seattle Premier at the festival and is currently on the virtual fest. See an interview with the director Egghead & Twinkie, here!

Are you an Egghead? Or are you a Twinkie? These are battlelines that have never been drawn before, but I am drawing them here today. Which side of the camp do you fall on?

Oh, I guess you might not know what side each of them really represent. Which is fair, you likely haven’t seen the movie. But the movie is called Egghead & Twinkie, so I at least know the point of it is that the pair is important. We don’t need to pick sides, we need to pick both of them. And ignore the strange doppelganger pairs like Eggkie and Twinhead.

Yep, this is the Eggkie and Twinhead pair for sure. 
Twinkie (Sabrina Jieafa) is living her life in her summer after high school, and finally realizing what she is about. She is gay, and doesn’t care who knows it. Well, she hasn’t told the people in her life. Her conservative parents (Kelley Mauro, J. Scott Browning) don’t know, and she assumes her best friend, Egghead (Louis Tomeo) knows, but for sure people on the internet know! Especially BD, which is short for BigDykeEnergy (Ayden Lee), the current love of her life.

But BD lives in Texas, and Twinkie lives in Florida. Life is unfair. They can talk all they want on the internet, but they can’t be close to each other, so its almost like Twinkie can’t even tell for real if she is a lesbian! But, an opportunities arrives. An invite, to a club, where BD is DJing, a complete lesbian night. But Twinkie doesn’t drive, and its a long ways away.

Sounds like a great time to convince Egghead to drive her, who recently found out about her sexuality, and still crushes on her hard. But maybe this bonding trip is important before he runs off to college. Even if their parents say no, what can they do to stop them? If they got wheels and they are on the road, and they got money, looks like they will just have to wait to punish them when they get back. And hopefully, along the way, they can find themselves before it’s too late.

Also starring Roger Greco and Asahi Hirano.

When movies have people watch movies, is there anything better?
There are indie movies, and then there are indie movies. The first sort of indie movie has a very specific set of goals. It will be award winning, it will be a character study, it will have a lot of natural lighting. You will likely have a lot of shots of characters walking, often from behind. You won’t have lots of CGI, and you will likely cry over what seems like ordinary circumstances.

And then there is indie films that literally look like they were made by first time folks, with little experience. The lighting might be weird, the acting might not be great, the story will be unique and quirky. And it might be terrible, and maybe no one will watch it. It doesn’t have to be terrible, there is just a better chance of that occurring.

Egghead & Twinkie is the second sort of indie film, but thankfully, it isn’t terrible. Everything about it gives off an aura of fun and cuteness. The people making it were having fun, the story was fun. It felt like everyone involved maybe on their first film, and it is okay, because it invites the viewers on the experience.

There is nothing groundbreaking from the story here. Road trip film, best friends with one way crushes, shenanigans along the way and betrayals. But the movie does feel like a very Gen Z film. It was made by Gen Zers and acted by them and it shows. I am noting this as a positive. Just the way they spoke, the references, and all of that, was arguable refreshing because most films only do that in a mocking way and not in a genuine way. The animation between them adds to it as well, fitting the characters, and giving that same high energy aspect towards the whole film.

Egghead & Twinkie, a film made by Gen Z, with Gen Z people, for Gen Z people, and it is refreshing in those takes alone.

3 out of 4.


This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Abled had its World Premier at the festival and is currently on the virtual fest. See an interview with the director and star of Abled, here!

Without a doubt, one of the sports I do the worst at is running. Whether it is sprinting, or cross-country. I don’t have what people call endurance, and I am built like a train. [Editor’s Note: Actually, three years in a row I won the 6th grade teacher 40m sprint due to competitive nature and other lazy teachers.] So in reality, that does mean I am less interested in watching people run as well. When my oldest did cross country, I was stoked he wanted to run, but also knew how unexciting watching those meets could be.

This leads me to this documentary. Originally, I was going to skip it. How exciting could a documentary about running for the Olympics be? People go fast, less than a minute of competition. Sometimes they dance before they go? But that is the main Olympic stories I remember. However, I am glad I ended up checking out Abled, for quite a few reasons.

The first reason, is that Blake Leeper, the star of the documentary, is a delightful person, full of passion and perseverance. Now for those not sure on what this is about, Blake is a Paralympian runner, with 8 Medals to his name, over various games. He was born with no legs below his knees, and it wasn’t looking good. But he learned to walk and eventually, learned to run. And he became more passionate about his running when they developed blades so that the running is more natural. And damn, did he take to them.

This is how I look after I have to run any amount of time.

However, it turns out, that not everyone is stoked about Blake’s success.

You see, he was seen as being too fast. Blake wanted to run for the Olympics. Not the Paralympics. The “regular” Olympics. After all, Oscar Pistorius did it in 2012. (Oh fun fact, check out his Wikipedia. Things sure did go south for him after those games). And even though Oscar was allowed to compete, Blake was not. Because Blake got a really good run, under 45 seconds, in a trial run, for the first time in his life. And now, apparently, his lack of natural legs gave him an advantage, and the Olympic committee said they needed to science and research to prove that these legs did not give him an advantage overall. And they were going to make Blake prove it.

This documentary is about Blake’s fight to compete, to prove that the legs inherently did not make him faster. It goes through their trials and tests, and quite honestly, really obvious reasons to prove that they aren’t something that give him a (this is intentional) leg up on the competition. And yet, it seems no matter what they do, he gets denied. And public opinion is also divided, because as we know, people have opinions without facts and research to back it up.

But besides all of that. This is a story of a man, at a disadvantage in a sport, succeeding despite the metaphorical hurdles in his path. It is a story about an exceptional athlete, with a positive attitude, fighting for his rights to compete for his country and for his family. And it is a powerful story, and one that really questions how we label disabilities and how welcome we are to those with these struggles into society.

Abled is a great documentary of a true story, with a fight that is never finished. And it is worth time watching.

3 out of 4.