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A compelling documentary about a famous athlete
Before seeing this documentary all I knew about Ronaldo is that he is attractive, dates models and likes to take his shirt off. However after watching this documentary I learned that there is a lot more to him than the flashy side we often see. First off Ronaldo grew up dirt poor in a small island off the coast of Portugal. He was so poor that he often missed meals. The only thing that got him through was a soccer ball, which he brought with him everywhere he went. Also I learned that he has a huge heart. He tries to give back to his hometown and is known to pay for surgeries of children suffering from cancer. All and all I learned that there is more Ronaldo than meets the eye.
Finding Happiness (2014)
An Amazing community
Up in Northern California there is the Ananda Community. It is community that practices sustainability and kindness and looks at these attributes as being the key to prolonged happiness. This of course runs counter to our western capitalistic ideals that teach that material things and success equate happiness. The film follows a fictionalized reporter who travels to Ananda community at the behest of her editor. At first she is dismissive, but as she learns more about their practices she becomes open to their way of life (even trying yoga for the first time!) The end result is a changed perspective that we can leave a more benevolent and synergistic lifestyle. The movie's message left me feeling inspired!
JT: Reflections (2013)
Learn all about an amazing entertainer!
Justin Timberlake is one of the most interesting performers out there. He can go between music and acting with ease and his music keeps evolving as he gets older. I've always loved Justin so it was with anticipation that I watched "JT:Reflections" and I learned a lot about him. The documentary follows him from his starry-eyed roots in Memphis TN, to the Mickey Mouse Club than to N'Sync Superstardom then finally to his mega-star status. Throughout industry insiders are interviewed and they give their 2 cents on why Justin is the amazing entertainer he is! This music doc is perfect not only for Justin fans, but for fans of Pop music as well! A perfect music documentary!
The coolest table there is!
I really, really loved listening to all the classic Hollywood stories in "Lunch." It was like having a seat at the most exclusive table in town! Legend after legend tells stories about how the made in showbiz, and they also have some thoughts on modern comedy as well! I especially loved listing to Carl Reiner's stories. I have always been a fan of "The Jerk" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" so it was really cool to listen to him share some insight. There were also some sad parts as well. Tales of lose and tales of trouble getting work are told, and even though it's sad seeing these legends struggle their work ethic is inspiring and mad me think that maybe I shouldn't complain so much!
I know a couple of service men and women. They sacrifice so much for us and they endure so much trauma. I have a friend she can barely talk about what she saw and experienced. It was with this backdrop that I watched "Comedy Warriors". In the movie 5 veterans all injured during their time in Iraq and Afghanistan receive guidance from accomplished stand-up Comedians like Bob Saget, Lewis Black and Zack Galifianakis. It was really cool watching them improve their material and how at ease they were on stage, but the best part was watching how they are using comedy to overcome their traumatic injuries. I left the film feeling good and inspired. A must for all fans of uplifting documentaries!
Pink: Staying True (2013)
Pink is one of a kind!
I've always been I fan. Ever since I heard "Hazard to myself" I knew that Pink was an honest artist that I would follow closely. I've enjoyed watching her and her music evolve over the years and have always tried to see her when she plays Denver. Being such a big fan it was with great anticipation that I watched "Staying True." The thing I loved most was watching the interviews with Pink and seeing how she has changed, but stayed true to herself throughout the years. One of my favorite moments was when she refused to play for Prince William because he hunted Lions. As a fierce Peta supporter she couldn't bring herself to perform for him. Its stories like this that have established Pink as an individual and I recommend anyone who is a fan watch this documentary!
Great Stand-up Special
A good friend of mine has been raving about Nik Rabinowitz for a long time always trying to get me to watch his stand up specials. I was hesitant at first mainly I'm not South African and I was afraid many of the jokes would fly over my head. Well I caught his stand-up special "You Can't Be Serious" and I was surprised by how much I laughed. Of course I didn't get all the jokes, but it didn't matter. Nik's infectious energy and rapid fire delivery kept me laughing throughout! I especially loved the bit he did about there being a South African Disneyland and the part about re-cutting American trailers/movies with an Afrikans perspective. All and all I truly enjoyed this special and recommend it for all fans of stand-up comedy!
Sunset Strip (2012)
Great History of an Iconic Strip!
I've always been fascinated by Hollywood, and the Sunset Strip. I remember leafing through magazines and dreaming about walking up and down the strip, catching great music and meeting some interesting people. I haven't been able to make it out there yet, but this doc is the next best thing. The film covers the Sunset Strip from its inception as a no man's land between the studios in Hollywood and Beverly Hill up until present day. Throughout you learn that the Sunset Strip has been instrumental in shaping from the speakeasies of the 20s, to the hair metal bands of the 80s. I had no idea how many famous and interesting people have been through this little strip of land.
Bad Behavior (2013)
Glad I never had a babysitting job like that!
I babysat all through my teens, and most of my memories are fond. I remember one time I had to take a kid to the emergency room because she had an ear infection, but other than that it was usually smooth sailing. This is not the case in Bad Behavior. Poor Zoe gets the worst possible babysitting assignment when she must protect the children she is babysitting from an unknown assailant. As the movie progresses it becomes known that maybe not everything is as it seems with the seemingly perfect family she is working for. The film is tense and well acted and has a couple of twists that I found satisfying. I must watch for all fans of teen/suburban based horror. I was spooked until the end!
One Direction: Going Our Way (2013)
A Fun Engaging Documentary
"One Direction"... I gotta admit the first time I heard about them was when Harry was dating Taylor Swift. Now I grew up during the New Kids era so I know all about boy bands. After hearing some of there songs I figured I'd check out this documentary. The doc covers their rise from the X Factor to now. Throughout music biz insiders are interviewed and they explain to the viewer how they rose to stardom, and how the are not only similar to previous boy bands, but also different. Footage of interviews with the band are also interspersed in between interviews. The and interviews were my favorite parts of the movie, the band comes of as likable (and a bit cheeky to use a British term) it made me root for them. I hope they are big for a long time!
Beauty and the Breast (2012)
A amazing tale of courage and survival
This is more the documentary this is a public service. I have known many women who have been afflicted by this disease, and this documentary sheds light on what women go through when they are diagnosed with this terrible disease. The film follows several different women as they come to terms not only with their diagnosis, but with their treatment. Through each story we see that although the circumstances might differ there is one constant and that is strength. Strength can come from, a partner, from family, from humor, but most importantly strength must come from within. I found myself, laughing, crying and at times getting angry with these women (One forgoes chemo in favor of holistic medicine.) It made me question how I would handle it. All in all I came away inspired, and hopeful. A great service for all women!
Mil gritos tiene la noche (1982)
A fun 80s horror film!
This movie is fun. That's all that can be said. If you take it seriously you will probably be offended, but if you go into it with the right attitude and sense of humor you will come out entertained. The premise, execution, and gore is so over the top its impossible not to enjoy. The film has that 80s excess and lack of subtly that frankly I find myself missing in today's super serious horror films. The best part really is the over the top deaths. I won't give any away, but they have to be seen to be believed and they just keep getting better as the movie progresses. Top this off with some funny dubbing and you have a grindhouse classic!
A chilling tale of possession
Amy is an everyday Amish girl living in a remote village, cut off from the rest of society. One day she discovers that one of her fellow villagers is possessed. She then learns that she has the gift to see those are possessed. When she tells her fellow villagers she is met with skepticism, especially from her boyfriend Robert. Later a mysterious outsider comes to offer help as an exorcist. Is he for real? Who is the source of all these possessions? Will Amy save the village? These are all questions that resolve in a satisfying conclusion. The film is well acted, and directed and does not take the source material in a cliché direction. All and all Amy is a great frightening tale, perfect for all fans of Gothic horror!
A classic old school action romp
An ex Iraqi hit men gets tricked into driving his terminal Landlady to the west coast and wait he has a body in his in trunk. A simple premise that gives way to a fun, entertaining low budget action romp. The thing I liked best about this film is that it had fun with the source material. So many modern action movies take themselves so seriously, trying to be cool with their anti-hero leads and ridiculous special effects. Guido reminded me of the classic Arnold action movies. Over the top violent, but not afraid to have fun and exploit some darkly comic moments. In addition to a great performance by lead actor Alki David the film features, fun performances from Billy Zane, and the king of 80s excess Gary Busey. Great film if you want to relax, turn off your brain and have a good time!
The Last Push (2012)
An old school approach to film making
The main thing that stuck out about this film was how it felt more in tune with the 70s approach to film making as opposed to the modern approach. By that I mean that it is very character driven. The film moves slowly showing the day to day struggle of Michael Forrest. Instead of descending into spectacle the film maintains its steady pace. Showing the real and psychological toll of its protagonist. Of course things go awry and Michael must find a way to survive, but each challenge is reacted to and solved realistically. This allows for the viewer to feel what it's like to explore space, and makes the eventual sacrifices that will come from space exploration all the more heroic.
What an inspiring movie! Through interviews with several noteworthy women the film profiles ways in which women are not only changing, but healing the world.
The film explains how the sacred feminine has been marginalized through the rise of the masculine. This has lead to many problems both economic and social as well. However, the film does not come off as depressing at all! Women are rising and using their sacred feminine to heal the world and restore some balance. The film paints a hopeful future for the planet. It is just up to us women to steer the planet back to prosperity and peace!
Hendrix on Hendrix (2013)
Jimi's Brother Sheds Some Light
I'm a big music fan, and being a fan of classic rock I've always loved Jimi Hendrix. After a friend recommended it I caught this doc late one weekend. The film features several interviews with the people who knew Jimi best. Jimi's story is told from his birth to his pre-mature death and throughout anecdotes, and analysis is shared on not only Jimi's music, but his insecurities and flaws as a man.
Anchoring the documentary is Jimi's brother Leon. He tells stories of him and Jimi's upbringing and how the troubles led Jimi to find solace in his guitar. This is what really catapults "Hendrix on Hendrix" above other docs is the focus it places on Jimi's formative years. Of course ample time is given to his momentous carer, but it is the frail formative moments of his youth and how they informed his musical growth that makes this doc such an informative watch.
Glastonbury the Movie (1995)
Was pleasantly surprised
As a music fan I know all about the "Glastonbury Festival." Also I am big fan of 90s music so I was excited to watch this doc. I was expecting some live footage and some interviews, but instead I was treated to something different and more entertaining.
The thing that makes this film so unique is the focus it places on the normal festival goers and their experience at the Festival. in between the performances, characters are followed, giving them story arcs as their experiences are shared. The one that stuck out was "Charlie the Drummer" he shows up in a beat up van trying to play, plays and then attends the festival. Stories like this fit nicely against the backdrop of classic music from "The Verve" "Porno for Pyros" and "Spirtyalized" making "Glastonbury: In Flashback" a worthy watch!
Helps me enjoy the book :)
After reading "50 Shades of Grey" I wanted to learn more about the submissive/dominant culture. I heard about this documentary so I decided to check it out. Honestly seeing this real life depiction gave me a better appreciation for the life of Christian Grey and Antasasia Steele. Of course the book is more glamorous, and the subjects of "Inside 50 Shades" are more extreme in their tastes, but nonetheless it gives the viewer a glimpse into the psychology and rules that govern this community. Also I found myself questioning my own sexual preferences. The film makes a case that it is better not to be repressed, and honestly the film made me a bit curious. The film also clocks in at just under an hour so its not too long. Definitely worth a viewing!