Category Archives: Documentary

One eats goat meat only when one is killed accidentally.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligatory Mention of Tony Clifton (2017) Movie Review

There is a moment at the very start of Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligatory Mention of Tony Clifton where you expect this to be a pretentious showbiz doc, where Jim Carrey stares at the camera and tries to convince us in one line that the soul of Andy Kaufman embodied him when he got the job as Kaufman for the Milos Forman film Man on the Moon.

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In a sense, Jim & Andy is this standard industry documentary, telling the story of how an actor was inspired to give another industry figure an in memoriam by way of biopic. It is the type of biopic that Continue reading Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligatory Mention of Tony Clifton (2017) Movie Review

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Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)

At the world premiere of Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary—a sequel to Super Size Me, the film that put him on the map—Spurlock dialed the PR knob to 11 by providing the audience with a free meal from his new restaurant venture “Holy Chicken.”

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The food truck outside of the venue served fried chicken sandwiches that looked somewhat grotesque and felt slimy to the touch. There were side choices that included fried green beans, which the charming young woman behind the counter referred to affectionately as simply “greens.” They offered soda and water (the water was dubbed “Holy Water,” perhaps because it was the closest thing to a healthy option on the menu).

Why would the man who injured his body by eating McDonald’s for 30 days straight decide to open a fast food chain? Could it be a statement on Continue reading Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)

4.1 Miles (2016) Short Film Review

Over recent years, a massive influx of refugees trying to cross the water boundary between Turkey and Greece has caused chaos for the Coast Guard. They pull in hundreds of people per day. But they cannot possibly take everyone.

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Life on these waters are depicted as harrowing. People are separated from their families. People slip into the water and drown. And all the while the Coast Guard Continue reading 4.1 Miles (2016) Short Film Review

The White Helmets (2016) Short Film Review

In Aleppo, Syria, air strikes are a daily occurrence. The city relies on a volunteer group called the White Helmets who act as first responders on the ground after these attacks.

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The Netflix original documentary short film The White Helmets follows members of this organization. Through a mix of Continue reading The White Helmets (2016) Short Film Review

I Am Not Your Negro (2017) Movie Review

In archive footage, we see at the beginning of I Am Not Your Negro an interview with the subject of the documentary: writer James Baldwin. The interviewer, when addressing with Baldwin the plight of the black man in American during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, he says “Is it at once getting better and still hopeless?” To which Baldwin responds, quite simply, that there is no hope to it.

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I Am Not Your Negro is a literary chronicle set to motion through photographs, film clips, and sweeping landscape shots. The raw power of Baldwin’s words is something Continue reading I Am Not Your Negro (2017) Movie Review

Life, Animated (2016) Movie Review

At the age of three, Owen Suskind “disappears.” He changes: awake all night, speaking in gibberish, a loss of motor function, an inability to understand what people are saying. Diagnosed with autism, Owen’s life changes forever.

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But a love for animated movies, particularly those of the Disney Corporation, allows Owen an outlet from which he can Continue reading Life, Animated (2016) Movie Review

13th (2016) Movie Review

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolished slavery, effectively guaranteeing every American citizen be free. That is to say, every citizen who is not a criminal.

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Ava DuVernay’s historical documentary makes pertinent use of this word. With every mention of the word out of interviewees’ mouths, the term “CRIMINAL” flashes on the screen. And with each instance, Continue reading 13th (2016) Movie Review