Tag Archives: Documentary

Movie Review: Free Solo (2018)

Free Solo (2018)

Premise: Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite’s 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history.

I went into Free Solo wondering what could possibly possess a person to climb anything without ropes or harnesses. It is a lifestyle that I am so far away from, I simply can’t fathom it. And right off the bat, the documentary addresses this question in the form of an interview that Free Solo‘s subject, Alex Honnold, was in on television. His rationale is that anyone can die at any time, what difference does it make if you’re thousands of feet in the air with only a fingernail’s worth of space keeping you from plummeting?

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HIFF2015: Movie Review – The Champions (2015)

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  • Documentary Feature / USA
  • Director: Darcy Dennett
This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.
I have always been a dog person so I write this with the caveat that my objectivity may be slightly impaired. Darcy Dennett’s The Champions is a moving account of what it takes to rehabilitate the shattered psyche of animals who have experienced intense trauma. The film accomplishes this by showcasing the amazing work of the individuals helping victims of Vick’s dog fighting ring with the ultimate goal of getting them adopted.

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HIFF2015: Movie Review – dream/killer (2015)

DreamKiller

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  • Documentary Feature / USA
  • Director: Andrew Jenks

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

On Halloween night 2001, a sports editor for the Columbia Tribune in Columbia, Missouri was murdered. The crime went unsolved for over two years, until Charles Erickson told police he didn’t remember the night of the murder but he thought he may have been involved. He implicated Ryan Ferguson, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Dream/Killer documents Ryan’s father Bill Ferguson’s nearly decade-long fight to get his son freed.  Continue reading

HIFF2015: Movie Review – Peace Officer (2015)

Peace Officer

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  • Documentary Feature / USA
  • Directors: Scott Christopherson, Brandon Barber

This review is part of my coverage of 2015’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Click here for more of my coverage of the festival. You can find my coverage of other Indianapolis area film and TV events here.

Peace Officer is a powerful documentary examining the escalating militarization of police forces that’s been an increasing fixture in the US since the 1960s. The documentary is framed through the story of Dub Lawrence, a former sheriff in Utah whose son-in-law was shot and killed by SWAT officers following a standoff in 2008. The event spurred Dub (who established his county’s first SWAT team while he was sheriff) into an investigation of his own and eventually leading him to confront the hard truth about the state of law enforcement today. Continue reading

4 Days of Blood: Part IV – Ghoulish Netflix Instant Recommendations

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Seeing as Halloween is now upon us and I’ve committed myself to writing four “Days of Blood” posts, I figured I would devote the fourth and final post to some of the better (and more recent) horror and horror-adjacent titles available to stream on Netflix. Hopefully it will make up for the way I’ve been neglecting my Streaming Saturday recommendations this month.

Before I get started, though, I want to thank everyone for indulging me as I let my horror fandom take control of the blog and the podcast. I’d also like to thank my friends Mike (@IAmMikeWhite) and Tiny (@ObsessiveTiny) for contributing so much content this month. I’d also like to thank my friend Pat (@Patty_Kuhn) for joining us on the Zombie episode of The Obsessive Viewer Podcast.

Finally, I would like to thank John Dugan from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) and Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) for letting us interview him on the podcast. We had such a great time talking to him and can’t thank him enough. If you’re ever at a convention and have a chance to meet him, I highly recommend it.

So let’s get to the list, shall we? It’s Halloween, so here are some streaming recommendations to make the holiday even better. Continue reading

The Month in Movies: June 2013

I had a pretty good June as far as movie-watching is concerned. I didn’t break any records (2008 – 25 viewings) but I did triple my numbers from last year’s paltry 6 viewings. I made good progress in my Bond set and managed some memorable theater viewings. All in all not a bad month. You can see the full chronological list of my June viewings here. Continue reading

All Conspiracy and No Logic Makes “Room 237” a Dull Documentary

Did Stanley Kubrick film the moon landing and leave clues of the conspiracy sprinkled throughout The Shining? Is The Shining a deeper metaphor for the genocide of the Native Americans? Is it possible to retain credibility when your documentary features an interviewee’s kid interrupting the interview?

These are all questions raised and then haphazardly discarded in the nearly unwatchable conspiracy documentary Room 237. Continue reading

Streaming Saturday: Side by Side (2012)

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I just finished watching the amazing documentary Side by Side on Netflix and deem it very worthy of a Streaming Saturday recommendation. Keanu Reeves interviews many heavy hitters of the industry to get their take on the celluloid vs. digital filmmaking debate. It’s a really fascinating look at the evolving artform of filmmaking.

There are a lot of things I loved about Side by Side. First, there’s the high number of filmmakers interviewed. Fincher, Scorsese, the Wachowskis, Boyle, Rodriguez, Cameron and many more give their thoughts on the changing landscape of their work. What makes it great is the level of care that the interviewees speak about their craft. It’s clear that whether they prefer film or digital, these people truly love what they do and love talking about what they do.

The documentary doesn’t take a side on the debate. Arguments for and against both sides are presented equally and fairly with no agenda other than presenting the information and the viewpoints. The end result is a truly engaging documentary that any film lover will enjoy.

You can stream Side by Side on Netflix. Or buy the DVD on Amazon.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @ObsessiveViewer for live-tweets about movies and shows I’m watching and keep up with the blog on Facebook for all the latest posts and blog news.

Trailer Tuesday: Room 237 (2012)

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