Posts filed under ‘Documentary’

The Kid Stays in the Picture

MOVIE:  The Kid Stays in the Picture

NUTSHELL:  Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen’s inventive documentary about <insert 5 or 6 adjectives here> film producer Robert Evans, based on his autobiography.

GOOD THINGS:  The techniques used to make the film more than your average talking head/film still documentary work pretty well and are interesting to concentrate on when you are particularly embarassed for Evans during certain parts of the narrative. Contains Steve McQueen pics and Jack Nicholson anecdotes.

BAD THINGS:  The narration is oddly gripping and melodramatic. Plus the unwavering point of view of Evans and lack of objectivity is troubling at times.

FEATURES:  Robert Evans. Probably insanity-inducing levels of Robert Evans.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  I think I strained myself trying to feel sorry for Evans as he tells about how he tragically got trapped after checking himself into a mental health facility and then had to call his chauffeur Jean-Paul to come get him. I know you can’t see it but I am rolling my eyes right now.

NOTABLE:  I had the worst flashback ever during the anti-drug TV special sequence. I had wiped that entire portion of my childhood out of my brain and now it’s back. It definitely gave me that simultaneous dolly in, zoom out feeling. I’m also additionally creeped out because I’ve since found that no one else seems to remember it besides me. If I could get the image of Cheryl Tiegs dancing with Bob Hope out of my head, I would have given this movie 4 crowns.

BEST PART:  Did I already mention the Steve McQueen pics? Shoot.

BEST LINE:  When you own the property, you’re king.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment

John Lee Hooker: That’s My Story

MOVIE:  John Lee Hooker: That’s My Story

NUTSHELL:  Documentary about the life and music of legendary Master of the Blues who was actually pretty well-adjusted and happy thanks.

GOOD THINGS:  Music and the most adorable 80 year old bluesman EVER. Plus great stuff from his manager Mike Kappas who managed the formerly-ripped-off musician into a millionaire.

BAD THINGS:  One video subject who kept making faces, stock footage, segregation, rip off artist producers, stuttering, Peter Wolf being a goon

FEATURES:  Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana and his hat, John Mayall, John Hammond, Eric “Gucci” Clapton, Boom Boom (the bar and the song), luxury cars, Robert Cray, a barely understandable member of Canned Heat, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, Eddie Kirkland, hats, friend chicken, cotton, and pancakes

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  This was made by a German and I’m thinking that is why there are long shots of American streets that are unrelated to the film.

NOTABLE:  Some astonishingly horrendous grills. If you’re a dentist, please take smelling salts with you to this film.

BEST PART:  Flirting with the pancakes waitress. Okay shut up, the best part is the music. Duh!

BEST LINE:  You can’t get enough of that.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5


January 13, 2010 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

Go Tigers!

MOVIE:  Go Tigers!

NUTSHELL:  Documentary about an Ohio town whose enthusiasm for their high school football team may be too extreme and a detriment to other things like… education

GOOD THINGS:  Some funny parts and the main kids profiled are interesting. I was glad to find out what happened to them at the end of the film.

BAD THINGS:  Mostly typical and manipulative, I have had it up to here with aren’t-small-towns-just-so-wacky???? documentaries.

FEATURES:  Projectile vomiting and a lot of it, a really insane senior citizen lady, pep rallies, parades and large coaches. Maybe that should be in caps – LARGE coaches.


NOTABLE:  It’s astonishing that a documentary about a town’s obsession with their high school football team is not about some place in Texas.

BEST PART:  Naysayers montage!

BEST LINE:  He had colic as a babe and it just never stopped.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 10:13 pm Leave a comment

The Filth and the Fury

MOVIE:  The Filth and the Fury

NUTSHELL:  Julien Temple’s tells the Sex Pistols story in relation to England’s societal upheaval in the 1970’s and, oddly enough, Richard III.

GOOD THINGS:  Film also functions as a fashion scrapbook. Siouxsie, Vivienne Westwood cameo, rad clips including yokels in Georgia chatting about the Pistols, so ghey TV spots and chat show mayhem

BAD THINGS:  Malcolm McLaren, heroin, mullets, perms, flares, bondage face masks, Billy Idol and Nancy

FEATURES:  Sting… in a role that will surprise you.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Spitting. A whole lot of spitting. I guess you basically know that going in but geez… a lot of spitting.

NOTABLE:  Say what you will, but that Paul Cook’s a looker, even shot in silhouette which everyone is in this film and I’m not sure why.

BEST PART:  The wit and wisdom of Sid Vicious

BEST LINE:  We declared war on England without meaning to.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5


January 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope

MOVIE:  Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope

NUTSHELL:  Documentary about Bouncers and the men and women they pummel.

GOOD THINGS:  Irish bouncers reading scripture and kicking keister .

BAD THINGS:  Italian bouncers who can’t hike a football.

FEATURES:  Violence, steroids, twins

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Two 300 pound bouncers showing off their scrapbook of pictures of Sylvester Stallone

NOTABLE:  From the director of “Blood Ties”

BEST PART:  The bouncer/makeup artist at the mall giving a makeover.

BEST LINE:  I can’t believe I just did quotation marks with my hands.

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

The Big O

MOVIE:  Big O, The

NUTSHELL:  Shitty alleged documentary that is supposedly about modern women’s difficulty with achieving orgasm but really about a loser with a video camera videotaping (badly) three basket cases with serious sexual dysfunction as they travel from quack to quack to quack.

GOOD THINGS:  At least it’s under 90 minutes and one of the subjects is not entirely deranged.

BAD THINGS:  Bad framing, bad lighting, absence of script, unsupported supposed “statistics”, bad paintings, brief vox populi snippets that go nowhere, big hair, emotionally stunted people yammering on and on.

FEATURES:  Some nice boots, a Scottish stripper, more machinery than a Caterpillar showroom (Zing! Thank you! I’ll be here all week!)


NOTABLE:  When people congratulate themselves and say this is an “important” film about a subject that “society” ignores so it can marginalize women.. please tell them right away to go fuck themselves.

BEST PART:  Grrrrrr…..

BEST LINE:  I have books about it — I haven’t read them…

CROWNS:  0 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

Dogtown & Z-boys

MOVIE: Dogtown & Z-boys

NUTSHELL: Crazy good documentary about the creation of modern skateboarding by some street punks in Venice, California.

GOOD THINGS: Everything is great. Dream soundtrack and dream story about the most adorablest badasses who are now the most adorablest middle-aged badasses ever. Insane footage and stills and even the talking head parts are awesome.

BAD THINGS: Director looking pensively into the camera puts me off for at least half a second.

FEATURES: Stacy Peralta, Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Charlie’s Angels, Bones Brigade, Sean Penn narrating, my boyfriend Allen Sarlo, Jim Muir, Bob Biniak, Marty Grimes, Peggy Oki, Skip Engblom, Craig Stecyk, Jeff Ho, Glen E. Friedman, Wentzle Ruml, Paul Constantineau, Shogo Kubo, Larry Bertelman, Nathan Pratt, Henry Rollins (I know, just go with it.)

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: Cuts, scrapes, regrets, knee-high tube socks (Does knee-high take a hyphen? Wow never thought I’d need to know that.)

NOTABLE: If you look too closely at the hairstyles in this film, you will go blind AND need intensive psychotherapy. Only use a small box with a pinhole and a reflective surface to view hairstyles.

BEST PART: I’ve waited my whole life to watch these guys skate on 35mm to Jimi Hendrix. Produced by Vans. Probably one of the only movies that features an L.A. I totally recognize.

BEST LINE: Style is everything.

CROWNS: 5 out of 5

January 12, 2010 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

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