Documentary Reviews

From iGeek
Jump to: navigation, search

A documentary by Michael Bay? What is this world coming to? While it seems like an oxymoron, and there was plenty of explosions and some jitter-camera effects, it was more Saving Private Ryan and true to history than anything Oliver Stone or Michael Moore has done, and those are called documentaries. And it was a good motive, and mostly historically accurate based on the people that were there. So worth seeing, if you want to see an action film based on real life events.

Hated by reviewers, loved by viewers. A better movie than Fahrenheit 9/11, but that's a pretty low bar. It tries to give you what the Press didn't, the backstory and motivations of President Obama, from a right wing point of view. It shouldn't be taken too literally, but good background on Obama's sphere of influences: what his friends, family, mentor and Father believed. How much you think that shaped him, or how, is likely to be based on your political views. Slow, but informative, and it's up to you to decide what that all means.

Dinesh D'Souza tries to cover too much. The title is misleading: it's more about American History than alternate reality. Still, a worthy documentary: especially for those who buy Howard Zinn's revisionist American History. Nice to see there's at least a few who haven't.
The short version is that I liked it as entertainment, but didn't as a movie about a real event. As entertainment it was pretty good -- but it was a little too Hollywood'ed for the people that were there, and they're working on their own documentary of actual events, instead of heroes and villains. If you want to see an entertaining thriller type movie about a drilling ship where you already know the ending: this will probably be the best one of those you see all year. But if you want to see what really happened in any more depth than listening to Noam Chomsky lecture you on the evils of capitalism, then you might be disappointed.
Dirty Money.png

Netflix produced a 20/20 style documentary series called Dirty Money. Only this show doesn't have the constraints of a John Stossel, who is likely to wakeup one day, and realize how unclean his Michael Moore style one-sided Marxist propaganda is.

So while the show is interesting, and watchable, it's completely dogmatic, one sided, and filled with lies of omission and commission. It reminds me of High School civics, history, social studies, all over again: though this is slightly more interesting.

Morgan Spurlock created a documentary (Super Size Me) that played on all the gullibilities of the left: people aren't responsible for their own actions, evil corporations that offer larger sodas and fries with their meals are why people get fat. One of the 3 people that debunked it was Tom Naughton, by going on an all-fast-food diet (mainly McDonald's), but he keeps his calories to around 2,000 and his carbohydrates to around 100 grams per day, and after a month eating that way he loses 12 pounds and his total cholesterol goes down. Basically, the exact opposite of Spurlock, by still eating only at McD's, but being intelligent about it. (e.g. "it's not the restaurant it's your food choices you dolt").
Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. The subhead ("the Secret History of the Democratic Party") is more apt description of the film than the heading ("Hillary's America"). It was 75% about the History of the Democrat Party, 20% about Bill and Hillary, and about 5% just filler, Apple Pie, Patriotism, and political propaganda.
Hollywood has this attitude that fiction is more interesting than real life. It is more interesting to people that don't care about the truth as much as they care about shallow entertainment and becoming more misinformed about a topic or person. I'm not their audience, and this movie wasn't made for me. Walter Isaacson's book was pretty good, but flawed. This movie omitted the former and exaggerated the latter.

Movie critics often have a leftward slant that makes them droll and predictable. It also means if a movie is at all political, has anything that's politically incorrect, or can be re-imagined that way, then reviewers will likely get out of touch with the audience. Since I lean towards the audience preferences and away from marxism as movie-reviews, this spread (or the inverse of the reviewers opinions) can be a better indicator of how much I'll like a film than their actual reviews.

A fictionalized drama-mentory retelling of Steve Jobs life, by an ultra-Liberal director (Aaron Sorkin). Reviewers preferred it more than audiences +13% (86/73). While the dialog and story is the best of the rash of Steve Jobs pseudo-biographies, this one captured the spirit of many things better, while getting too many actual facts wrong. It would have been great, if only they were fictional characters.
Super Size Me Poster.jpg

Morgan Spurlock created a documentary that played on all the gullibilities of the left. People aren't responsible for their own actions, evil corporations that offer larger sodas and fries with their meals are why people get fat. (Not the lack of exercise or their own actions). In this case targeting an all MacDonalds diet. It was the perfect blend of anti-corporatism and dodging of personal responsibility -- and was an immediate hit. Only it was all a fraud, debunked by many others that ate exclusively and McD's and got healthier. And it turns out he left out a key omission all along: he was a chronic alcoholic (and sex offender) that likely went off the sauce, and his shakes, liver problems, and other symptoms were most likely due to alcohol withdrawal. But other than it being a complete fraud, by a drunk sex-offender, it was great.


CFACT's Marc Morano did his late retort to An Inconvenient Truth, in a one night replay of what they showed at the Paris Climate Summit, for $15/ticket. It basically goes through and tries to explain all the fallacies in the pro-Climate Change alarmism, from what are the forcing factors, how do they rank, how does CO2 rank in them, the fake Climate Consensus, the global cooling scare, and all the sensational claims made -- and then debunking them.

This is a documentary on how Facebook and Google turn your data into their profit, and manipulate you in the process. It was a bit sensational in parts, but did a worthy job in letting people know who and why their data was captured, and what they did to manipulate you. Generally, it was liked by viewers -- but far lefties didn't like that it attacked leftist icons, or showed how these organizations colluded with the Hillary (and Obama) campaigns to rig elections.
Kevin Leffler did a documentary on Michael Moore. The original movie (back in 2007 or 2009) was called "Shooting Michael Moore", an edgy title that played on him video shooting others. This somehow got repackaged in 2018 as an Amazon Original, "The Un American"... I think a little moore material was added (pun intended) -- the Internet was semi-scrubbed of the original release, so I'm not sure how much of the original project got trimmed and how much was added. But the latest cut is interesting and worthy of watching.
The first episode of Dirty Money was fascinating. It interviews the key people involved, talks about the issue, how it happened, how the government stumbled on the truth, and in only 7 years, got around to doing their jobs (partly because of VW's stonewalling and distractions). It even accidentally mumbles that the other auto-makers were doing the same thing. The only thing it left out is "why?" Why would VW take this risk?

You're spoon-fed the ideas that it was just greed and arrogance that caused the callous disregard for the planet. And I'm sure greed and arrogance were part of it. But it forgets to hint at the truth: the regulations were unmitigated bullshit. The truth was it was because CARB and the EPA set unreasonable and unattainable standard, and so VW had a choice of surrender a market, or cheat. You might not agree with VW's decision, but if you don't know why they did it, then you don't understand what happened. This documentary (and most of the media) leaves you ignorant of why, while feeling like you know more than you do. It turns people into progressives: arrogant, ignorant and sanctimonious (or worse: willing to lie for their cause).