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Documentary Review: ‘Life Itself’

July 4, 2014
Documentary Review: ‘Life Itself’

Ebert would have loved this: It does not gloss over major events that tarnish his star – his alcoholism, his pettiness, even his face. This is not simply a chronicle of the critic’s final few months, rather it’s an overview of his life, aptly so, I suppose, as it’s adapted, in part, from Ebert’s...
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Movie Review: Bully

April 13, 2012
Movie Review: Bully

This year over 13 million kids will be subjected to bullying in one form or another. The problem has increased in magnitude with the advent of social media, allowing kids to attack one another from behind a keyboard or phone. Lee Hirsch tackles the hot button issue in his new documentary, Bully. It follows...
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Documentary Review: Marley

April 13, 2012
Documentary Review: Marley

I’m a Bob Marley fan, but I wasn’t ready for a two-and-a-half-hour documentary on the guy. I liked director Kevin MacDonald’s other stuff, particularly The Last King of Scotland and Life in a Day, but, again, two-and-a-half hours. And while the time doesn’t fly by, it does hold your interest. There’s the standard talking...
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Movie Review: Pina

February 10, 2012
Movie Review: Pina

This extraordinary documentary by German filmmaker Wim Wenders (justly nominated for an Academy Award) on the choreographer Pina Bausch, his countryman, near-contemporary and fellow visionary, was a long time in coming. An artistic collaboration had been planned for some time but in an instance of epic bad timing, Bausch died just two days before...
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Movie Review: Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

December 2, 2011
Movie Review: Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

While it’s possible you’ve never heard of Fishbone, chances are at least one of your favorite bands have. This African American band that formed in a South Central L.A. junior high school in 1979 could easily be classified as punk, funk, ska or a number of other things. The band lacks the ease of...
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KIFF Movie Review: Bob and the Monster

October 7, 2011
KIFF Movie Review: Bob and the Monster

Take one look at Bob Forrest and it becomes obvious that this guy has a story. His shaggy hair, thick rimmed glasses, pitted skin and twinkle in his eye show a man with an individuality, kindness and passion that can only come from an acquired wisdom. He’s the type of guy I dream of...
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Fantastic Fest 2011 Review: Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope

September 30, 2011
Fantastic Fest 2011 Review: Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope

Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope Directed by Morgan Spurlock Written by Morgan Spurlock, Joss Whedon, Jeremy Chilnook Starring Skip Harvey, Eric Henson, Chuck Rozanski, James Darling, Se Young Kang Fantastic Fest 2011 featured Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary Comic-Con Episode Four:  A Fan’s Hope as one of its closing night films.  It seems like...
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Movie Review: Page One: Inside the New York Times

July 22, 2011
Movie Review: Page One: Inside the New York Times

Not just for those of us who treasure The New York Times, nor for you others who loathe it, but for anyone who cares about the existence of the free press and its role in a democratic world, Page One: Inside the New York Times, is a must-see. Unless you’ve been drifting at sea for...
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Documentary Review: Project Nim

July 21, 2011
Documentary Review: Project Nim

My initial feeling upon leaving Project Nim was something akin to Werner Herzog’s closing monologue in Grizzly Man—I felt nothing for the animal. While others looked into Nim’s eyes and saw flickers of humanity, depth, tenderness, all I could see was its cold instinct. Every hug was punctuated by either a vicious bite or...
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Documentary Review: ‘The Last Mountain’

June 29, 2011
Documentary Review: ‘The Last Mountain’

The Last Mountain of the title refers to Coal River Mountain, an area in West Virginia being mined by the Massey Energy company. Massey has a long history of violations, as the villagers below are quick to point out—creating lakes of toxic goo that threaten to pollute the waterways of West Virginia and other...
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