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TV Junkie (2006)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 546 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

A man tries to discover his purpose in life after searching through 3000 hours of video and over 5000 photos.

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Title: TV Junkie (2006)

TV Junkie (2006) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rick Kirkham ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Charles Dalaklis ...
Himself (as Chuck Dalaklis)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Rick Kirkham was a successful TV reporter, and could have been a major U.S. television profile if it hadn't been for his massive drug and alcohol abuse. Kirkham filmed his life every day with a video camera from the age of 14 years. On the basis of his video material the story of his life is told in this documentary. Written by HardHouseClubber

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Making Real Life Isn't Easy

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Documentary

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13 August 2013 (USA)  »

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(TV)
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Official Selection 2006 Sundance Film Festival, Documentary Competition See more »

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Features Inside Edition (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Not a fun or brilliant film but an effective real-life warning
3 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm normally quite dubious about people who film themselves because I wonder what it is that they are filming themselves for. I know this is perhaps a bit ironic coming from someone who continually writes down his opinions and puts them into the public domain for free, but hey, here we are. For all the countless blogs etc out there the message is often clear that there is only a small amount worth paying attention to where most are somehow massaging ego, picturing themselves bigger than they are or perhaps just full of the belief that people will want to see them.

With Rick Kirkham I was in little doubt that here was a man who is full of himself to a point and would rather film his life than just live it. A strange man, he tries to recreate fights seemingly so that they can be captured on his camera. Now, reviewing this as a film, I cannot ignore the fact that some of the diary footage is Kirkham putting his thoughts and emotions on film instead of just having them and, frankly, this is as dull as it is egotistical and if this film had merely been edited footage from him as he was at the start of the film then the film would be almost painful to watch. Instead, the film is painful to watch – but in a way that makes it worth seeing.

You see, while Kirkham obsessively films himself, it transpires that the film's title has dual meanings, because this film addict is also a junkie in the normal meaning. What this means is that we get to see Kirkham doing well in his career etc while enjoying the buzz that drugs give him. This goes on for a while with only the occasional rehab and intervention giving a clue that he isn't holding it together off the camera. As his descent begins in earnest, Kirkham's camera captures fights, depravity, self-loathing and ruin. In this regard the film does work and is worth seeing because it is a very impacting way of saying "drugs are bad – even if it takes years to find out". While I don't totally agree that it is a brilliant film I can understand why some reviewers have credited this film with helping save the lives of their family or selves by being a stark warning because that is just what it is.

It is not easy viewing because of this and nor would I expect it to be. However at the same time the film isn't easy watching because of how it is put together. We get too much of Kirkham feeling sorry for himself and not enough of the worst stuff he did. We hear about some things but given it seems like he taped everything, you have to wonder why some of his "lowest" points aren't lower. Also absent is a long period between "rock bottom" and being clean – not sure why none of this was used expect maybe there was no filming in this period.

Regardless though it is ironically the work of Kirkham that makes this film worth seeing. Credit to the editors to ripping though thousands of hours of (probably) banal private ramblings to pick out material that shows what drugs can do to someone who would be seen as "successful". It is a little longer than it needed to be to make the point but it did interest me for the majority of the time.


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What was the reason for his termination? user14159
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my view jennifer88-1
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