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15 reviews in total 
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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
great movie but..., 1 September 2010

I really liked this movie and what it shows not only about the new york art scene of the 1980s and Basquiat, but about how fame and success can easily lead to destruction. However, at times the movie is hard to watch because the sound is TERRIBLE! I don't understand how clearly talented film makers could take so little time and have so little care about the sound. They clearly took lots of time and care in interviewing many important and interesting players within the scene and Basquiat's life, but often I fell out of the movie simply because i was struggling to understand the bad audio, then starting to wonder why the audio was so bad. Some interviews had clearly exposed clip on mics and that was so much preferred to the other interviews where the audio was either distorted, rustle or clearly just a camera mic. I mean, even the interview done on the analog video camera in the 1980s sounded so much better than half of the interviews that feature prominently in the film.

I want to recommend this movie highly, as I feel its story has a lot of continuity to the artists of today, but i also have to strongly warn them that the audio is so bad that it might not be worth the struggle.

Please! please! Please! Documentary film makers out there, care as much about the sound as you care about the image and content. All three are needed to make a movie work. Nothing is more frustrating than suffering through an interview solely because the sound is bad. Learn something about sound. Care about your sound, or hire some one who does!

Biker Boyz (2003)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Terrible, just terrible, 24 January 2003

I saw a special screening of this film, and special it was. I can't remember a time at the theater that was more wasteful than the time I spent with this movie. It is laughably bad. In fact, most of the audience was laughing at the "dramatic" twists and turns that occur in the film. They are all super-cliche and come out of left field. The acting is universally bad, the cinematography silly and pointless (watch for the 3 minutes in the 3rd act where the movie decides to become an extended music video), the music is uninspired, the sound design flat, and the script....well lets just say that scripts like this don't come along to often. I want to give this film credit for two things. One: The opening steadicam shot, taken directly from "Boogie Nights" really sets up the movie well and made me think that this could be something of quality. Two: The first race (and I am not giving anything away here...) and crash are really well done; however, the film never progresses from these opening moments and just keeps getting worse and worse until you wish that you were shot in the face. 2/10

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Of its time, and interesting historically, 17 January 2003

In this animated short, Goofy plays a teacher trying to reach his pupils. Most of it consists of goofball gags and some slight humor with the way kids of the 50s viewed school. The real reason to watch and study this short however, is for its implicit (and attempt to find humor in) school violence. In the short, "Billy" brings a virtual arsenal of weapons to school, including a gun, slingshot and hand grenade. Goofy eventually, lightheartedly takes these away, disposing of the grenade in the trash can. Billy goes on to cheat off a students paper by "holding him up" with a water pistol, and blows up the school. In the end, "Billy" is seen writing on the chalk board (as does Bart Simpson 40 years later), "I will not bomb the school again." This is another example of Disney naivete and really seems frightening in todays culture. 8/10

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Shows the growth of Ken Burns and his documentaries, 24 December 2002

When this film delves into the history of and construction of the "East River Bridge" or what is now known as the Brooklyn Bridge, the film is masterfully constructed and endlessly fascinating. However, when Mr. Burns tries to romanticize the bridge in the present day (1981 when this film was shot), it becomes a mess, at the same time pedantic and preachy. I would highly recommend the first half of this film to anyone interested in historical documentary filmmaking, NYC history or architectural history, but the second half could be skipped by anyone save an Oscar completist (this film was nominated for best documentary feature in 1982) or the most hard core of Mr. Burns' fans.

Fighter (2000)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
An Interesting take on a common type of documentary, 22 December 2002

I have seen many documentaries in which a survivor returns to his or her place of internment. These films (especially "The Last Days") have the rare ability to both capture the past and show its affect on the present. If "Fighter" was simply another version of these types of films, it would have been one of the poorer examples; however, this film does something that none of the other films in the survivor series does: it questions the survivor, and does not simply accept his story as true. This very tough role in the film is taken on by Jan's friend and fellow survivor. Their philosophical banter and semantical games are what this film worth the time. They turn what is really a sad journey into some strange "Grumpier Old Men" sequel. I have to say that the film was much different than I expected, but what I got in place was perhaps more meaningful than what I wanted. 7/10

Good, but semi-graphic explanation of conception through birth, 23 May 2001

I can see why this movie could be nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject. It is a very comprehensive documentary that must have taken a lot of time to compile. It contains a lot of old computer graphics, video from inside the body and 3-D diagrams. For anyone interested in what takes place to bring about a new baby, this movie will be invaluable. The best part about it is that it gives its information objectively, without being pro-choice or pro-life. It is just pro-information. If this subject interests you, then this is one of your best options. 6/10

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A look at an early and controversial civil rights leader, 30 March 2001

This documentary employs mostly talking heads and old still pictures to relay its message about the life and work of Harlem preacher and Congressman Adam Clayton Powell. As one of the first black Congressmen, Powell deserves a lot of credit for helping ignite the civil rights movement. He helped blacks get into the navy, obtain government jobs, and boycott racist businesses. However, after the rise of Martin Luther King, Powell faded, as a man who was only looking out for himself. He was no longer THE black leader so he retreated to the Bahamas to live in luxury. I admit that I was not alive during the Civil Rights Movement, but I find most of what Mr. Powell did to be only for Mr. Powell. I don't think he is or was ever a good symbol for black strive, and the movie fails because it tries to view his life through rose tinted glasses. It is not a balanced piece. The whole story is not accurately represented. In fact, out of all the people who gave insight about this man, only one was white, and everybody put a positive spin on anything he did. This was an interesting man in life, but a poor movie about it. 4/10

7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful short reinforcing the need to conserve our natural wonders, 30 March 2001

In the present political climate, where some hope to drill for oil in the Alaskan wilderness, this funny and gorgeous documentary on the natural creatures of the region should force them to reconsider. Narrated by Charlton Heston, it shows the viewer just how explosive and pure this vast empty land is. It is virtually untouched by human hands, and has been for centuries. The movie is highlighted by stunning helicopter shots and plenty of Discovery Channel-like images of animal interactions. The scenes with the bears and the whales are priceless. This documentary (which was nominated for best short in 97) is a testament to all the reasons why natural parks should be kept free from human hands so that their beauty can be experienced by the next generation.

Regen (1929)
1 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A lyrical impression of a rain shower in Amsterdam, 22 January 2001

This silent film from Holland depicts the start and affects of a rain shower in the city of Amsterdam. It is a very beautiful movie with a good score, but the movie is definitely slow. It is not particularly interesting either. It is just an old and simple silent film that is not especially important. If you get chance to see it, you should just to see how far film has come in 70 years.

High Art (1998)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Great story, but poor direction, 9 August 2000

After watching this film, I am struck by the grace and beauty of the story and the terrific acting. However, as I watch the film, certain directorial problems become painfully prevalent. For instance, there are many unnecessary camera movements and the camera always seems to be at the same eye-level angle. Maybe this is to add a sense of a documentary to the movie, but even if it is, it gets old fast. All of the acting in the film is top notch! The script is very interesting and gives a unique angle and edge on an old topic. There were also several places that I thought needed more depth, but those are post-decisions that I don't have all the facts on. If you like independent film, then check this movie out. 6/10

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