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Grizzly Man (2005)
Grizzly Man as mockumentary
While any filmmaker naturally approaches a subject with his own preconceptions, documentary films are often most effective when the filmmaker strives for impartiality. In choosing to amplify the story of Timothy Treadwell, Herzog is sending a very specific and political message. The morality is not inherent in the subject matter but is instead injected by Herzog in choosing to discuss Treadwell and in the choices Herzog makes while crafting the film. The film is problematic in that it is one-sided and does not seek to understand as much as to make an example of Treadwell. Great documentary is created with a spirit of openness and appreciation for the complexities of life. This film seeks to moralize and judge, which is why it is a mockumentary.
The Great Raid (2005)
The Great Raid proves that history is always more compelling than fiction
This film expertly balances the need for authenticity with the need for compelling drama. It starts out great, slows slightly in the middle, and finishes off with the best filmed action sequence I have ever seen. The raid itself is choreographed and paced perfectly, so that the viewer understands exactly what is happening, why it is happening and who is doing it. Many aspects of this film have never been done before in a war movie. The craft is also expertly balanced - the film looks, sounds and feels accurate and not bounded by Hollywood conventions. Simply put, it will go down as one of the very best modern war films, among those who can tell when a film is exceptional.