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The Champions (2015)
What an incredible documentary
Neutrino and I watched the whole thing. Couldn't look away. Eye-opening, tender and sweet, smart -- it has it all. Great music, bringing variety and little tonal changes-of-pace.
Makes you want to have a shelter, or wish there was no need for one.
Pet stores should be required to show documentaries like this on a continuous loop. Selling a different message from the "buy a puppy" one.
The Champions are also the incredible people and families who helped rescue these dogs.
Hard to imagine the states and cities that ban pit bulls. One of the great injustices of our time.
If you can watch this movie and not shed a tear, or ten, then you in particular need to rescue a dog. As soon as possible.
A Life Ascending (2010)
I've not voted for this movie because I might be biased.
I worked in the Rogers Pass, drove through and shopped in Revelstoke, and was born and grew up in British Columbia.
This is the story of an alpiner. Swiss-born, transplanted to the wonderful snow and mountains of British Columbia.
A guide. With an engineer's level of thoroughness.
And snow. Lots and lots of snow.
Railways try for the lowest route through mountains. Still, the Rogers CP Rail camp got 10 feet of snow a year. I was the chief shoveler, otherwise known as a Signal Maintainer's helper. But I liked shoveling. It kept me warm when it was 40 below.
Where this family live, and guide, they seem to get two or three times as much snow.
Worth a watch, even if you don't love mountains. Or snow.
The credits have rolled. I return to my warmer world. Changed a bit.
The Summit (2012)
Emotion over reason
So-so documentary portrays events of 2008 on K2.
Things are getting crowded on mountain tops. We had the massive loss of life on Everest this year. And Krakauer's documented event on Everest. And 2008 on K2.
- Bad things happen when too many people hook onto a rope.
- Slow climbers slow all climbers.
- Dependency on ropes is similarly fatal, and attracts novice climbers.
Pity this documentary focuses on after events, instead of pointing out that (1) leaving too late in the day, with (2) too many climbers on the same route at the same time, and (3) mixing in novice teams, on a mountain as deadly, unpredictable and daunting as K2 is a recipe for disaster. Throw in a dash of summit fever -- people not knowing when to turn around and live to climb another day -- and you have K2 in 2008.
Noticeably absent from this documentary is the voice of Ed Viesturs -- perhaps the safest high altitude climber of them all.
For what it is worth, I would have appreciated the dramatization moments being labeled as such. Or be removed/replaced with voice-over of the people involved and still/video images of K2.
Neither a great nor an awful documentary, let's at least try to learn from it and other sources. That would be showing respect for those who have gone before us.
The Enemies of Reason (2007)
(1) dousing. A farmer neighbor, one of the most modest people I've ever known, used dousing to find running water.
The douser walked a field and, when they walked over flowing water, their douse dipped. If you kept walking, it dipped again. And both the depth and flow rate of the water could be determined. He also cited numerous examples of people who used dousing to select a water well site, drilled there, and got water.
Here the water was not flowing, not a stream or flow to be crossed. Here people, sacks of 135 pounds of water, were trying to find 2 or 3 pounds of static water.
As to the douse, our neighbor cut a switch, a branch from a fruit tree on our property. He then demonstrated and, before our eyes turned the switch into a living thing, as he walked over a covered part of a stream that flowed through our property.
The douse tugged at the ground, and bent to a tremendous degree.
The swinging Bar-B-Que tines used in this film could not pull downward, but only swing in a plane parallel to the water.
The farmer even showed us how relaxed was his hold of the switch. By the way, my father ran the Instrumentation dept. at B.C.I.T., and I'm a chemical engineer.
(2) readers. There are sensitive people, who can read others Edgar Casey is perhaps the most famous example. It is important to emphasize that he did not like doing it. And with good reason -- being sensitive to and picking up the thoughts of others is a "negative" thing to do, opens the door to obsession and is very draining.
(3) astrology may be rubbish, but that doesn't prove there are not cycles, just that Astrology is flawed.
(4) vaccines. Some STILL include mercury. And did you know the average child gets about 100 of them now vs the handful given to children fifty years ago. Check out the documentary "The Greater Good" for more on this.
Waiting for Lightning (2012)
OK, not many have comment here.
So probably only Danny's biggest fans have left comments.
Here is a comment from a Joe Average.
- lot of build up for a pretty lame stunt, frankly.
- Jackass guys do this kind of thing routinely.
- shows a lot of the negative side of skateboard culture.
- lot of skateboard breaking.
- sequence at end of movie, after the great wall stunt, is ultra drawn out and boring -- Matt Hoffman does this...in his back yard.
Who the heck am I? At age 56 I recently took up skateboarding.
I got a longboard and use it daily. So I am not just some random outsider who "doesn't get it".
Bottom line: overly slick at times (opening & closing credits), very drawn out "main stunt", easily beaten by YouTube videos. Disappointing.
Visually annoying, but the content is profound
The writer/director made a big mistake, in my books, by making almost every graphic annoyingly jerky. I get why he did this, but a big mistake. Anyway, on to the content.
Cell phone radiation could be (appears to be) the cause of colony collapse disorder, and many types of human disease.
We are now bombarded with one million times the microwave radiation of a few decades ago. The same type of radiation that cooks food in your microwave oven.
I first found this video on vimeo...
I'd recommend a watch. I wish it wasn't so visually annoying. It would be worth a re-edit/redo on the visuals, imo.
AFV, the Movie
Why is America's Funniest Videos so popular? It is people more clumsy than ourselves. People falling and things breaking. Makes us feel great about our own life. So we like it.
Which brings us to Fargo. A movie about goof offs. There isn't a bright bulb in the package. Doesn't that make us all so special then.
No. It makes Fargo a "good" movie, when it really isn't. We are told it is good, it gets a 4 star rating according to the cable guide, so we all do as we are told and go along with it.
In reality it is a tale of pathetic souls. It is rarely funny, dramatic or insightful. We never end up caring for any of the characters, and none of them go through an ark of progression.
It is, in short, pointless.
There are a number of Coen movies I like, but this certainly is not one of them.
To each their own and mine is elsewhere.
Robot & Frank (2012)
So much more than most
It is nice to read the other (few) comments. Each comment is different from the other. Just like this movie is so different from other movies.
The tone of this movie is a delight. The music is perfectly chosen. Frank L. could not be better, nor could Peter Sarsgaard's voice.
And this is the director's first movie?! Truly can not wait for his next creation.
It is the perfect complement to the river of "meh" that Hollywood forces out each year.
One for the ages. And for all ages. Literally.
Simply awesome, in such an understated way. Enjoy.
So bad, in a series that is so good
Difficult to know where to begin.
Most 90 minute episodes of Sherlock feel like they are 45 minutes long.
This one felt like three hours in a torture chamber.
Annoying flashbacks? Check.
Hyper simplistic storyline? Check.
Ghosts and goblins? You bet.
Everything a complete imbecile could hope to inject into his retina.
Just a little heads-up for those who have enjoyed Sherlock up to this point and would rather not be subjected to one of the worst things ever "made for TV" -- pass on this episode.
For those considering the series, by all means watch everything BUT this episode. Or watch this first and then immensely enjoy the other episodes.
Fat Head (2009)
I like Morgan Spurlock and I liked Super Size Me. I wasn't expecting to like Fat Head. I certainly didn't expect to agree with it.
Tom Naughton won me over. He makes a lot of good points. But first, let me say that there is no point in complaining about Tom's comedic style. Morgan has plenty of that as well. Let's judge both directors on their facts.
Fat Head brings up important points about how Super Size Me presented information (or neglected to do so). FH also rips the government, and rightly so.
Got me researching Glycemic Index/Load, backing up what I was taught as a child (Adelle Davis household).
Well done, Tom. A worthy effort.