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The Last Dance (2020)
A Documentary From Jordan Himself
"The Last Dance" is a 10-episode time-consuming documentary that tells the last season of the Chicago Bulls and the career of the most popular NBA brand called Michael Jordan whom many of his worshippers calls the "Greatest Of All-Time" a.k.a G. O. A. T.
It presents the story of the last NBA season of the Bulls second three-peat in 1998 as well as the story of Michael Jordan from his OWN VIEW of how everything happened in his NBA career. No question that it took while for this documentary to be made. But when the alleged G. O. A. T felt a threat to his NBA career and the NBA experienced a decline in ratings and viewership, the documentary was released. With the pandemic that the world is experiencing, it was a great time for its release as the NBA had to cancel its season temporarily to provide safety for its fans who are watching the game live and its players. ESPN released it to remind everyone of who Michael Jordan is and why he is continued to be discussed after more than 20 years since he has played his last NBA game with the Washington Wizards.
No question that the documentary is here to promote the so-called "Jordan brand". It presents him as the Greatest NBA player in history and elevates his achievements into greater heights despite there were players who achieved more such as Wilt Chamberlain in terms of statistics (He is called the "Record Book" as he still holds 72 NBA records despite having retired from the NBA since 1973) and players who won more NBA titles like Bill Russell (11 titles in 13 seasons and 8-straight NBA titles) and some of his teammates from the Boston Celtics.
The documentary presents Michael Jordan to have achieved all the success that the Chicago Bulls that has attained by himself and minimizes the contribution of his teammates and coach. Also,it tries to condemn the late GM in Jerry Krause to have broken up the Bulls in the last season that was presented that could win more NBA titles.
No question that the Jordan worshippers will find this documentary truly exciting and will always be there on the internet to defend Jordan from any threats that other NBA players have achieved more by downgrading the eras that these NBA legends played or by minimizing the achievements that these legends have achieved. But personally, I think that Jordan deserves all the credit when he is responsible for helping the NBA to become a globally popular with his exciting brand of basketball and for Nike becoming a household name brand for shoes. Too bad that other NBA legends are relegated to lesser heights as Jordan continues to become a great source of profit for the league.
The Holy House
"Loreto: The Mystery of The Holy House" is a documentary that investigates a Catholic Church tradition about the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary where she once lived. Also, it tries to present other theories about how the Holy House got transferred from a town called Nazareth into Loreto,Italy.
The residence of the Blessed Virgin Mary definitely is essential to not only the Catholic Church but also to all sects of Christianity. It was in this place where the Annunciation happened when the Angel Gabriel told Virgin Mary about the coming of her son in Jesus Christ,who is known as the messiah sent by God for the salvation of mankind from their sins and restoration of their relationship with God.
The documentary was informative as it presents the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Christianity being the Mother of God. Also, we get to see different theories - traditional and modern - on how the holy residence was moved from one place to another. Finally, it will help the viewer to realize how God truly cared for mankind by sending a messiah to restore His relationship with Him and the role of the Blessed Virgin in all these.
Happiness And Fulfillment In A Religious Life
"All or Nothing: Sr. Clare Crockett" is a documentary about Sister Clare Crockett. It narrates her life story from being a wild child, a wannabe actress, and a Catholic nun. It tells her story on how she aspires to be famous after she landed a small role in the 2002 movie, "Sunday". She was a talented young woman who can sing, dance, act, and play musical instruments. But that all changed when she realized that God called on her to be on the religious life. She obeyed and became a Catholic nun. She did her job with enthusiam despite the fact that it was different from her ambition of wanting to be famous. In the end, she found fulfillment in the religious life using her talents to become of service of others.
This is an inspiring documentary especially in the modern world. We realize that many have placed God aside from their life and have focused on the temporal rewards that this world provide. Modern man has basically distanced from God. Sinfulness has become a way of life for many. But this documentary will serve as an inspiration especially for people who want to serve the religious life. One can find more joy and fulfimment in it especially just like Sister Clare despite not having the monetary rewards that an actress could possibly have. Also, we get to see how she lived as a Catholic nun and how she found joy and happiness in her life fulfilling her religious duties. This will serve as an inspiration for people wanting to seek religious life and for people who want to have a close relationship with God despite not being in the religious life. There is joy and happiness being with God and having the Lord being an important part of our life.
Jesus of Nazareth: Part 4 (1977)
Passion,Death And Resurrection
The fourth and last part of "Jesus of Nazareth" presents the passion,death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We get to witness how Jesus went through the trials and tribulations in life leading from getting betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane until he rose from the dead on the third day.
No question that the viewer would witness how Jesus went through these events by showing patience and perseverance which led to being rewarded in the end. Also, we get to witness how the Blessed Virgin Mary stayed close to her son as she went through them particularly in the cross. As for the resurrection, we get to see Jesus talk to his disciples which many felt viewers felt dissatisfied as it lacks power and emotion as he was just simply talking. I think credit should go to everyone who made the film for their sincerity in making this TV series that would allow the viewer to meditate on the messiah who came to the world to restore the relationship between God and mankind through the sacrifice that he made on the cross.
Jesus of Nazareth: Part 3 (1977)
Jesus In Jerusalem
The third part of "Jesus Of Nazareth" presents the continuing events of the public ministry of Jesus like his teachings and the numerous miracles that he has performed particularly in the city of Jerusalem. We get to witness how he deals with the Pharisees of different types such as Zerah and Nicodemus. We also get to witness the events of Judas Iscariot,who will play a vital role to the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
The episode continues to be a great one as we get to witness Jesus on different events. The viewer will make an effort to meditate on the person once more just like the someone reading the Holy Scriptures. Truly, the performance of the cast plays a vital part on the episode and special mention should be given to Sir Lawrence Olivier on his role as Nicodemus.
Esther and the King (1960)
Joan Collins In An Early Role
Joan Collins stars as a royal beauty in Queen Esther together with Richard Egan as King Ahasuerus and Denis O'Dea as Mordecai in this dated film known as "Esther and the King". The 1960 epic tells the story on how Esther interceded for the Hebrews to avoid the Holocaust and why the Purim was celebrated.
It was evidently a dated movie that would far enjoy after six decades it has been initially released. It was definitely slow-moving and it tried to please the audience more about the costumes used rather than the story it presents. Also, we get to see how actors acted back during the day when they expressed their dialogues which would probably not please modern audience. Lack of tension is also another thing that is not going for it. But in spite of these misgivings, one who is familiar with Esther would surely appreciate her story as one of the Biblical women characterized by courage in the Bible.
No question that this was an early role for Joan Collins. One would surely appreciate her both in her role as Queen Esther and the beauty that she possessed that made one would appreciate the dated film despite its flaws.
The Ice Road (2021)
Our Late Career Action Hero On A Rescue Mission
Even with an on-going pandemic, our late career action hero Liam Neeson will never be deterred for another of his typical action thriller for his fans in this movie known as "The Ice Road". Laurence Fishburne co-stars.
In it,we get to see an ice road driver that must lead his team of drivers towards a rescue mission to save trapped miners. They contend with several obstacles to the success of the mission such as the ocean, wind,cold weather, and massive strom. He also has to have a team that have a set of problems with their own as individuals which would add obstacle to them working as a group. Later, they get to see that there is more obstacles that they have to contend with when they realized what the real villains are all about.
As always, the movie was a typical of the "Taken" plotline just like most of the movies of our late career action hero in matters of storyline,predictability and contrivances. But nevertheless, Liam Neeson makes the movie serviceable as best being a talented actor that his fans continue to admire him as a late-career action hero that everybody loves. No question that Liam remains effective in these types of action thrillers and his fans (me included) will surely enjoy.
Fauci Is A Movie Star
"Fauci" is a documentary that presents the career of the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the current Chief Medical Advisor to the President and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,Anthony Fauci. His accomplishments as the top infection disease expert are discussed since working from the NIAID in 1968 until he became its director in 1984 and which he holds until today. Evidently, it tries to elevate him when to the greatest heights at a time with a lot of controversies going on during the pandemic.
The documentary presents a one-side view of Fauci. It does not present a fair view of the man. Also, we get to see numerous people provide feedback about working with him like George W. Bush, Susan Rice, Bono and Bill Gates. His family members like his wife Christine and daughter Jenny,who both feel the disappointment and lack of appreciation towards the man who has done decades of service or better yet "service" to the government for almost 40 years in refernce to the threats that the latter is getting. But he was a disappointment with the HIV epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic.
No question that the pandemic has resulted a big loss to many people around the globe. But evidently, many are disappointed and feel the emotion of fear of what is ahead in the future. Also,many are frustrated with him especially when he is not providing concrete guidance towards the public.
The New York Times called Fauci a movie star at the review of this film. Why not? He requested Brad Pitt to play him on Saturday Night Live (SNL) and actor gladly did. Too bad that people demand better from Fauci as the top infectious expert. Expertise is needed rather than glamor. We need a health expert and not a cultural phenomenon.
Triumph des Willens (1935)
A Propaganda Film About Nazis
Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph des Willens" (English translation: Triump of the Will) is a propaganda film about the Nazi Party during the rule of Adolf Hitler in Germany.
It presents to the viewer the 1934 congress of the Nazi party that was attended by close to a million Nazi supporters. It has speeches given by Nazi leaders such as Hitler together with Rudolf Hess, and Julies Streicher highlighting the reaction of the thousands of the public supporters. It also has the march at Nuremberg with footages of Sturmabteilung (SA) and Schutzstaffel (SS) troops.
The movie is definitely dated since it was shown more than eight decades ago. But from a technical standpoint, this was definitely a great propaganda film particularly with the emotion is presents especially during the time when it was released as if Hitler is propagandized as new leader that the German people have been waiting for. The use of aerial camera work was truly impressive. Finally, the use of music was truly effective as it has powerful emotion that one would probably be swayed for becoming part of the Nazi party during that time.
No question that Leni Riefenstahl is a great filmmaker whose career was deeply harmed by this Nazi propaganda film especially after World War II. She definitely has a great place as a filmmaker if put politics and history aside.
Mengele In South America
Argentine writer and director Lucía Puenzo makes a film adaptation of her novel "Wakolda" in this new film entitled as "The German Doctor".
It tells the story of a German immigrant who started to help an Argentine family with regards to their undersized child and their new baby twins wherein one happens to be a weakling. It starts on how the immigrant gets absorbed into the family until he was later identified in the film as Josef Mengele, a Nazi physician who is known for his human experiments that he conducted during World War II, and apparently was in hiding into South America evading from capture for his war crimes particularly from the Mossad.
The characteristic of the film maybe inert. But the atmosphere presents a wonderful nature on the story especially as the mystery of the Mengele unfolds. Tension rises especially when the family gets to read his medical notes about the twins and the undersized child. It provides the viewer an insight about Mengele's future goals in life particularly if he intends to proceed with what he has done in Auschwitz. Overall,it is a good film especially as a drama particularly for history buffs who likes accurate films. Definitely not a Tarantino-like movie wherein events of history changes.
Come Fly with Me (1963)
A View Of Airline Flight Of The Past
"Come Fly With Me" is a romantic comedy that stars Dolores Hart,Dolores Hart,Pamela Tiffin, and Lois Nettleton. It presents a story of three flight stewardess from a fictional Polar Atlantic Airways that got engaged in respective romantic relationships on their own.
The movie was obviously dated as it was shown decades ago. It presents romantic relationships that may be found far from laughable by today's movie audiences. But it presents to us three beautiful actresses. They are definitely eye-candies that would provide delight and interests especially for male audiences. No question that one would enjoy this especially if one is familiar of Dolores Hart,who was in her final film, as she is headed to the convent and who is now a Catholic nun.
Also,it is worth to note how an airline flight was conducted back in the day compared today particularly for those who are in regular flights at present. Finally, it also provides us great views of Europe during the time it was released.
Overall,it is a good film that would provide nostalgia of the past when the world was simpler and far from complex.
King Creole (1958)
Best Movie By Elvis Presley
"King Creole" stars a pre-Army Elvis Presley. In it,we get to see a high school student named Danny Fisher who gets involved with crooks as well as a romance with two women simultaneously. Dolores Hart, Walter Matthau, and Carolyn Jones co-star with him.
The movie was definitely considered the best that Elvis has made. No question that it was his best acting performance that he has ever made. Also,it truly catapulted him to becoming a great performer and a rock-and-roll icon. Credit should also be given to director Michael Curtiz.
The Last Dance: Episode X (2020)
Jordan Wanted More Titles But Reinsdorf Is Happy With Six
"Episode X" is the final episode of this time-consuming Michael Jordan documentary "The Last Dance". No question that it features the last year of the second three-peat of the Chicago Bulls. The blame was placed on the late Bulls GM Jerry Krause,who was blamed for the break-up of the Chicago Bulls. But evidently, the documentary tried to underplay Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf's role in doing it.
It was evident that a lot of the members of the Chicago Bulls such as Phil Jackson and Scottie Pippen are underpaid and have expiring contracts. The role players like Steve Kerr,who took game winning shots, also had expiring contract. Those people would not allow themselves to remain underpaid. Also, the Jordan brand has become expensive especially with Michael,who is now getting $33 million in the final year of his contract and is up for a renegotiation. Wow!!!!
Jerry Reinsdorf did the right thing by breaking up the Bulls. Maintaining an expensive team would not be logical especially with Michael already turning 36. Players get old. Everybody gets old. He knows that he has had enough with the Bulls dynasty.
Besides,Jerry Reinsdorf bought the Chicago Bulls for $16 million -before Jordan - and it was worth $307 million -after Jordan - in 1998. He knows that spending more money with the dynasty would be less profitable. He wants to rebuild. Enough of the Jordan brand. It is getting expensive. LOL
Looking back,he and fellow owners did the right thing. The Chicago Bulls is now worth $3.3 billion in 2021 - the 4th richest team of the NBA behind the New York Knicks,Golden State Warriors, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He is a businessman. His other team Chicago White Sox is now worth $1.6 billion.
No question,Reinsdorf did the right thing!!!!!
The Last Dance: Episode IX (2020)
Hyping The Flu Game
"Episode IX" presents another story about Michael Jordan particularly the flu game wherein it was stated that it was food poisoning. Everyone knows that he delivered during that game and that was one of the memorable events for Jordan worshippers.
No question that his determination in winning games was admirable. Also, we get to see how he tries to trash talk towards his opponents. But with the NBA and the referees behind his back, no question that the Bulls will deliver. No need to hype the flu game further.
Besides, Jordan worshippers will always consider him the "G. O. A. T" and the "having the most championships" after winning 6 rings despite the fact that NBA greats like Wilt Chamberlain,who led the league of in scoring,rebounding,and assists, still hold 72 NBA records that have yet to be broken after having retired from the NBA 47 years ago; and Bill Russell,who has won 11 championships in 13 seasons.
The Last Dance: Episode VIII (2020)
Badmouthing And Punching Teammates
"Episode VIII" presents another episode upon the return of Michael Jordan after his forgettable stint at the Minor League Baseball. He probably should have realized that you can't be the poster boy of two sports league. Also, he is no Bo Jackson,who excelled on both the NFL and the MLB.
It presents Jordan's aggression or better yet savageness and Jordan worshippers would consider it excellence. But he definitely was savage as he tries to beat up teammates like Steve Kerr in a scrimmage and how he badmouths his teammates worrying that he might never win a championship again. But the NBA is behind him and their will surely profit from him. No question that David Stern allowed numerous expansion teams to enter the NBA in order to dilute the teams and to allow Jordan to another crack at the championships. The teammates would definitely defend him being a hagiography and the poster boy of the NBA.
The Last Dance: Episode VII (2020)
More To The Story
"Episode VII" is an episode that tries to explain Michael Jordan's sudden departure from the NBA to minor league baseball after his father has been shot to death. No question that after winning the first three-peat that he suddenly left to another sport where he was far from excellent. The NBA made an explanation. Jordan made an explanation. The people around Jordan made an explanation. Even the explanation that Jordan's father wants him to play baseball was odd considering that he just passed away. The Jordan brand of the NBA was at its peak.
Looking at other documentaries that tried to explain that move, some Jordan worshippers even tried to say that Jordan left due to stress and the heavy emotion after his father was shot to death. But there is definitely more to the story as no explanation was convincing at all. I tried to research about the death of his father and it was only recently in 2020 when suspects were found after almost 30 years when James Jordan was shot dead. Surprise.....Surprise.... The same year the documentary was released. Also,it never made mention that Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf was the one who hired Jordan to play for the the Birmingham Barons considering that he was the owner too of the Chicago White Sox. Surprise...Surprise...
Overall,there definitely more to the story. But being a Jordan hagiography, no question that his other failings will be put aside like his stint at the Washington Wizards and being an owner of the faltering Charlotte Bobcats. They brought this baseball stint up because Jordan came back successfully for another three-peat.
The Last Dance: Episode VI (2020)
Make Way For The Jordan Brand
"Episode VI" is an episode that tries to humanize Jordan particularly his gambling. No question that it tries to present that he is a competitor and has great quest for winning. It is evident that he is an exciting player and a global icon that brought the NBA into great heights.
While it presents Jordan's love for winning,it becomes some sort of a cover for the Jordan brand of the NBA. It tries to hide facts that the documentary that Jordan is "one-of-a-kind" and the "G. O. A. T". Unfortunately, people who are truly familiar with the sport should realize that Jordan is a brand of the NBA. A protected brand that is. And Jordan worshippers will be there to defend him all the time. But one who knows what the NBA has become during the Jordan era should realize how his great teammates' success have been somewhat put into the blind spot and how his great coach has to move aside to make way for the Jordan brand. While the NBA increased in profits tremendously by capitalizing on Jordan as their brand, the sport has started to decline as becoming more of an entertainment which evidently lost the purity of the sport. No wonder that the NBA has become a star-driven sport since the Jordan brand took over.
The Last Dance: Episode V (2020)
The Jordan NBA Culture Takes Off
"Episode V" is the fifth episode that presents Kobe Bryant and two former Presidents from the Democratic Party, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. No question that ESPN,the show's producer tries to identify itself as woke. LOL
Also, we get to see the Chicago Bulls start to win NBA titles that. Added to that,we also see the NBA become a global sport giving Michael Jordan,its most exciting player and whom many consider as the "GOAT" (Greatest of All-Time) particularly by Jordan worshippers. It also presents the Dream Team that won the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics. We also get to see Jordan become product endorsers for Nike,McDonald's, and many others.
No question that it tries to present Jordan as a culture of the 90's. While it maybe true that he took the NBA into new heights, the NBA has started to become profit-driven to the detriment of the sport. No question that the NBA was in danger of no longer existing in the 1970's. Also, we get to see how Kobe Bryant tried to become the "Jordan copycat" being fully intelligent and knowing that the Jordan brand of the NBA has begun.
The Last Dance: Episode IV (2020)
Phil Jackson's Ability To Motivate Players And Role In The Bulls Dynasty
"Episode IV" presents a lot of topics in this 10-episode documentary about Michael Jordan in "The Last Dance". No question that we get to see how Coach Phil Jackson treated Dennis Rodman being a "different man". Also,we also get to see Jordan's non-forgiving attitude towards the Detroit Pistons that has prevented him in his early years to get into the NBA Finals.
No question that it could have been a good topic had they focused on the ability of Coach Phil Jackson and his ability to motivate players that led to his success as an NBA coach that led his teams to 11 championships. But that got overlooked somewhat to focus more on Michael Jordan,who is treated as the lone savior of the Chicago Bulls. Added to that,it just presented that Michael Jordan managed to overcome "The Jordan Rules" on his own. Also, it never presented how the NBA changed its rules to accommodate the Bulls in numerous NBA championships. No question that everything is focused on Jordan alone. One must realize that players like Bill Russell,who has won 11 rings, were lucky to have a great coach in Red Auerbach. The same is true with Kobe Bryant,who has won 5 rings under Phil Jackson. No question that Phil Jackson has a reputation of his own as a great coach. Wilt Chamberlain,whom I consider the true "Greatest Of All-Time" in NBA history were never fortunate enough to.
The Last Dance: Episode III (2020)
Best Role Player Of All-Time
"Episode III" presents the story of Dennis Rodman,the best role player of all-time.
No question that it presents the Jordan documentary presents Dennis as part of the internal struggles of the Chicago Bulls in the 1998 season and to Jordan as well to increase his mystique as well as his legacy to his fans.
No question this episode also tries to present Rodman in somewhat a bad light with his enigmatic personality and his bad boy behavior just like they did with Pippen in the previous episode. No question that Jordan is a bossy teammate who expects his teammates to align with his goals in the NBA but sometimes tries to boss them around by presenting himself above them due to his reputation that he obtained in the league and his dominance on the court. That definitely with the support of the Jordan worshippers of course.
But Jordan and the Jordan worshippers must realize that the second three-peat would not have happened without Rodman just as the two three-peats would not have happened without Pippen.
The Last Dance: Episode II (2020)
Best Teammate Of All-Time
Michael Jordan stated in Episode II,"Scottie Pippen is the "best teammate of all time".
The second episode focused on the story of Scottie from his rise to obscurity,his value to the Chicago Bulls, and how Krause treated him with the statement,"Anybody can be traded". No question that the series presented a lot of controversy especially when Scottie decided to postpone his rehab after getting poor negotiations with his contract.
While the focus on Michael and how he called Scottie being "selfish", it was evident that the 1998 season also presented how Michael Jordan overcame the internal struggles of the seasons including that of Scottie Pippen which unfortunately would obtain the support of the Jordan worshippers.
Jordan would have never won any title without Pippen.
The Last Dance: Episode I (2020)
The Will To Dominate
"Episode I" is the primary episode of the "The Last Dance". This is the start of the 10-episode hagiography of whom many considered as the "G. O. A. T" of "Greatest Of All-Time" in NBA history known and revered by everyone as Michael Jordan.
It presents his early beginnings from University of North Carolina; the tensions amid the Chicago Bulls dynasty with Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause during the start of1995-96 NBA season; and it presents his games at UNC Tar Heels particularly his game-winning basket in the 1982 NCAA Championship. Evidently, the Bulls were focused on winning their 6th championship.
The start of the episode presents a non-linear structure to present Michael's killer instinct throughout his career that has clearly defined him. Also,we get to witness how it has an identified villain in Krause,who apparently has intentions of breaking up the Bulls dynasty (With Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf I believe) on its way to their 6th championship in 8 years. No question that it presents a start and a lot of intrigue in the series together with the mystique that is known as Michael "Air" Jordan.
It was good episode despite of its structure as it asserts the will to dominate for one more time in the guy considered by many as the "G. O. A. T."
Superbook: Tithing (2021)
"Tithing" started with Chris undecided as to whether provide money to his Christian group or to save money for something he wants to purchase. Suddenly, Superbook takes Chris,Joy, and Gizmo to the Jerusalem Temple. During their adventure, they get to meet Jesus and listens to his teaching about making a donation in the temple.
After the adventure, this allowed Christ to make tithing a priority and becomes convinced that it is more important than the thing that he wants to purchase.
Superbook: Heroes of the Bible (2021)
"Heroes of the Bible" started when Chris wanted to forego a Bible Study group session. Surprisingly, Superbook took Chris,Joy, and Gizmo back in Ancient Israel to and visited several important people in the Bible such as Noah, Joshua and Rahab,Abraham, Joseph, David, Esther, and Daniel.
At the end of their adventure, Chris decided not to forge the Bible study but decided to attend to it and even decided to lead the group.
Superbook: The Rescue (2020)
Prayer And Piety
"The Rescue" starts when Chris,Joy, Gizmo and Professor Quantum travel on a trip along with Pastor Aaron and a youth group in an activity. Then,Superbook took them to witness events in the Holy Scriptures involving with Jonah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
After the adventure, it was presented that having an active prayer life is essential in one's relationship with God for they are powerful and it will allow us to obtain blessings from God.