Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wikipedia Is Truth

It may surprise you, but some people think Wikipedia is not the end-all-be-all of information. In fact, some people think it's actually "bad" for society (bad= anything detrimental to the well being of something or someone, like when I wake up to my cat scratching "redrum" into my bed post). Personally, I think these people are crazy neo-fascists, I mean, so what if my friend got his name into his high school's list of famous graduates by claiming he was a superhero. I mean, who hasn't let the bit of information slip through?

Ok, ok. I'll admit, Wikipedia is flawed, but don't take my word or argument for it, check out a recent discussion of the film over at the Orlando Sentinel. The 48-minute documentary is by Dutch filmmaker IJsbrand van Veelen, so expect a good serious discussion.

p.s. I don't actually think anti-Wikipedia-ites are neo-fascists.... but come on, any argument can be settled with one click of the button! How can you NOT want that resource? For instance, do bears actually eat beats? Not sure? I know one way to quickly find out... (well, two if you can catch the TV show reference)

Iron Maiden Makes You The Filmmaker!

So, the great thing about being a documentary filmmaker is that, in theory, you don't have to do any of the "hard work" and film, all you have to do is edit that crap together and Bam(!) that Oscar is yours. Great's like Steve James and others have already made great use of this notion and now filmmakers Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn (of Metal: A Headbanger's Journey and soon-to-be-released follow-up Global Metal) are following in their footsteps and using user submitted videos of the band.

Now, if you are a fan (and may God help you if you are), you are unfortunately too late to submit your own fan vids, but that's ok, because you're getting a tour video of your favorite band in the near future. So suck it up and check out more details over at

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Deadliest Catch Begins Again

I'm sure most of you shun from the idea of Reality TV and probably just as many of you shun from TV based on reality (sounds like the same thing, but please, there is a big difference between Big Brother and Dirty Jobs), but I hope you all check out the reality show that begot all other cool reality shows: Deadliest Catch. Seriously, this is a very cool and very interesting look at those crazy Alaskan Crab fishermen who brave stormy seas so the rest of us can eat delicious nautical meals.
Yes, the latest season started in mid-April but it's bound to continue in the wonderful tradition it has developed, and Discovery Channel is known for repeating shows like Mike Tyson repeats criminal offenses. So head on over to their website, or just tune in at 9 PM to enjoy the wonderfulness.

Release Announcements

So in the first week back after our lil hiatus, I felt the need to repay you all with some nice little tips on upcoming releases to check out... scratch that, need to check out. Well, unfortunately, sometimes I fall in love with films that have already been released... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't ignore them! Three excellent films hit theaters around the U.S. (sorry non-Americans we are unfortunately U.S. focused for the time being, I'm not proud of it, it's just how it is) and two films slid into DVD shelves around the globe. So, go! Quickly check them out, before you find yourself missing out on the latest Water-Cooler Gossip.

- Young at Heart
Coldplay, the Clash and Jimi Hendrix will never sound the same once you've heard the Young@Heart chorus, a group of Massachusetts senior citizens who thrill audiences worldwide with their unusual -- and unusually poignant -- covers of rock songs. Stephen Walker's humane and heartwarming documentary, which premiered at Sundance in 2008, follows the elderly ensemble as they prepare their new show (NetFlix).

- Bra Boys
This documentary focuses on the history and struggles of the Bra Boys, a notorious surf gang from the Australian suburb of Maroubra that's earned a reputation for being legendary partiers, rebellious thugs and incredible big-wave surfers. Continually at odds with the authorities, the tattooed and often criticized Bra Boys have had to rely on one another to survive in a society that would just as well see them displaced (NetFlix).

- Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden
In his directorial follow-up to the breakthrough hit Super Size Me, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock gamely tries to one-up the U.S. government by finding Osama Bin Laden. The wry documentarian reportedly shot more than 800 hours of footage while scouring every nook and cranny of Afghanistan and the Middle East in pursuit of the infamous leader. The film had its much-anticipated world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival (NetFlix).

- Clash Documentary
The Clash Live: Revolution Rock is an electrifying new performance documentary film, compiling an extraordinary range of peak live concert and live studio performances and more from the Clash, the groundbreaking British band that defined and expanded the power of punk rock in the 1970s, 1980s and beyond (PBS).

- War Dance
Set in civil war-ravaged Northern Uganda, this Best Documentary nominee for the 2008 Oscars follows the lives of three youngsters who attend school in a refugee camp and find hope through a rich tradition of song and dance. Coming from a world in which children are abducted from their families and forced to fight in the rebel army, these kids give it their all when they travel to the capital city to take part in the prestigious Kampala Music Festival (NetFlix).

Updated Lists of Favorites

Finally. After pondering long and hard to determine the final selections, we've updated our lists of favorite documentaries to watch. It was tough and we had to do a lot of soul searching ('soul searching' = 'bare knuckle boxing'), but we think the final product is worthy of your time and viewing pleasure. There are 10 personal favorites followed by 8 films we think all film buffs should see and 8 films we believe work as excellent bait to reel in those who see little merit/entertainment in documentary films.

You might be asking, "why 8?" Well, much like the Democratic party's nomination process, films receive "delegate votes" to determine whats worthy to be on our lists. Unfortunately, two of the films that didn't win the top spot (but finished in the respectable top 10 arena) were too upset/stubborn to accept their rank or return their "delegate votes." Thus, we are left with only 8 positions for the time being.

And if you REALLY believed that last reasoning... I got some magic beans to sell you.

Anyway, enjoy the lists, we'll be back to updating the site with news stories starting this week!!!