Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oh Religion... You're So Silly!

What happens when you combine the minds of Larry Charles (Director of Borat) and Bill Maher (original political comedian) and then mix the combination together with a little religious satire? No, you don't get the next Pope... or Pope on Ice (though I think I have a good idea going there). Anyway, what you DO get is what could arguably be one of the funniest, and most protested, documentaries of the year: Religulous

That's right folks, Michael Moore step aside, there's a new man America will hate and his name is Bill Maher. Actually, most people have already sorta made up their minds about him already, but I'm sure this will only fuel their respective fires. Personally, I think the guy is a more serious version of Jon Stewert and while I won't say I agree with him on everything, I'm glad he isn't afraid to say what he believes.

Anyway, the trailer for this sure to be outrageous (and outraging) documentary looks inspiring and I'll be shocked if it doesn't live up to the hype.

iDocumentary... Seriously?!?

Ok. I'm a Mac user. I've been one all my life and will most likely remain one until the end of time... heck, I am a huge fan of the commercials even, but I do think Macs get way too much love these days. Seriously, I think there are at least 500 people here in the United States who are just wishing their Mac computers would turn into people so they could have sexual relations with them.

Case in point: Apple is getting the documentary treatment. Thankfully, the film is not called "iDocumentary" or "iFilm" or any number of other cheesy iTitles that may exist. Under the auspicious name of Welcome to Macintosh, The documentary for the rest of us, the film is set to air in front of the crowds of 2008 IngenuityFest: Cleveland and the 4th Globians Documentary Film Festival.

Anyway, this whole story sorta makes me wish I wasn't a Mac user, but oh well. I'm sure the Apple lovers of the world will flock to see this. As soon as a trailer shows up, I'll get y'all connected to it, but in the meantime, here's some more details for you.

Now, if I were to make a documentary for IngenuityFest, I'd focus on this little bugger...

I'm Gonzo for Gonzo Beans!

"One toke? You poor fool! Wait till you see those goddamn bats. "

God Bless Hunter S. Thompson! A man so bizarre you always wanted to meet him, but never befriend him. And finally, after years of denial by Hollywood, there appears to be a film worthy enough to represent the man's life. The upcoming film is, appropriately titled, Gonzo. Oscar-award winning director Alex Gibney develops (what appears to be) a wildly entertaining look into the life of of Thompson himself.

I must say too, if there is one director I want to handle a documentary on Hunter S. Thompson, I'm definitely going to select Gibney. He's got the right style for this type of film and I can't wait to see the final product this July. If the film is anything remotely close to the quality of the trailer, then I'm sold a dozen times over. Check it out for yourself and then prepare yourself by watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas over and over and over again.

Seriously... check out the quotes from Fear and Loathing. Just brilliant writing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

High School Blows!

That's right. High school wasn't all that and a bag of potato chips. If it was, I would have been slightly nurished. But that's ok, because while high school itself was terrible, Hollywood's version of high school was amazing! Think about it: 16 Candles, Saved by the Bell, Better Off Dead, Back to the Future, I mean the list goes on and on and on.

Unfortunately, documentaries never really had an answer for the high school dramas. I mean, Hoop Dreams sorta works, but not really. Not in the same sense that most of us have come to know and love. Maybe that's why few crowds flock to theaters now adays.

hmmm.... We need a Teen movie!!!

Oh thank you award winning director Nanette Burstein for answering the call. That's right. Burstein's film American Teen was a hit at Sundance for playing the exact role previously dominated by late 1980s, early 1990s Hollywood. The Film follows five high school seniors (the jock, the princess, the heart throb, the nerd and the rebel) as they deal with their final years of teenage bliss.

How will it end? You'll have to check out the film yourself July 25th. But if you're still desperate, head on over to the film's website for more info, trailers and video.

Saying no to Coke and Kickin' Ass in the Process

So maybe you're like me and you had to deal with your parents constantly telling you not to "do drugs" or "drink the booze"... but you know what, they just didn't know me. I was an angsty 8 year old going no where fast and i needed an escape! OK!


But enough about my troubled past, let's talk those youngsta's who've taken a completely different approach.

It's called the straight edge movement and its the subject of an hour long documentary titled "Inside Straight Edge" that aired on National Geographic a few weeks back. Now, these kids choose to abstain from alcohol, tobacco products, and drugs and try to resist peer pressure. Now I know what you are thinking. Wow, these kids sound lame. But before you go up to them and start mocking them, be forewarned: there is a more militant, fanatical groups that use their intense focus on wiping out substance abuse as justification for violence.

That's right, kids. Drugs and sex is bad, but its perfectly OK to kick the crap out of anyone you please! Obviously this is a subject that could be exploited either way, so it's good to know that director Shadrack Smith has taken every attempt possible to keep this as neutral as possible.

So if you can sober up and put down your ciggy for a second or two, you might want to check out this documentary.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Sick and Twisted Documentary...

I want you to think of the most bizarre situation possible. Go ahead. Make it so ridiculous and off the wall that if you told anyone this sorta thing occurred they’d probably scream “Shut, yo mouth!” Got the idea? Ok, good. $10 says I can top it. Try this on for size: a subculture of Israeli-made Nazi fetish porn. Yea. Oh, don't worry, I’m not that sick to actually imagine that on my own, this actually is true!

Still don’t believe me. Would you be shocked if I told you there is already a documentary on the subject that’s making the film festival rounds? Making things even more interesting, the director of the film (titled Stalags) is Ari Libsker, an Israeli filmmaker and grandson of Holocaust survivors. Obviously this documentary is going to hold a lot of complex emotions and mindsets within it, but it looks like Libsker has come up with a fascinating subject to investigate.

Stalags interweaves interviews with fans of the literature (if we want to call it that) and its authors with black and white films and investigations into the links to psychological damages caused by the Nazis on the Jewish community as a whole. I am looking for a trailer or more widespread release date for this documentary, but in the meantime, check out this review in the Washington Square News.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

You know what the most influential figure in recent sports history is? No, it’s not Mark Cuban (though, he might be a close second). It's steroids. Literally, whether you’re watching horse racing, Barry Bonds or an Olympic track athlete, you’re bound to witness the effects of steroids. Don’t believe me? Check out the trailer for the documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster. The film features Christopher Bell, a 'roided version of Michael Moore (no really, the guy is jacked, and yet still sounds oddly like Moore), as he investigates the United States use of steroids. Trust me, one look at the trailer and you’ll be hooked like Sylvester Stallone looking for a quick way to get back into Rambo shape.

P.S. In case your curious, steroids CAN be funny…

RFK Must Die!... it's a film, not my personal view

I’m sure many of you know that the fortieth anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s assassination recently passed. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about the former Senator/presidential candidate (nor did I see the recent star studded Hollywood tribute to him), so I can’t say one way or the other if I would have voted for him several decades back. But, I do know enough about his assassination that it is certainly an interesting topic to investigate and as such, I’m curious to see the recent documentary RFK Must Die.

The documentary apparently contains rare footage while investigating the mystery surrounding his death. In other words, conspiracy theorists will be drooling over this DVD cover. The film is already out on DVD, but if you’d like to be swayed by marketing ploys, the website for the film is actually kinda cool. So head on over to and see for yourself.