People can't seem to get enough of video games. And with their massive popularity has come a slew of documentaries on what is a fairly recent industry: The Video Game Industry. There was the 2014 documentary "Video Games: The Movie," the 2017 doc "Easy to Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari" and just recently, the Netflix docu-series "High Score." It's now time for CBS All Access to throw their hat in the ring with "Console Wars" - their first original documentary film - that focuses in specifically on the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo that played out in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s.
There is lots of buzz surrounding the new Netflix documentary, "The Social Dilemma," but there are actually several additional documentaries - four in particular - worth seeking out on streaming...all of which are currently available or will be available in the coming week.
Here's our reviews of all of them, and when/where you can locate them:
Review: 'The Celiac Project' shines a much-needed light on the often misunderstood ailment of Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease - you may be surprised to find out - is not an "allergy" or a "sensitivity" to gluten. It is, in fact, an auto-immune disease, in which the body attacks the protein "gluten" (found in wheat, barley and rye) once it enters the digestive system.
The beauty of the new documentary "The Celiac Project," is that it is not a chalkboard lecture. Instead, filmmaker Michael Frolichstein dives into his own Celiac diagnosis, and the diagnosis of one of his young nephews, giving the audience a personalized Celiac story that is far more effective than what someone can ascertain about the Disease from a blog post or textbook.
Most people know David Arquette as an actor. He's most recognizable as the lovable Deputy Dewey Riley from the "Scream" movie franchise, and back in the 90s, was thought of as one of Hollywood's best and brightest young up-and-coming actors. He graced the cover of Vanity Fair in 1996 alongside contemporaries like Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Tim Roth and Matthew McConaughey.
The explosion that was supposed to be a promising acting career never quite happened. Instead, David Arquette became the WCW Heavyweight Wrestling Champion of the World.
And if that seems far-fetched, just get a load of the appropriately-named new doc, "You Cannot Kill David Arquette."
What happens when 1100 young men get together for a Summer leadership program in Texas, where they must run a successful political campaign and elect a "Governor"? The alarming and fully immersive documentary "Boys State" answers this question and gives us insight into how messy our system really is.
If you're still buzzing from watching "Hamilton" on Disney+, HULU has answered your prayers. The new documentary called "We Are Freestyle Love Supreme" is a necessary watch for any fan of "Hamilton," and because I've yet to encounter anyone who has seen it and ISN'T a fan, then that means that this documentary is for us all.
The musical icon that is Lin-Manuel Miranda mentions a quote from Orson Welles in "We Are Freestyle Love Supreme." The quote says: "If you want to tell a story with a happy ending, it depends on where you want to end the story." For Miranda, his "happy ending" story is still being written, and you could have ended it at any point past 2015 and it would still seem like a fairy-tale. Of course that year, Miranda's "Hamilton" exploded onto the scene and the stage - and our culture - have never been the same.
Anybody who has seen "Hamilton" knows how profoundly talented Lin-Manuel Miranda is, but I'm here to say: You ain't seen nothin' yet until you see him in this doc. Miraculously, a camera was rolling waaaaay back in 2005, which was a pretty big year for the improv-hip-hop group, "Freestyle Love Supreme," a group of rag-tag, sensationally talented kids whose creative limits knew no bounds.
What is "improv-hip-hop" you might ask? Think of improvisational comedy, where a comedian doesn't work off of a script or memorized lines, and feeds off of the audience in order to create comedy right their on stage. Well, this is the same, but instead of telling a joke, this group would make up a rap. Improv by itself is an energy that cannot be bottled...it's highs of doing it successfully are only matched by the lows of bombing at it.
And Miranda wasn't the only "Hamilton" star at the center of it. Isn't it heart-warming to know that Alexander Hamilton wasn't just George Washington's "right-hand man," but that the actor who played him on-stage, Chris Jackson, also goes way back with his buddy "Lin-Man", and was also a part of Freestyle Love Supreme? And that "Hamilton" director Tommy Kail was too?
"We Are Freestyle Love Supreme" plays as a super-hero origin movie, and to see these now-legendary stars back in their unpolished youth is quite inspirational. Their trajectory towards world fame seems inevitable now, seeing just how talented this group of people was. The movie doesn't just focus on the stars we know though, but also the other players who might have missed out on the fame that "Hamilton" brought, but who remain ever a part of Miranda's life.
While it's humbling to hear Miranda discuss how he gets the same nerves in his stomach before each and every performance, or how the "Darkwing Duck" theme-song played a role in Miranda's early development, but the doc also includes an interesting side-story about one of the group's members, the uber-talented Utkarsh Ambudkar. Viewers may recognize him from movies like "Pitch Perfect" or a number of TV roles, but wait until you hear how he was almost Aaron Burr. I mean, I could never imagine Aaron Burr as anyone else that Leslie Odom Jr., but hearing how Utkarsh missed out on the role is a tragedy.
The fun of "We Are Freestyle Love Supreme" is not just that it works as a rags-to-riches success story, but how it deepens the meaning of some of the themes Miranda deals with in "Hamilton." This doc IS the room where it happened, and there's a million things that Miranda and crew STILL haven't done...just you wait.
Genre: Music, Documentary.
Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
Featuring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Jackson, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Thomas Kail, Andrew Bancroft, James Monroe Iglehart.
Directed by Andrew Fried.
"We Are Freestyle Love Supreme" is now streaming only on HULU.
It's the biggest scam that you don't remember hearing about. But in HBO's new six-part docu-series, "McMillion$" (debuting on HBO on Monday, February 3rd), the plastic tab is ripped back to uncover one of the most shocking, stranger-than-fiction crime stories in American history, involving our country's #1 fast-food chain and its incredibly popular annual Monopoly Game promotion.
Morgan Spurlock is back...but his hiatus may have been longer than you've realized (more on that in a bit). But this is one example where you should try separating the message from the messenger, because there is a lot of important, eye-opening stuff to swallow here in his latest doc.
What a talent, what a voice. In this new celebratory music doc, you have two choices: You can fall in love with Linda Ronstadt all over again, or you can fall in love with her for the first time.
To anyone who grew up in the 80s, this new He-Man doc is a fun and insightful trip down memory lane.
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