The new documentary film, "Enemies of the State," (available on 7/30 on VOD), has all the ingredients for a good true-crime story. There are secret agents, hackers, FBI and CIA cover-ups, stolen thumb drives with confidential government files on them and a seemingly normal American family caught up in the middle.
But what exactly is "Enemies of the State" trying to say? It paints a daunting picture of what the government does behind-the-scenes when faced with a supposed national security threat, but even as it ended, I wasn't exactly sure what I had just been told, or even what to believe based on what had just been presented to me.
For those that thought that the recent Fyre Festival was a sham, wait until your memory is jogged about the disastrous Woodstock '99. All of its ugliness is brought to light in the stunning and captivating new HBO Max documentary, "Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Rage."
Review: Inquisitive doc 'Meat Me Halfway' offers up some delicious facts about the food industry, and ourselves
The best documentaries don't come in with just a purpose, but with a question. Although "Meat Me Halfway" may be low-budget and without massive distribution, it arrives both purposefully and with a genuine interest - a thirst - for answers to the questions it's raising.
This food documentary doesn't try to shove anything down the viewer's throat (pun intended), and it thrives on how accessible it's guide, Brian Kateman, is, and how passionately he approaches the idea that maybe there is middle-ground when it comes to eating a healthier diet.
Middle-ground, you say? That's not exactly where people tend to meet these days. Even the effort to do so feels refreshing.
The late, great celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain - who committed suicide in 2018 - would have absolutely hated "Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain."
That's really all that needs to be said about Morgan Neville's ("Won't You Be My Nieghbor?", "20 Feet from Stardom") latest bio-doc.
History is a funny thing, in that it takes blood, sweat and tears to sometimes set the record straight. We know what we are taught, and we don't know what we're not told about. And in some cases, history is simply lost to the winds of time.
Thank goodness then, for Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the prolific musician and frontman for the hip hop band "the Roots." He's the man responsible for preserving the memory of the Harlem Cultural Festival, a massive celebration of music, heritage, culture and Black Pride, that took course over six days spread out over the Summer of 1969. Questlove directs "Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)" and in doing so, he has not only preserved an important piece of history, but he's unearthed a treasure trove of clips that will live on forever.
The premise of "Fathom" (coming to Apple TV+ on Friday, June 25th) seems like one that is ripe for exploration in a documentary film. It follows two scientists on opposite ends of the world as they try to understand how humpback whales communicate with one another.
Unfortunately, this film gets too far into the sea-weeds, wrapped up in the analytical minutiae of their quest and never giving casual viewers anything to become excited about. The whales themselves could have carried this movie by themselves, so why does "Fathom" feel so land-locked?
Let's face it: It's Rita Moreno's world, and we're all just living in it.
The new documentary film about the legendary actress's life is proudly titled, "Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It," and it's a celebration of the now 89-year-old's journey...a true pioneer who somehow leaves us feeling like she has more amazing things to do left in front of her than she has already accomplished behind her. She provides a first-hand account of her experiences - the good, the bad and the ugly - over her stellar, unparalleled 78-year career in show business, and she reveals some shocking, intimate stories about herself and others that she's encountered along the way.
Whether this is your first brush with Rita Moreno or you've been a life-long fan, this documentary is a biopic done right. It's not all fluff and praise and the only knock on it is that it perhaps doesn't achieve the same level of spunk and glowing attitude as its subject. But then again, how do you possibly match Rita Moreno's energetic personality?
If you've never heard of the pop band Sparks, you're not alone. Heck, director Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead") is basically counting on that.
"The Sparks Brothers" is a loving, light trip down memory lane with two real-life brothers, Ron and Russell Mael, who just so happen to be the most influential musicians you've never heard of before.
Is the five-time Grammy-nominated techno artist and animal rights activist, Moby, a self-absorbed asshole or one of the modern geniuses of music? Whichever side you fall on (and yes, when it comes to whether or not people like Moby, there usually is no in-between), everyone should be able to agree that "Moby Doc" is just polarizing as its subject.
It's a fine line that the new historical documentary "Final Account" tries to walk: Is examining the Holocaust from the perspective of Germans too dangerous a venture? How does one do so without appearing sympathetic to such unthinkable evil?
As those who survived and/or lived during the time of The Holocaust become fewer and fewer as the years go by, it becomes more important than ever to archive first-hand accounts of what occurred, for history's sake but also for the sake of future generations, so that they can contextualize, if not ever truly understand, this unimaginable human catastrophe. But until now, we've rarely heard from Germans who actually were involved in Hitler's Third Reich...the thought of even doing so seems blasphemous, at best.
"Final Account" is a legacy project in more ways than one...it is also the final film from documentarian Luke Holland, who passed away in 2020 after a long battle with cancer. In this, his final film, Holland assembles interviews from nearly 300 elderly Nazi perpetrators, recorded over the last decade, and the results are stunning.
Stunning, mostly because of how relevant it feels to today - where men and women alike can find themselves pledging blind faith to a horrific man, and a horrific cause - and how absolutely mind-boggling it is to think that something like what happened in the 1930s and 1940s is still entirely possible...and how little we've learned.
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