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The Hollywood Complex

12 Mar

The Hollywood Complex | 2011 | Director: Dylan Nelson &
Dan Sturman | Site | IMDB
This is a documentary about children and their families traveling to Hollywood during the pilot season trying to become stars.  The documentary focuses on a specific apartment complex that caters to these families and a dozen children that reside there.  It really takes a deep look into what people sacrifice in order to help their children become stars.  There are so many people out there taking advantage of any person wanting to get into TV or films and when children are involved it’s even more upsetting.  The kids they follow are so motivated in becoming famous but seeing their reactions when they don’t get a part is sad.  I am definitely on the edge of whether or not I feel these kids should be going through this but all of them seem like this is what they truly want.  You just never know if it’s the parents pushing them or of this is something they decided on their own.  I recommend seeing this and you do get some good insight into Hollywood and the pilot season.


25 Feb

Neds | 2010 | Director: Peter Mullan | IMDB
This movie is about an exceptionally intelligent young boy in Glasgow named John whose situation is hard for him to escape. John is growing up in Scotland with an alcoholic abusive father and a brother who is deeply involved in gang violence.  It begins with John trying to stay away from the gangs and to not be like his older brother. The downward spiral that occurs in this film is heartbreaking because you see how hard John was trying to avoid the footsteps of his brother Continue reading

Alan Wake

8 Feb

Alan Wake | Third Person, Survival Horror,
Action, Adventure | 2010 | Site

In anticipation of the upcoming Alan Wake: American Nightmare coming to Xbox Live Arcade February 22, I thought we should review one of my all-time favorite games, Alan Wake. This is a survival horror, third person, action game starring writer Alan Wake. There is so much Alan Wake does right for an original i.p. Alan Wake is a writer suffering from writer’s block and to try and break through he goes on a vacation with his wife to the Pacific Northwest. Almost as soon as they arrive his wife disappears and he sets out to find her. At its core Alan Wake is a survival horror game Continue reading

Girl 27

6 Feb

Girl 27 | 2007 | Director: David Stenn | Site | IMDB
Girl 27 is the story of Patricia Douglas, an actress during the 1930s who in 1937 was attacked and raped at an MGM stag party that was disguised as a casting call. Director David Sten came across this story and contacted the reclusive Douglas to get her side of the story. It took numerous attempts over several months until he was finally able to get her to talk. For over seventy years Patricia Douglas never told anyone about the rape and dealt with the issue internally. Sten does a very good job of uncovering the details of the attack and everything MGM did to cover it up. He is successful in getting Douglas to finally come out with her side of what transpired leading up to, during and the years that followed the attack. The documentary was very well done but in my opinion fell just short of greatness. Getting professional opinions and contacting Douglas’ family helped bring her to life and show the type of person she was and ultimately what the attack did to her. However, it just wasn’t enough to push this film into greatness. I never really felt like I got to know Patricia Douglas or her family. It was a big victory in one person’s life and I wish that was explored a little more thoroughly. I really enjoyed this film despite its imperfections.

Girl 27 tells the story of a movie extra from 1937 and how MGM Studios covered up her rape. Patricia Douglas was a dancer for MGM Studios who in 1937 was invited to and attended what she though was a film shoot. Little did she know it was a stag party for all of the MGM Sales Representatives. She would be brutally raped and blacklisted from Hollywood. MGM Studios made sure Douglas’ face was plastered on the cover of every newspaper and her “false accusations” known to the public. The director David Stenn did a very good job of finding out what really happened to Douglas. She did not tell anyone about that night for over 65 years, including her own daughter. Stenn tried contacting Douglas and at first she was resistant but he never gave up. Eventually she began to open up and her side of the story was heard. It is so unfortunate how the rape and cover up destroyed a woman’s life. Hopefully getting her story out there gave her peace in the end.

Girl 27 Trailer

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

5 Feb

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front | 2011 |
Directors: Marshall Curry & Sam Cullman | Site | IMDB

Nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary, If a Tree Falls, is the story of “Eco Terrorist” Daniel McGowen and the creation and destruction of the Earth Liberation Front. Through first hand interviews Daniel tells his story of being an average college kid turned activist to being arrested and labeled an eco terrorist. Very reminiscent of The Weather Underground, this film walks you through the creation of the Earth Liberation Front and through each act of arson and property destruction. Documentaries ride a very thin line of being exceptional, moving and causing awareness. If a Tree Falls manages to effortlessly fall on the right side of this problem. This film is able to bring you to understand both sides of the equation sympathetically. You are left feeling sorry for the businesses that suffered the wrath of the Earth Liberation Front while watching video after video of police and local law enforcement attacking and beating peaceful protestors. The E.L.F.’s issues were important and deserved to be publicly debated; but were swat down at every turn. The hypocrisy of each side has its points shown as well. A great sub-story to this film is the government’s destructive overuse and qualification of terrorism. It has become the government’s golden ticket for ridding the U.S. of anything it deems unlawful or having a strong opposing view. Daniel’s story will move you and rightfully hit you in the pit of your stomach. What do you do when the thing you love is being destroyed?

This documentary gives you a rare behind the scenes look at the extreme environmental group the Earth Liberation Front. Its focus is on Daniel McGowan, a former member of the E.L.F. McGowen tells the story of what he is going through while possibly facing over two life sentences in prison. I thought this documentary was great because it really opens up the argument on what is considered terrorism and what a person would do to protect something they love and believe in. The Environmental Liberation Front set over ten fires in the American northwest. No deaths ever occurred. They made sure that nobody would be hurt. For all intents and purposes they were only trying to be heard. Due to the fact several other local environmental groups were getting pepper sprayed, beaten and arrested during their non-violent protests. The FBI gave the E.L.F. the label of “Eco-Terrorists” and tricked the members into confessing. Thus bringing the group down and arresting its members roughly 5 years after it had been dismantled. This documentary was well done and gave great insight into a group who was wrongly labeled as terrorists.

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front Trailer

David Cross: Let America Laugh

2 Feb

David Cross: Let America Laugh | 2003 | Directors: Lance Bangs,
David Cross | IMDB

David Cross: Let America Laugh is a documentary that follows comedian/actor David Cross during his 2002 comedy tour for his album Shut Up You Fucking Baby. This is one of my favorite comedy tour films. If you are fan of David Cross or of the “alternative” comedy scene there is a lot in this film for you. You are privy to hours of behind the scenes antics and encounters Cross faces throughout his tour. You get very brief snip-its from his act. Where Cross shines is in his interactions with his tour mates, fans and club owners Continue reading

Point Blank

8 Jan

Point Blank | 2010 | Director: Fred Cavayé | Site | IMDB
The opening scene cuts from black as a man crashes through a door, into a fence and starts running at full speed whilst being chase. It is almost non-stop action without the cost of plot, characters or emotion. The lead, Gilles Lellouche, was amazing as the protagonist trying to get his very pregnant wife back. The film leads you through some early twists that will shock you and pull you deeper into the story. Most thrillers will wait to about the last third of the film to lay some kind of twist on you. Point Blank gives you several right away and saves you from the later predictable twist ending, which compliments the story telling. The conclusion wraps everything up both believably and with a sense of violent karmic harmony. Break-neck paced and painfully suspenseful.

Great French action film from the first scene this movie is non-stop action.  The main actor, who I first saw in Tell No One, is fantastic.  I was yelling at the TV at some scenes because the suspense of this movie had me held.  It’s a movie you can draw the lines too but you don’t really know for sure which way they will go.  A definite must see and if you haven’t seen Tell No One see it!!!!!

Point Blank Trailer

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