Monday, September 07, 2015

I Love Documentaries - Part 5

It has been too long.  It has been 28 months and it is time for another list of documentaries.

It is my annual (or bi-annual or periodic) list of documentaries I have seen since last time I did this and that I would label as "Bob-Approved" or strong to quite strong.

I absolutely love watching documentaries and over the course of time I have become a bit of a source for some of you on what documentaries are worth seeing and which are not.

Rather than ripping some that I found to be a waste of time, I have assembled lists that I think if you select, you will enjoy your documentary experience.  I think many of these can be found on Netflix or Itunes, but since rights to these films change rather frequently, I will make you figure that out on your own because by the time you read this, the information about where to find them might be outdated.

Now, before we enter our 5th edition list, please find here the 1st 4 versions of this list.

1. I Love Documentaries - Part 1 - From August 2008
2. I Love Documentaries - Part 2 - From March 2010
3. I Love Documentaries - Part 3 - From March 2012
4. I Love Documentaries - Part 4 - From May 2013

And now, all of the documentaries (27 in all) that I think are worth your time that I have seen and enjoyed in the last 28 months - with a short (some are extremely short) summary courtesy of IMDB.  I admit that this is a lengthy list, but they are all good films in my opinon.  I will bold the best 5, but beyond that I don't want to rank these because they are all so different and are worthy films.


Craigslist Joe - 2012

In a time when America's economy was crumbling and sense of community was in question, one guy left everything behind to see if he could survive solely on the support and goodwill of the 21st century's new town square: Craigslist.

Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Times of Tim Heatherington - 2013

Documentary about deceased photojournalist Tim Hetherington directed by Sebastian Junger. Together with his friend and long-term collaborator Sebastian, Tim had travelled the world documenting conflicts in Afghanistan, Liberia and Libya among other locations. Best known for their 2010 film 'Restrepo' which was nominated for an Academy Award, the two strived to capture the humanity within conflict situations and with their images they focused on the individuals involved and their experiences of the violence surrounding them. Unfortunately, in 2011 Tim was killed by a mortar blast and this film is a tribute and celebration of the legacy he has left behind and includes Sebastian conducting interviews with those who knew Tim best.

Central Park Five - 2012

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

I Am - 2010
Director Tom Shadyac speaks with intellectual and spiritual leaders about what's wrong with our world and how we can improve both it and the way we live in it.

The Woman Who Wasn't There - 2012
The Woman Who Wasn't There is a psychological thriller that goes inside the mind of history's most infamous 9/11 survivor.

Sound City - 2013
A documentary directed by Dave Grohl on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California.

Boys of Summer - 2010
Story of how Curacao has sent their little league team to the World Series for seven consecutive years. While these children carry a nation's pride, they're also athletes competing at the highest level and having a great time.

The Crash Reel - 2013
Fifteen years of verite footage show the epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, childhood friends who become number one and two in the world leading up to the Vancouver Winter Olympics, pushing one another to ever more dangerous tricks, until Kevin crashes on a Park City half-pipe, barely surviving. As Kevin recovers from his injury, Shaun wins Gold. Now all Kevin wants to do is get on his snowboard again, even though medics and family fear this could kill him. We also celebrate Sarah Burke who crashed in Park City and died January 19, 2012.

Knuckleball! - 2012
A documentary that showcases baseball's most unpredictable pitch.

Dancing Outlaw - 1991
This documentary short, produced for West Virginia public TV's "Different Drummer" series, introduces us to Jesco White, a hard-living, tap-dancing Boone County resident whose repeated run-ins with the law have interfered with his dream of becoming as renowned a "mountain dancer" as his late father, D. Ray White. We meet Jesco's three distinct personalities; the gentle and loving Jesse, the violent and dangerous Jesco, and the extremely strange Elvis. We also encounter various members of Jesco's family, all nearly as eccentric as Jesco himself. You will ask, "Are these people for real?" Yes, they are.

Blackfish - 2013

A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Hot Coffee - 2011
How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a right wing crusade to weaken civil justice.

Burn - 2012
A documentary about Detroit told through the eyes of firefighters charged with the thankless task of saving a city that many have written off as dead.

Schooled: The Price of College Sports - 2013
A documentary that examines how college sports in America became a billion dollar enterprise built on the backs of its unpaid athletes.

Touching the Void - 2003
The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

David Beckham: Into The Unknown - 2014
After 22 years of playing for the world's greatest football teams, David Beckham has retired and he has the freedom to do whatever he wants. To mark the occasion he's going on an adventure. He's chosen Brazil, and he's taking 3 of his closest friends to join him on this once in a lifetime experience. Starting with a beach foot-volleyball game in Rio, they travel deep into the Amazon, ending up with the remote Yanonami tribe, with David desperately trying to explain the beautiful game.

One Night In Turin - 2010
Before the Premier League and multi-million pound salaries, in England 'football' was a dirty word. The game was in disgrace, the fans, hooligans, the nation, it seemed, were all played out. Then there was Italia '90 - The World Cup - a shot at redemption. But this was no ordinary World Cup and no ordinary time. The manager, Sir Bobby Robson, was under intense media scrutiny, and his team described as 'donkeys'. Yet over six short weeks, through their heroic exploits they united a nation, coming within a heart beat of reaching the World Cup Final. Narrated by Gary Oldman, featuring match action - from Platt's last-gasp winner against Belgium to the silky skills of Gazza and the cool finishing of Linekar - and previously unseen footage, this is the definitive story of England's greatest footballing adventure on foreign far.

Battered Bastards of Baseball - 2014
The Battered Bastards of Baseball is one of baseball's last great, unheralded true stories. In 1973, Hollywood veteran Bing Russell (best known for playing Deputy Clem on "Bonanza") created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the legendary Portland Mavericks. Bing operated without a Major League affiliation while playing in a city that was considered a wasteland for professional baseball. Tryouts for the Mavericks, which were open to the public, were filled with hopefuls who arrived in droves from every state in America, many of whom had been rejected by organized baseball. The Battered Bastards of Baseball is as much about the independent spirit as it is about baseball. The Mavericks' in your face attitude was contagious to fans, and during their short reign, they - and Bing Russell - basically held up their middle finger to the sports establishment and said we're playing this game on our terms, not yours. They were the real life Bad News Bears.

Somm - 2012
Four sommeliers attempt to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world.

Into the Abyss - 2011
Directed by Werner Herzog, Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.

Citizenfour - 2014
A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

Florida Man - 2015
Ok, weired people are everywhere. But in this documentary short you will get to know some real characters based in the sunshine state Florida. No beaches, theme parks and plastic women, this film shows us a landscape of convenience stores, drug stores and supermarkets.

McConkey - 2013

An examination of the legacy one athlete left to the progression of his sports.

Marley - 2012

A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.

An Honest Liar - 2014

The life and career of the renowned stage magician turned scientific skeptic of the paranormal, James Randi.

Jack To A King: The Swansea City Story - 2014

Jack to a King. The remarkable true story of a rag tag group of football fans who saved their club from oblivion and took them to the richest game in World Football. The Championship Play Off Final, with the ultimate prize being a place in the Premier League.

Champs - 2015
A documentary on boxing greats Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins examines their lives in and out of the ring.


There you have it.
That is now, with all 5 lists, 114 documentaries for you. Stay Thirsty, my friends.

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