Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story
Miss World (2013/Linor
(2015/First Run DVD)/Loving
(2016/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)
C+/B-/C+/B & C+ Sound: C+/C+/C+/B & C+ Extras:
B-/B/C/B- Films: B
many years, we have seen a movement to make being mean and hateful
palatable and it is one of the worst things I have seen in my
lifetime. Racism, sexism, sexual assault as a weapon, looksism,
bullying, outright hatred of women, intimidation, official
oppression, even homophobia and much, much more. Our next releases
cover a wide range of these things at their worst and it is not the
first time we have encountered true stories of such matters. This
features some of the most painful-to-watch releases I have ever had
to sit through via the brutal honesty of the content, the brutality
aimed at the victim and the continuing injustice that goes on as you
read. Worst of all is the casual way other allow this to continue,
having some of the blood on their hands, but these works also show
none of us have to tolerate such intolerance because any and all
societies who tolerate such things as 'new normals' or the like are
bound for failure... and deserve to be.
three documentaries and fourth drama not only shed light on these of
the censored stories (who is benefitting from that?) but also show us
we don't need such hate ever.
Hirsh Bordo's A
Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story
(2015) is about the real-life woman of the title who survived being
born with a disorder that dies not allow her body to retain fat, no
matter how much she eats. Thus, she looks different and has also
suffered dozens of corrective surgeries to help her. There has also
been her mistreatment because she looks different, but there is
nothing wrong with her, she is just like the rest of us, human and
wanting to have a happy life with friends, progress and a better
future. She has a great family, but she deals with all kinds of
day on YouTube, she finds a video with a title that offers 'ugliest
person ever' or the like, clicks on and finds video footage of
herself. This was followed by a barrage of ugly, hateful comments
typical of the many sociopaths with no life on social media as we
speak, leading to her being able to get the clip dropped; yet the
goof who put it up even attacks her like the coward he was, is and
always will be.
instead of getting hurt (she's been through that more than anyone
should ever be), she gets mad and fights back, starting with her own
video channel. This leads to a crusade she becomes part of against
bullying, hate and the damage (i.e., unwell targets killing
themselves, et al) joined by others and celebrated by everyone who
hears her story. I'm proud to join that chorus.
she is likely still getting morons dumping on her in misdirected
anger and just pure ignorance mode, even with physical issues she has
to deal with, hers is a victory against those who think ugly worlds
to hurt and kill on the cheap is EVER acceptable. If only those with
less challenges who know better could stand up for the same values
more often, including in whom we elect!
include Deleted Scenes, TEDx talk Behind The Scenes and singer Sara
Bareilles, who has a great visit and meeting with Velasquez, is
(2013) tells us the story on how only weeks before winning a beauty
contest as Miss World, Linor Abargil was actually kidnapped, abducted
and raped in Milan, Italy! She hid this for ten years (!!!) before
she could no longer hold back and started talking about it to
liberate herself and help thousands of other women. Again, she met
resistance, but moved forward and has also been a groundbreaking
figure in a personal, private comeback against the man who denied
what he did to the end (awful!) and gets to expose him for the fraud
and predator he is.
her story (outside of the glamour of beauty success) is far from
uncommon, so it too is a priceless story all need to see and hear.
include a trailer and over 100 minutes of Bonus Scenes and stories
from other survivors of such abuse. You can learn more and order the
disc at this link...
Janis & Sergio Myers' Invisible
(2015) tells us about Janis' struggle with being the victim of child
sexual abuse, what she decided to do about it and how to break the
cycle of abuse forever, though it is not easy, especially when
silence is extremely encouraged in the matter in sicker societies.
Again, women tend to be more shamed into silence, but male victims
are targets of the same. Running a very compelling 86 minutes, the
program eventually expands to others, but makes excellent overall
arguments and point on why, how and where to speak out.
too can be a very life-changing program for the viewer and certainly
a very important one more need to know about and see, no matter how
painful or uncomfortable it may be.
film bio and Extended Interviews ate the extras.
(2016) is our drama, one of the years better films about a white man
(Joel Egerton's best work in a while) and African American woman
(Ruth Negga totally on the money) falling in love and determined to
marry and stay together, despite county, town, local, state and
federal laws against them being together over their skin color; among
the most embarrassing laws ever made!
threats, official oppression, intimidation and worse do not stop
them, they land up in court, then higher and higher courts until the
law of the land itself is at issue; in the 1960s yet! Of course, the
results might already be known to you and may not, plus we know where
we are now. Thus, the great thing about this fine film is that it
goes out of its way to get us to know who this couple is, why they
love each other and most importantly, why it is nobody else's
@$%#&!!!! business. The makers simply, smoothly and honestly
show the situation without pretense and that is why it is such a
quiet triumph. If you thought you knew everything about this or that
it was obvious or predictable, the palpability of this film will
prove you fortunately wrong.
Csokas and Michael Shannon also star.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber iTunes capable devices, while the discs add a feature length
audio commentary track by Director Nichols and four Behind The
Scenes, Making Of featurettes.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image Lizzie
look as good as they can for the DVD format, joined by the 1080p 1.78
X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on World,
looking good on Blu-ray, all have older archival materials that
obviously show the age of the materials used, from a few film clips
and new HD clips, but we also get standard definition digital and
videotape whose flaws can including video noise, video banding,
telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color, faded color, aliasing
errors, staircasing and even tape damage. Yet, it is never a problem
in any case and I give the producers in all cases credit for making
it all meld as well as it does.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Loving is
obviously going to look the best of the releases here, especially
since it is shot on real, great 35mm Kodak Vision 3 film negative
film stock with real anamorphic Panavision lenses, but I liked the
style chosen and it also has a decent use of widescreen frame that is
not taking the scope frame for granted.
An anamorphically enhanced DVD is also included that is not bad, but
the Blu-ray is the best way to see the film at home.
for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Loving
may have its quiet moments and ambiance, especially considering it is
a period piece, but it is still well mixed and presented throughout
with as fine a fidelity as can be expected. The lossy Dolby Digital
5.1 on the DVD is a comedown in comparison, but is fine for what it
is, as is the case for the World
Blu-ray and Lizzie
offers lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but it sounds as good as the
rest of the Dolby Digital releases.