The Climate Movement On Tour
Scientology and the Prison Of Belief
Stars: Tales From The Kitchen
(2016/Blu-ray/**all Icarus Films)
C+/C+/C+/B/C/B- Sound: C+ (Sea:
B-) Extras: D/C/D/B-/D/C Documentaries: B-/B/B-/B-/C+/B-
a set of new documentaries for you to know about...
Fox & Steve Liptay's Divest!
The Climate Movement On Tour
(2016) which offers 350.org's lecture tour trying to convince people
how bad climate change is getting, using the news, statistics, recent
events (more have happened since this was released) and speculations
of how bad things are going to get that have a good degree of
validity. This includes would be letters from the future warning us
in the past what is in store.
latter example is fine, but we might get too much of that when
additional approaches they have not come up with could also help.
The lecturers are led by Bill McKibben (founder of the organization)
and writer Naomi Klein, so it is all very ambitious and it could not
hurt. However, I found some of it a little more scattered and
unorganized than I would have liked, that the freestyle of it all
might work against it somehow. Still, it is interesting and worth
checking into or showing others are not a bad thing.
are no extras.
(2001) is the still-underseen work about what really happened at the
now-infamous New York prison, referenced in Sidney Lumet's classic
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) where Al Pacino's character keeps
yelling the name of the prison when police get too close to him as he
robs a bank. People know that moment more than the ugly story of
what happened, but this documentary will quickly change and explain
real life, prisoners were striking and with Nixon in the White House,
wanting to look tough on crime, via Nelson Rockefeller (the governor
who eventually became Nixon's VP before Watergate brought it all
down, including with this prison mess, Rockefeller's chances of ever
becoming President of the United States) got 29 people killed,
involved an amazing amount of lies and was handled as horrifically as
you could imagine.
authorities tried to say they had to send snipers and other police in
when hostages were taken and the prisoners were armed and about to go
on a killing spree. Instead, they just shot up the place, pul
weapons on dead prisoners who should have never been killed and even
other guards and employees of the prison who were not prisoners were
lied about and lied to. Wow, what a mess!
learning all of this as you watch, you will also see the people who
fought to get justice in the courts, expose the lies in the media and
the resistance by the government to still not admit wrongdoing in any
way, shape or form possible. It is sad and one of the ugliest
chapters of misconduct by the federal government you will find.
last irony. The court case finally (you'll have to see how) wraps up
about as much as it ever will in the end, but ends only months before
the events of... 9/11/2001!
include an audio recording of lawyer Liz Fink discussing the hard
realities of the case and archival footage of Attica and its riots
from older sources very much worth seeing. I just wish we got some
kind of update on the people involved and Attica itself since the
documentary was released, one that is more than just seeing a few
pieces on the Internet.
Clear: Scientology and the Prison Of Belief
(2015) is a look at the dark side of the newly minted religion (it
has only been around for a few decades, founded by the late science
fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard) and has become controversial for what
the followers believe, what those who have left say is going on that
is not good and that it has found itself with an unusual amount of
entertainment celebrity support.
the period when the late Charlton Heston was President of the NRA
(National Rifle Association), far more radical and crazed now than
when he was running it, Tom Cruise (as popular internationally as a
movie star as Heston was in his time) is the head of this church that
does not believe in psychology, thinks it known things most people do
not know about our world and how the human race formed and very
recently was certified by the IRS to be an official religion and now,
it gets tax exempt status.
is power and wealth that is rarely discussed in the media anywhere,
but it should be, especially if it recognized the way it is now.
Gibney, one of the best documentary filmmakers around, focuses on
people being harassed, lied to, lied about and stalked if they dare
criticize the church they are no longer part of. In general, corrupt
churches and like religious entities will harass anyone they think
they own or control to begin with, plus if that person is a real
threat, they'll go way out of their way to slam, smear and stab said
person(s) in the back. That's when you know they are a corrupt
entity, as the recent revelations about sexual child abuse in the
Catholic Church continues to show.
Scientology does not have a scandal like that going on (yet?), though
some disturbing reports of abuse are featured here and this work is
very convincing. That the Church here has not directly responded
does not help their case either. However, though the documentary
explains how it believes the Church seduces people into joining, it
does not have the time to go into the reasons why so many people have
stayed and not criticized, what these current members are getting out
of it all and seem to be staying willingly.
you can have a cult of personality (such as some current discourses
in politics), the situation here is also something else, which is why
other programs criticizing Scientology have arrived since and
additional charges have been leveled against the Church. Thus, this
is going to need a direct follow up down the line and I am still
waiting to see Scientologists make a mature, honest, direct reply to
it all. Definitely see this and stay tuned!
are no extras.
(1991) is a film of Japan of an already bygone time, narrated by the
man who was considered the top authority on the country from all of
the West, Donald Ritchie. Based on and inspired by his 1971 book of
the same name, this film is not an attempt to make the book into a
film per se, but as a starting point to show sides of Japan few in
the West know about or ever saw, plus a side that the cinema of any
country had ever revealed.
is interesting from the start and I was not certain where the film
would taker us, but it is remarkable in what it shows in its short
running time and that makes it one of the best short films of the
last 40 years. Cheers to Carra and Director of Photography Hiro
Narita (who was able to supervise this amazing new transfer) for
being able to get int there and capture so much that is priceless and
important. It becomes a visual revelation on its subject as Roeg's
(1971, reviewed on Criterion Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) was
about the Australian Outback few had ever seen before.
has issued this too on Blu-ray resulting in yet another one of the
great surprises they come up with every month or two of a film most
have not heard, but everyone ought to know about. Now you can not
just see it, but experience it in this solid special edition form the
number one name in the business whose name stands for the best
cinematic experience at home and in motion picture scholarship.
include a quality paper foldout on the film with informative text and
an essay by scholar Arturo Silva, while the disc adds a new interview
with director Lucille Carra, a new conversation between filmmaker
Paul Schrader (Mishima)
and cultural critic Ian Buruma on author Donald Richie and an
Interview with Richie from 1991.
Stars: Tales From The Kitchen
(2018) is the latest of a series (and cycle for that matter) of food,
cooking, dining and the industry of restaurants. Focuses on a set
of chefs (most of whom I had never heard of before) and how they
fight to be so great, getting these star awards from the famous food
ratings publication still published by the tire-producing giant that
diners (especially those with money and/or are willing to out of
their way to spend at highly recommended establishments) take very
82 minutes, it was more like a continuation of everything I have seen
before, but it will be new enough for those who have not enjoyed
previous such releases and it is at least worth a look if you have
never seen one of these before. As a continuation, it is worthy of
are no extras.
we have Stuart A. Staples' Minute
(2016) in which the director (a singer from a band, but he does not
sing here) takes the landmark micro/macrophotography of
groundbreaking Director F. Perry Smith and mixes it into a montage of
all of his works, trying to turn it into an experience that is both
abstract and thought-provoking. Not bad, though the original films
more than stand out on their own and are interesting without this
re-approach, but Staples is sincere in going through all this trouble
to try something different. Some would say to keep it alive,. But
just restoring and showing the original films again does just fine
lasts 53 minutes.
include four short films by Director F. Perry Smith: The
Birth Of A Flower
(1910, 7 minutes), Nature's
Double Lifers - Ferns and Fronds
(1932, 10 minutes), He
Would A-Wooing Go
(1936, 8 minute) and Lupins
(1936, 10 minutes).
quality is what you'd expect, with Inland
looking the best, a new 4K scan off of the original 16mm color
negative masters, presented here in a 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High
Definition image with limited softness, excellent color and proof
again of how good 16mm film can look in HD, especially, when shot so
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer Bodies
has more flaws and softness, some of it from its HD shoot, and other
instances unavoidable, but it has its moments, even if it is not IMAX
quality all the time.
DVDs all look pretty good for the format, but I was surprised that
was produced in the 1.33 X 1 aspect ratio like the older Attica,
but they both have good composition and Attica has some minor video
flaws, but Michelin
was the softest presentation here and it did not have to be.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Divest!
are newer HD productions with some rough video in each, but are very
watchable for the most part.
for sound, you'd expect lossless sound on both Blu-rays, but Bodies
actually only offers lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and it is music
only, while Sea
has PCM 2.0 Stereo from its original magnetic soundmaster and it is
the best performer on the list as a result. Attica
is here in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 sound that is simple stereo at
best, with Divest
in definite, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and Stars
in both lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and slightly better PCM 2.0 Stereo.