Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Music > Artist > Soul > Sexuality > Funk > Counterculture > Fashion > French > Rock > Time Thieves (2018/Icarus)/True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight For Equality (2019/HBO/Warner/all DVDs)

Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different (2020*)/Celebration (2018/Yves St. Laurent/KimStim)/Come On Feel The Noize: The Story Of How Rock Became Metal (2019/Cleopatra/*both MVD)/Stuffed (2019/Music Box)/Time Thieves (2018/Icarus)/True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight For Equality (2019/HBO/Warner/all DVDs)

Picture: C+/C/B-/B-/C/C+ Sound: C+/C/B-/B-/C+/C+ Extras: C/C-/C-/B/D/D Documentaries: B-/C+/B/B/B-/B

And now for another diverse group of documentaries, some of which are must-sees...

We start with Phil Cox's Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different (2020) which is NOT a biography of the famous actress (she spelled her name Bette), but a groundbreaking singer who was once the wife of music giant and Jazz legend Miles Davis (she kept his last name throughout her career) who debuted in the late 1960s with brutally honest music about sex, sexuality, being a woman against a background of counterculture, The Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, poverty and violence of all kinds.

Her style eventually influenced all media, including the XXX sex film industry that became legal in 1972, new kinds of music styles (Funk, Punk, Glam, Disco, Blaxploitation Films, Rock, New Wave and eventually, Rap/Hip Hop) and was all done on her own with no co-dependence on any man, producer, husband, music partner or male backer. By the mid-1970s, she opted out when mostly white music executives wanted her to tone her act down and go more mainstream. In her place, we had the rise of Donna Summer, the breakout of Diana Ross, the eventually solo success of Tina Turner, Patti Smith, Suzi Quattro, The Go-Gos and bolder music of everyone from Pat Benatar to Joan Jett to even Olivia Newton-John!

So what happened next and where did she go? Running a strong, rich, nearly 54 minutes, she was one of the many artists who eventually just dropped out of sight, no support from other artists, the industry, fans of means and the like, turning up here all these decades later in the Homestead side of Pittsburgh, PA and filling in some of the blanks. My only wish is that more questions were asked and more was said about her content in music history, but it is a solid work everyone should see once and you too will be amazed at what she accomplished and how all the divas today owe her something, even if most of them (many with little to no talent) are imitating her.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is mostly of stills and newly shot footage, so it looks fine and has few flaws, though some older footage can show its age when it is there, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is not bad and mostly of interviews. The music sounds fine when it kicks in.

Extras include a Director's on-camera interview and extract of an interview with Davis.

Olivier Meyrou's Celebration (2018) is a short 74 minutes look at legendary clothing designer Yves St. Laurent in his twilight, still making clothes everyone wanted, but few could have. Continually creating a gold standard for the kind of fashions that even Hollywood had trouble competing with and being the last standard-bearer of a fashion era now sadly gone. Too many clothes these days look like rags and this includes expensive dresses, wedding dresses and repetitive men's clothes, much of which should have never seen a needle and thread.

Issued in its current form after being delayed for over a decade, it is only 74 minutes, for fans only, can be sloppy and is the poorest of several documentaries on the man we've seen issued over the years. Allegedly, this was too personal in parts to be seen in public and by the public, but could it be the sloppiness that was part of the issue? Well, now you can see for yourself, but I was only so impressed and only felt I was being let in to so much of an intimate side of the clothing-makers life.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image had older footage taped and not always well-edited from 2007 (plus a bit before) and the result is we get analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, tape scratching and cross color, so you'll have to be patient. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has location audio issues, but is not bad for the most part, but the combination can be trying.

The only extra is an Original Theatrical Trailer.

This fun and informative documentary on the transition from birth of Heavy Metal is an interesting look at the music genre. Come On Feel The Noize: The Story of How Rock Became Metal (2019), is your stay at home rock history lesson as it features many iconic names and a backstage pass to the history of the rock movement.

You've heard all the music from Black Sabbath to Metallica, Alice Cooper, Dee Snider and more and now with this doc you can get a little more backstory of how these infamous bands and performers came to be. Beyond the old days it flashes forward to the modern era and goes into some more modern bands like Ghost and others. The theme of the doc is essentially that rock is a way of life, man, and to these artists more than just a profession for our entertainment.

The doc features interviews with Jimmy Page, Ian Gillan, Ozzy Osbourne, Nikki Sixx, James Hetfield, Dee Snider, and Michael Monroe to name just a few. You'll be surprised by how many famous faces pop up here!

Come on Feel the Noize is presented on anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, both of which are fine for the format and nature of the documentary. There's plenty of documentary performances that are used in the piece that are of varying quality, but primarily everything looks fine here for DVD.

Special Features:


and an Image Slideshow

Stuffed (2019) is an interesting documentary that explores the odd art form of taxidermy. If you're interested in that topic, then this is definitely the film for you. The film highlights a little known subculture behind the practice and interviews artists from around the world. As well it offers a different perspective on the craft with insights from the artists that are studying nature and capturing more 'life' in their pieces than 'death'.

The artists' idea behind taxidermy is to essentially capture these creatures in their essence as a way of studying them and making something unique at the same time. The artists in the film all have their own favorite animals and approaches to the craft, which makes for an interesting watch even if you aren't too familiar with taxidermy.

The film features Ferry Van Tongren, Daniel Meng, Allis Markham, and Travis De Villiers to name a few. Directed by Erin Derham, the film is very well shot, edited, and crafted for a documentary.

Stuffed is presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition on DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. It captures the realism with very nice close ups on works that work come across a bit better in HD, but is still passable here. The graphics and everything else in the doc are tight and high end.

Special Features:

Commentary with director Erin Derham

Making of Stuffed featurette

and Taxidermy art and poster galleries.

You know the feeling when you run around working all the time with a watch on or relying on your cell phone for the time, only to leave it home one day and not know the time, you suddenly feel oddly lost. Time is also money, yet it is also your life, and there is a point where being gridded-in can just be too much and rob you of your life and yourself. Cosima Dannoritzer's Time Thieves (2018) explores some of the issues of this and how time became such an important part of our lives. How it helped us, then how certain companies and governments started using it against us.

I'll leave all the details for you to see in its tight, smart 85 minutes (getting to the point so it does not rob you of your time too much) shows how time was almost universally the same, but a train wreck caused everyone to rethink time and that is how time zones were created, which saved lives and made things more efficient. Then things started going in a counterproductive direction. I like how this makes one think, even if it does not get too existentialist (some might have wanted more of that) and has a lot of great footage and stills to go with its extensive, consistent explanations of things.

We don't get enough documentaries like this that challenge our perceptions without manipulating us, brainwashing us or trying to get us to buy into stupidity, so it is rare indeed. This one is definitely worth your time, even if you only see it once. As we post during a viral crisis, this one is more valuable than ever!

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image has some rough footage and newer footage not transferred so well here and there, so you get motion blur, and videotape flaws including noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color and faded color. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is better, cleaner and more consistent, so that helps.

There are no extras.

Last but absolutely not least, one of the most powerful, amazing documentaries you'll see from the last few years, The Kunhardt Brothers' True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight For Equality (2019) tells the story of how a young man became one of the most groundbreaking lawyers of all time, defending poor persons (as well as victims of racism, et al) from a Death penalty system that became the new Jim Crow to get rid of African-Americans and incarcerate and then kill persons (usually men) of color without due process, proof and the result of hundreds of innocent men just missing being executed when they did nothing.

Of course, some have been, were and still are being executed despite massive evidence to the contrary and Warner (who put this amazing work out via HBO) also backed the very good drama about Stevenson's life called Just Mercy (with Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx) that we recently reviewed and recommended at this link:


Running, a powerful, intense 101 minutes, I found this even more painful, powerful, disturbing, triumphant, honest, true, inarguable, intriguing and priceless in exposing what has been going on (especially since the 1980s) in this country that has not helped anyone one bit save some people who do not believe in justice. Stevenson is a true groundbreaker, hero and greta man who has achieved the unimaginable against all odds and his story (now more than ever) is jaw-dropping in its achievements and embarrasses the establishment who has not done enough to make sure justice is assured for all!

I would see this even before the feature film, but everyone should consider this one required viewing as much as any documentary of the last few years. See it!!!!

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a smooth shoot with plenty of older analog videotape clips, but they can have unavoidable flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color, faded color and tape damage. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is still talk-based, but just fine and as good as anything on this list.

There are no extras.

- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Noise, Stuffed)



 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com