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Week in Review: 3/8/15

Movies I Watched in the Last Week

1) Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart - I wonder if I would have liked this movie any better if I saw it in the original language.  It's hard to tell if some of the stuff I hated was lost in translation or if it's just a goofy movie with some creepy, unnecessarily sexual tones involving ten year-old kids. The animation was generally pretty good and the music was alright, but the story was weak and the pacing was all over the map.  It's like somebody wanted to be Henry Selick so bad that they not only aped his style, they aped all of his flaws, too.

My Rating: 3 / 5

2) 30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men - This has been my favorite of ESPN's "30 for 30" series that I've watched so far.  It's a perfectly-crafted documentary - the interviews, news clips, and footage speak for themselves, allowing you to reach a conclusion and see the documentarian's point without being beat over the head.  But more importantly, it gives some great perspectives on history, hockey, and American patriotism that we rarely see.

It's kind of amazing that Americans keep referring to that 1980 Olympics game as the "Miracle on Ice" and treat it like it was the only high point of ice hockey from that era considering that Americans barely even care about hockey.  It's a lot like how your one cousin who works at the car dealership keeps talking about that big game from when he was seventeen and thought he might go pro, and he won't shut the hell up about it even though he's thirty-four now and has two kids.  Anyway, if all you know about that game is that it was a "Miracle on Ice," then you need to see this documentary.  Really puts things in context.

Plus, Fetisov's story is one of the most inspirational things I've seen in a couple of years.  It's definitely the kind of thing you don't have to be into sports to appreciate.

My Rating: 5 / 5

3) 30 for 30: Big Shot - I loved the story behind this documentary.  It's simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious - one of the ballsiest and most outrageous cons in history.  And it's perfect subject matter for a documentary, too: a specific, interesting event that a lot of people probably haven't heard about.  My one big complaint is that I think parts of the documentary were not done well on a technical level.  The narration was a little too on the nose at times and the introduction phase took too long.  Should not be enough of a problem to hold up anybody from watching.

My Rating: 4 / 5

4) 30 for 30: Broke - This should be required viewing for American teenagers.  The movie specifically focuses on the reckless spending habits of suddenly-rich athletes, but the lessons are applicable to everybody.  It's important for people to realize that dreams are worth pursuing, but even if you do manage to achieve them, there will be costs that come with that success.  Failure to account for that will leave you devastated.  Of course, it's easy for me to say that when the most I've ever earned in my life would be less than the pocket change that some of these guys accidentally sent through the washing machine.

My Rating: 4 / 5

5) The Imposter - This one made me think of The Act of Killing in a lot of ways.  Mainly just that it's a documentary in which the principal perpetrators of the crime its documenting were engaged in recreating their actions on film.  What makes it especially engaging is that it's told in such gradual steps with cliffhanger moments as if it was a fictional story, giving you the sense that you're not sure what will happen next - appropriate, given that it's about a guy whose life is all about telling lies.

My Rating: 5 / 5

Total: 5 Movies

Minutes I Spent Writing in the Last Week

A whole buncha nothin'.

Total: 0 Hours

The Winner: Movies...

I don't really have any excuses this week.  I was just being lazy.  And then I got caught in a documentary fix and, well, next thing you know, it's Sunday.