11.26.2012

The Bang Bang Club (2010)

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Photojournalism is an interest of mine that I have pursued mainly through books and websites.  There aren't too many really great films on the subject.  HBO is currently running a fantastic series called "Witness:", but I didn't want to post that as a NA Films Monday Movie since it's a bit hard to find without an HBO subscription.

The Bang Bang Club (2010) is a decent film based on the lives of four amazing photojournalists who covered South Africa from 1990 to 1994.  The acting isn't top notch, but the historical staging and ideas expressed about the role of the photojournalist are explored in an interesting and sometime quite compelling way.  The book the film is based on, The Bang Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War is a MUST READ.

I thought this film would make an interesting counterbalance to all of the half-assed, mainstream media, green screen reporting from "war zones" that Adam and John keep pointing out on the show.  This is the story (albeit a fictional account) of actual reporters covering real life and death stakes events.

Trailer:

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11.23.2012

NA 463 Film

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Adam recommended the documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.  As of this typing, it is available to stream on Netflix.

Trailer:


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11.19.2012

Animal Farm (1954)

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Here in Gitmo Nation proper, we're all about to sit down with our families and eat a dead bird in remembrance of the slaughter of Native Americans.  So how about a film that depicts the animals taking over power from the humans?  This is the animated version of the George Orwell classic, Animal Farm.  The entire film is up on YouTube and I just re-watched it with my two kids.  It is a great conversation starter.

In case you are unfamiliar with this adaptation of the novella by Mr. Orwell's (from Wikipedia):

Animal Farm is a 1954 British animated film by Halas & Batchelor, based on the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. It was the first British animated feature to be released . The C.I.A. paid for the filming, part of the U.S. cultural offensive during the Cold War, and influenced how Orwell's ideas were to be presented. The CIA initially funded Louis de Rochemont to begin work on a film version of Orwell's work and he hired Halas & Batchelor, an animation firm in London that had made propaganda films for the British government.

Full film (1:11:58):


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11.16.2012

NA 461 Film

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Adam watched and John recommended the 1964 John Frankenheimer film Seven Days in May.  By the way, they don't make trailers like this anymore.


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11.12.2012

Marijuana USA (2010)

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I don't usually post TV documentaries by corporate news outlets, but this week is an exception.  CNBC has some pretty interesting ones, like Marijuana USA.  I watched this one on Netflix last spring and thought of it again on election night as Colorado and Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana.  This documentary goes into some detail about how the activists and advocates have slowly worked within the system to make significant gains in Colorado, which clearly laid the groundwork for  recreational use becoming legal - including lobbying to be taxed and regulated.

There are those interviewed who make assertions of marijuana being an addictive substance and the whole "what will I tell my kid if it's legal?" argument, but there are also ex-military restaurant owners and doctors and researchers all explaining that it's just a plant with some amazing properties for your body and mind.

From CNBC's website:

CNBC's "Marijuana USA" goes inside a flourishing medical pot industry. In Colorado, the demon weed is rebranded as a natural herbal remedy with healing powers that even respectable citizens can enjoy. We meet two restaurant owners who are about to launch a new line of cannabis-infused edibles. And, we’ll go inside a clinic where marijuana is almost always the doctor's order.

In this bold new era of greater marijuana acceptance, the business still remains in violation of federal laws. But, the entrepreneurs have asked to be regulated, licensed and taxed – just like any other trade. After more than seventy years as an illegal drug, is it possible that marijuana’s moment has arrived?


Full Episode (46:48)

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11.05.2012

Swing Vote (2008)

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This movie is absurd!  It's really is one of those Kevin Costner movies that are so unintentionally bad, they become good fun to watch (Ex. Waterworld, The Postman, 3000 Miles to Graceland).  Swing Vote was released during the 2008 US Presidential campaign, and no one cared.  Senator Obama was so obviously going to win the election that the idea of a swing state, let alone a swing vote, wasn't really talked about.

The premise here is that the election of the next president literally comes down to one man's vote.  It is fairly entertaining to watch the media and the candidates pander to this one man, but the absurdity is what is truly enjoyable here.  My wife and I have watched this film three times now and have a simple drinking game which helps a lot.  Every time you roll your eyes or audibly moan, DRINK!  Before you know it, this horrible election cycle here in Gitmo Nation will be over.

Trailer:

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