I went and saw the Hunter S. Thompson documentary last night.

It was a bit disappointing. I always thought Thompson was a bit overrated as a "gonzo" journalist. But when I saw commercials for the movie, it looked great. It was one of those movies where the commercial looks a lot better.

It was slow, and just not as exciting as I thought it would be. It seemed like something that should've shown on regular TV. Which, if you think about it...most documentaries have that feel.

I saw "Bigger, Faster, Stronger," a few weeks ago. That was the documentary on steroids. I loved it. It's about a kid that grew up being fat, became a weight lifter and steroid user. He stops taking them, but his brother, a championship weightlifter and high school football coach, doesn't. His other brother, who dreams of becoming a professional wreslter, also dabbles in them.

He has a Christian mother, who is very naive. And, aside from the steroid aspects of the film, he is on a quest to meet Arnold. And when he finally does, it's one of the funniest things you'll ever see in a movie. It's the kind of great documentary that Michael Moore used to be able to make before he became insane.

My girlfriend hasn't stopped talking about "King of Kong -- A Fistful of Quarters," since we saw that a year ago. She even bought the DVD. That was a great documentary on the video game record holders, and the lengths the go to to break and keep, records. And yes, they're as geeky as you'd imagine. Go rent this movie.

I thought about seeing that new movie by Herzog, something about "To the End of the Earth"...where he follows a bunch of guys around Antartica. I liked his movie "Grizzly Man," well enough. And all the write-ups say it's a good film.

But it's always hit and miss with documentaries.

I feel like if you spend $11 on a movie, it should have movie stars, not a narration. Sure, when I see something like "Super Size Me," or "Spellbound," it's well worth the price of admission. But so often, they're disappointing.

I remember Siskel & Ebert not only raving about "Hoop Dreams" being the best documentary they had ever seen. They named it the best movie of the year when it came out. Well, it is interesting. And took a long time to make (following two youth basketball players with lots of potential, for 10 years)...But I think every documentary I mentioned in this blog, is better.

I'm going to L.A. this weekend, and while I'm there I'm thinking about checking out the documentary Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys did. It's about basketball, and is being compared to "Hoop Dreams." It's only playing in Los Angeles and New York, which could be a bad sign.

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Comments

Russ Lewis July 10, 2008 @ 2:45 a.m.

"Love is blind. You could be kissing a goat." (Russian proverb) Rent Rock School if you want to see a documentary that'll make you stand up and cheer.

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10speeds July 9, 2008 @ 3:11 p.m.

If you get a chance check out the documentary "Black Sun" by Hughes de Montalembert. The story of an artist attacked in his NY apartment, blinded in the attack, it's his journey through life and his new way of seeing. The movie is written, directed and largely filmed, by Hughes after the attack, a movie filmed by a blind man is something special. Borderline life changing.

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Josh Board July 10, 2008 @ 2:56 a.m.

I'd like to see that. I was a bit disappointed with that Young@Heart. Something contrived about having old people sing songs like "I Wanna Be Sedated," and Sonic Youth and Talking Heads tunes. It had its moments, but wasn't great.

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Josh Board July 10, 2008 @ 1:34 a.m.

Hey, thanks for the heads up 10speeds. I'll look for it. You should check out this documentary...dang..not sure I'll get the name right. Oh yeah, it's "Crazy Love". It should be called "Love is Blind."

It's about a woman that was an artist. And model. I think in the early 60s. She got involved with a rich, married, Jewish dude. He was possessive. And, things went very, very wrong. That's all I'll say. Rent that documentary. It's an amazing film.

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antigeekess July 12, 2008 @ 1:48 a.m.

In 2005-2006 I lived in a cabin up in Humboldt with zero TV reception. Got VERY into the Netflix documentaries. A few of my favorites from that period: "In the Realms of the Unreal," "Capturing the Friedmans," and "Genghis Blues."

For more political fare, I really liked "The Corporation," "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price."

Check 'em out.

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