I saw the documentary Tyson last night. It's getting raved reviews, so I was a bit disappointed. As a boxing fan, I enjoyed it. Most of the stories I had heard before, or read in a biography on him I read years earlier.

I thought the director tried to hard with split-screens and being arty with the whole thing. When my friend was buying popcorn, I was talking with the manager of the Hillcrest Landmark about it. She hated the overlapping voices, saying it made Tyson look stupid. I just think it was a filmmaker making himself look stupid. They try so hard to create art that they sometimes blow it.

And Tyson is the only person speaking in this, which means it's obviously one-sided. It's crazy, because I always claimed I didn't think he raped that beauty pagaent contestant. Yet, hearing him talk about her, he doesn't answer any questions. He doesn't tell us WHAT happened that night, merely that he didn't rape her. But what he says following that, made me think for the first time ever, that maybe he did. He said, "I've mistreated women before, and been rough with them, but not her." Uh-huh.

And, he talks so lovingly about his old trainer and mentor, yet in a book I read, I remember at his house as a young teenager, he came on strong to a woman and had to be warned that the next time that happened they'd turn him in. Obviously, that story wasn't brought up.

Looking at Tysons now bald head as he speaks into the camera, I thought of a Spalding Gray monologue. If Spalding didn't have glasses, but a warrior tattoo across his cheek.

I'm glad I saw the movie, but if I want to watch something about a boxer with heart and soul, I'll rent On the Waterfront (or turn on TMC or AMC, which seems to show that film once a year).

The week before, I saw the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil. I'm still not so sure about the title. Since every critic called it a "real life Spinal Tap," I almost wondered if that title was a play on the Spinal Tap song "Tonight We're Gonna Rock You Tonight." I made the guy at the Ken laugh when I bought two tickets and said "I'd like tickets for Anvil -- The Story of Anvil." My girlfriend said, "You never get tired of saying that, do you?" And she's right. We walked in, and as she went to the bathroom I said, "Do you want a soda? I'm going to get popcorn -- that buttered snack of popped corn."

This story had a lot more heart. And, it's odd that you could have sympathy for a heavy metal band, who had a minor hit with a song called "Metal to Metal", and were known for their lead singer/guitarist peforming while wearing S&M gear and using a dildo on the guitar strings as if it were a bottleneck.

This movie really is a must see. I'm not a fan of heavy metal, and I really enjoyed it.

One documentary my girlfriend and I also saw recently was The Birds of Telegraph Hill. The critics loved this, but I was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the film. It just didn't live up to the expectations I had.

And as much as everyone falls in love with the guy talking care of the birds, I felt he was a bit of a squater, living in a place that he wasn't paying rent for. Not to mention the whole controversy about feeding birds that aren't indigenious to that area, which was hardly covered in the film.

If you're one of those people that never knows what movies to get on Netflix, let me recommend a few of the best documentaries I've ever seen: King of Kong -- A Fistful of Quarters. It came out a few years ago, and follows geeks around that try to break Donkey Kong and other video came records.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster. It was about steroids and came out last year. The cameo with Arnold Schwarzenneger is hysterical.

Spellbound. Not the Hitchcock film, which is also great. This follows eight kids from all walks of life, that vie for the spelling bee championship in Washington, D.C.

Crazy/Love is a documentary I had a love/hate relationship with. As interesting as it is, the story is very frustrating. You get the same reaction you get when you find out Rhianna gets back together with Chris Brown, or the woman that recently had her face shot off and a face transplant, asking a judge to go easy on the husband that shot her.

If you need any other recommendations, just shoot me a line.

Comments

mike1 May 12, 2009 @ 12:49 a.m.

Jeez Josh, again with Michael Moore. You make it sound like he just pulls it all out of thin air. Have you checked his site? He has long fact check lists for all his movies that answer his critics. And even if he is guilty of some manipulation or omission, are you saying that the main points of his movies, be it Bush, guns or the U.S. versus European health care system, are just completely "bogus?"

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monaghan May 11, 2009 @ 7:31 p.m.

Hi Josh. It figures you would see the Tyson film, as a "boxing fan." (Exactly what IS a boxing fan, really?) All I know is that Tyson BIT a guy's ear off as well as treated women like they were less than chattel property. But hey, why not pony up $10+ bucks to support that kind of art? And by the way, it's usually called "rave reviews," not "raved."

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SDaniels May 11, 2009 @ 1:13 p.m.

"Looking at Tysons now bald head as he speaks into the camera, I thought of a Spalding Gray monologue. If Spalding didn't have glasses, but a warrior tattoo across his cheek."

Oh Lord, take that one back, Josh. There is no good reason to disrespect an interesting stage actor and monologist with (besides "bald," which makes everyone look alike) an astronomically off base comparison to a thuggish, ear-chewing, and by all accounts homicidally motivated, boxer.

...Or maybe Spalding would have enjoyed that. Either way, not enough connection.

The woman with a face transplant! I just can't get over the wonderful medical miracle of it, so didn't know anything about the rest of the story.

Sounds like she needs to Google:

http://www.rickross.com/groups/abusive.html

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antigeekess May 11, 2009 @ 8:28 p.m.

It's also "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill," not "Birds."

And "Winged Migration" is still an even better bird movie.

Regarding 2007's "Crazy Love," we've been 'round about that before. She was no longer beautiful, she was old, and she was damn near dying of loneliness. She could NOT "do SO much better." She got tired of waiting, forgave, and accepted a willing slave whom she now enjoys running absolutely ragged. She's happier with him than she was without him, and she did what was best for HER. So if you don't like it, screw you and everybody else. The end.

I'd also like to see a link verifying that Connie Culp "asked the judge to go easy on the husband that shot her." I've read reports that HE asked for leniency. I've also seen HER say that she forgives him, and that she still loves him. That's it. No indications from her beyond that.

Connie Culp -- recipient of the most extensive face transplant yet performed in the U.S. -- is a VERY upbeat person, to say the least. She's funny (yes, she laughs), philosophical, and one of those people who's always going to make lemonade somehow, no matter how sour the lemons. I hope she doesn't have an emotional "blind spot" (no pun intended -- she's almost totally blind now) where her husband is concerned.

But you know, it's hard to say what function people serve in each other's lives. I've done what most people would regard as some pretty squirrelly things (no, not put up with physical abuse from a man) for the simple reason that I just couldn't stand to do anything else. It's a matter of priorities and one's own personal ethics. Which possible outcome would YOU rather live with, in any given situation? Which one would absolutely torture YOU the most? To hell with what anyone else thinks.

It's a basic tenet in some philosophies that at a certain level, your worst enemy is really your best friend in disguise. Your friends may love and support you -- and that's just dandy -- but your enemies will PUSH, PUSH, PUSH you like no one else. It's from interaction with enemies that the most spiritual growth occurs, which is the whole purpose of Life, from some perspectives.

Oh, and for your English homework, PLEASE study to/too/two. And finally learn to spell "pageant." And "squatter," for that matter. (Doubling the final consonant before adding "er" is pretty basic.)

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 11:24 p.m.

Thanks for the spelling tips.

And thanks for being yet another woman, that supports women that support the men that beat the crap out of them or shoot them.

And Mona...being a boxing fan doesn't mean I'm a fan of Tyson, the person. But I'm curious as to the trainwreck that's his life (all by his creating, might I add...no matter how hard he tries to blame Don King, Desiree Washington, or anyone else).

You ask why I'd spend $10 to support that kind of art. Well, two things. First, I got in free. Second, I bet you spend $10 for the crap that Michael Moore makes, which is bogus documentaries.

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SDaniels May 11, 2009 @ 11:30 p.m.

Because we CARE, Josh, I will add:

...remembering to call people "who," not "that," such as: The woman "who" had a face transplant, not the woman "that" had a face transplant.

And--the possessive apostrophe: As we can see, it can really interfere with the meaning of your posts. I thought "Cops Pay" meant that cops were paying for something; you meant "Cops' Pay," which refers to the salary situation of police officers.

I think I'm afraid to see this Crazy Love. It sounds mighty depressing, more so than satires set in funeral homes...

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 1:08 a.m.

antigeekess wrote:

"But you know, it's hard to say what function people serve in each other's lives. I've done what most people would regard as some pretty squirrelly things (no, not put up with physical abuse from a man) for the simple reason that I just couldn't stand to do anything else. It's a matter of priorities and one's own personal ethics. Which possible outcome would YOU rather live with, in any given situation? Which one would absolutely torture YOU the most? To hell with what anyone else thinks."

Hey anti, I think I have a bigger crush on your philosophies than you do on Campbell's :)

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 1:38 a.m.

"King of Kong -- A Fistful of Quarters. It came out a few years ago, and follows geeks around that try to break Donkey Kong and other video came records."

There was a really funny article in Harper's or TNY'er some months ago, about a guy who wrote something like a 500 page manual tracing out all of the possible moves of, and how to beat Ms. Pacman. I mean, well you know, not "beat" her. Who'd want to beat that cute little button with a bow! Apparently, the Japanese makers of the game were fascinated; the guy would let them sit in on some of his gaming sessions, which could last hours and hours.

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monaghan May 12, 2009 @ 7:17 a.m.

Josh, I am glad to know that you don't approve of men pushing women around or women allowing that to happen and that, as a journalist, you are working on your spelling. Now if we could address your boxing problem....What "sport" could be more brutal? Think about the condition of Joe Louis and Mohammed Ali in old age? You're right, though, I did shell out to see Michael Moore's films, but the bloom is off the rose these days: "Roger and Me" was the best of the lot. Finally, I thought that spelling tip about doubling the final consonant before adding "er" was a keeper.

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antigeekess May 12, 2009 @ 8:06 a.m.

"And thanks for being yet another woman, that supports women that support the men that beat the crap out of them or shoot them."

Well, JB, I figured out a LONG time ago that you're an ethically-oriented person who's driven purely by your own sense of justice, and that's about it. Not a BAD thing at all. Unfortunately, other qualities such as compassion and empathy never enter into it. There's no apparent ability to imagine any interpretation of events other than your own, which seems to match whatever rumor or tiny sensationalist news blurb has found its way to your overly-judgmental ears.

There's a name for that, but I won't go there.

Most people can't see past the end of their noses. They're chronically, hopelessly shortsighted (which explains a LOT of things). Some people, like great chess players -- and good drivers on the freeway -- are able to see many possible moves ahead and weigh the possible outcomes. Their behavior is based on THAT, which baffles the nearsighted, who think they're just silly/paranoid. And still other people may be basing their behavior on an even greater ability to see what's coming around the bend, reaching the level of what the rest of us would call "paranormal." And yes, I know you don't believe in that either.

Your ASSumption (easy to spell THAT one, isn't it?) in this case is that the women in question are acting out of weakness/co-dependence/laziness/stupidity. And in fact, that's probably accurate in a lot of cases. But it could be any combination of compassion, stubbornness, or just a very well thought out decision based on what the eventual outcomes will be either way.

With every decision, an infinite number of other people are affected. Some people recognize this, and aren't necessarily thinking of themselves first when they make baffling decisions.

These include the ones that seem to defy self-preservation and common sense -- the kind that bug other people (like you) the most.

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antigeekess May 12, 2009 @ 8:31 a.m.

"I think I'm afraid to see this Crazy Love. It sounds mighty depressing, more so than satires set in funeral homes..."

It's done extremely well. The revelation of exactly WHAT he did to her is perfect.

By the end of the film, things are actually kinda funny, with her having the last laugh on a daily basis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_Love_(2007_film)

I didn't realize it had won the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Documentary. It's even available for Instant Viewing from Netflix.

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Josh Board May 12, 2009 @ 10:35 a.m.

Okay SD...you have to see Crazy Love now, just to tell anti how insane that woman is. Because, any woman that could watch this and condone the relationship, is beyond me. It makes women look pathetic.

No man would stay with a woman that went Lorena Bobbit on him.

Roger and Me was Moore's best. Very enjoyable. And I loved his show, TV Nation. But, to site his website as a place where he defends his critics. Come on.

This is a guy who has made over $100 million, and kept all that money. Why doesn't he give most of it away, like he feels the Republicans should?

He is a guy that says our health care system ranks really low (what was it...in the 30s?) And he says Cuba is higher. C'mon, that's crap. Even to say Canada has a better system, is very deceptive, as if anyone does research (and you guys all seem so big on me doing research), you'll know that their system has a load of problems, including cancer patients that need immediate surgery, having to wait 8 months, or choosing to come here to get it done immediately!

He also cuts documentaries so it looks like people say certain things at certain times. That's lame. If you can't make your argument by showing things the way they are, then don't make it.

Anti...I'm not sure how you think I'm short sighted on my views. If people bring up valid points, I listen. And often I'll change my mind. I'm curious as to your opinion on the thread from a few days ago, about women supposedly making less than men. I'm pretty sure I already know your answer, but I'm curious.

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mike1 May 12, 2009 @ 4:32 p.m.

He cites where his facts come from. (And not from his imagination believe it or not.) So yes he puts it on his website. You can choose to not believe it or feel the source is fraudulent if you want. And every single documentary and movie has a point of view and cannot include every possible fact or item relating to whatever subject matter is being discussed. Movies are edited. If there is an edit that completely distorts the main point than you can criticize that. I have some problems with the way he shoots some of his films. But there's a difference between that, or taking issue with some editing of comments, and then saying the whole thing is bogus. Because you can make that criticism of every single documentary, biography, book, etc.

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Josh Board May 12, 2009 @ 5:16 p.m.

I don't think you can say every documentary does that. Sure, every documentary has an agenda, maybe.

But, I'll take a few points from Moore. His edits of the applause at the gun rally thing after Columbine. It made it look like they were applauding for one thing that was said, when they weren't.

Him showing Bush talking so glib and carefree about terrorists, before saying "Now watch this shot" and hitting a golf ball. This segment was before 9/11, yet it makes it look like it was after, and he didn't care at all about the 9/11 victims...to be on a golf course and talking so cavalierly about the subject.

Then, there's some politicians that got ambushed by him with a question about whether or not they'd sign a thing sending their kids to war (which is the stupidest argument anti-war people can say). They show one politician stop in his tracks, with his jaw dropped, before editing to the next one.

This politician said what wasn't shown was him saying "I have a relative there. My nephew is going next week. I'd gladly sign this, and take these forms inside for you" (as per what Moore asked). Yet, he left that all out.

Again, I wouldn't have a problem with THAT, just leave out the entire thing with that one politician, instead of the surprised look on his face, when it's taken out of context.

Anyone would have a surprised look on their face if Michael Moores fat head shows up when you aren't expecting it.

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