John Greenleaf Whittier 9 p.m., Nov. 22
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Mike Tyson and Other Documentaries
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.