Finders Keepers review sundance

On Friday I screened the first great film of the 2015 Sundance film festival. Finders Keepers is a hilarious, bizarre and sometimes devastating documentary about the true life story of two men. Shannon Whisnant purchases a storage unit at auction and is surprised to find a severed human leg inside a used bbq grill. The other man, John Wood, wants his leg back, but Whisnant isn’t about to let that happen.

Read the rest of my Finders Keepers review and see a clip from the film, embedded after the jump.

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Drew Struzan Batkid header

On November 13, 2013, an event happened that showed the best of what this tech-crazed, celebrity obsessed world can do. Ironically though, the person the event was about had no idea what he’d inspired. That’s the story of Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, which tells the incredibly story of Miles Scott, a young California boy diagnosed with Leukemia whose one wish was to be the real Batman. The San Francisco Make-A-Wish Foundation tried to grant that wish and as word began to spread of their plans, it became an event that – as the title says – was heard around the world.

Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World premiered this weekend at the Slamdance Film Festival. Continue our Batkid Begins review below. Read More »

How to Change the World review

Being too young when the group was in its initial firebrand incarnation to understand, much less appreciate the early activism of Greenpeace, I’ve ended up simply dismissive of the organization as a whole. That’s despite knowing nothing about the group’s founding. The Sundance doc How to Change the World is a good way find a path back through the group’s history.

At its best, How to Change the World is tremendously inspiring, and by turns thrilling, comic, and shocking. A portrait of the achievements of an unlikely group of allies rather than a sales pitch for the modern organization, How to Change the World is drawn from writings by founder Robert Hunter, the group’s shaggy, media-savvy general, and features jaw-dropping footage culled from the Greenpeace archive of film footage. Though while the film offers a vision of Greenpeace I’d never seen, it is also somewhat overlong, and cursed with organizational problems that add nothing to the audience experience. Read More »

Deep Web teaser

Here’s a lively first teaser for Deep Web, a new documentary from Bill and Ted co-star Alex Winter, who recently directed the doc Downloaded. The new film Deep Web looks into the FBI takedown of Silk Road, the online marketplace most famous for dealing drugs online, and investigates the charges against Ross Ulbricht, who authorities claim was “the Dread Pirate Roberts,” responsible for running Silk Road. The doc will premiere in spring 2015; check out the Deep Web teaser below.  Read More »

Great Directors documentary

The 2009 film Great Directors from doc filmmaker Angela Ismailos is a great introduction to the work, creative philosophies and personalities of ten directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Agnes Varda, Ken Loach, Todd Haynes, Catherine Breillat, Richard Linklater and John Sayles. The film presents conversations and clips from the work of those filmmakers, and is just the sort of thing to turn new audiences on to films from each of those filmmakers, or, if you’re already a fan of that crew, to bolster your knowledge of each. Watch the full Great Directors documentary below.  Read More »

Racing Extinction

As the Sundance Film Festival kicks off, even those of us stuck at home miles away from Park City are getting a first look at some of this year’s highlights. One of those is Racing Extinction, the new documentary from Louie Psihoyos (The Cove).

Racing Extinction looks at humanity’s role in mass extinction, revealing how close we are to losing thousands of species. Watch the Racing Extinction trailer after the jump. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Drew Struzan Batkid poster

Legendary poster artist Drew Struzan is the best kind of retired. He’s retired, unless he feels like working. So though the artist is officially off the books, he’s released a few posters for Mondo in the past few years. He did a poster for How to Train Your Dragon 2, and if rumors are correct he might be doing something for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His latest poster is for an upcoming documentary called Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, which will premiere later this month at the Slamdance Film Festival. It’s the tale behind the Make-A-Wish story that captured the world.

Below, check out the full poster and watch a new behind the scenes video about Batkid Begins. Read More »

the science of interstellar

Discovery Channel has released The Science of Interstellar, a 42 minute documentary about the Cosmology and science behind Christopher Nolan‘s sci-fi epic. The documentary is narrated by Interstellar star Matthew McConaughey and takes us behind the sci-fact of the sci-fi. The film’s producer and consultant Kip Thorne (Cal Tech theoretical physicist) guides us through how Nolan adapted science and theory into the story, and explains the real science behind the ideas presented in the film.. Watch The Science of Interstellar embedded after the jump.

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Ralph McQuarrie documentary
Artist Ralph McQuarrie‘s concept art was a huge influence on most of our childhoods – Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, E.T. would not look the way they did if it had not been for McQuarrie’s illustrations during the development phase. While McQuarrie died a few years back, his work is still a huge influence on the biggest movies coming out today — notably JJ Abrams appears to be going back to McQuarrie’s old unused Star Wars concept designs for Star Wars: The Force Awakenssee some examples here. LucasFilm helped produced Ralph McQuarrie: Tribute to a Master for Star Wars Celebration VI in 2012. You can watch the five part Ralph McQuarrie documentary embedded after the jump.
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