Once Upon a Time in Uganda Review

In Hollywood, independent cinema is mostly made up of auteur filmmakers, producers, financiers, and up-and-coming talent who want to take a chance on a movie becoming a surprise hit or sparking a career that will bring them into the big leagues of Tinseltown. But in Wakaliwood, a makeshift production studio in Uganda, independent cinema is purely a passion driven by determined filmmaker Isaac Nabwana (or Nabwana I.G.G.), who continually rounds up volunteer actors, homemade props, crudely constructed camera equipment, and self-made computers, all so he can make blockbuster action movies.

Once Upon a Time in Uganda (formerly known as Lights, Camera, Uganda) is a new documentary that follows American actor and festival programmer Alan Hofmanis as he abandons his life in New York City to help the man known as “Africa’s Tarantino” get on Hollywood’s radar with his unique, bombastic brand of action comedy movies made possible by a passionate community in the slums of Uganda. Read More »

For Madmen Only Review

You may not know the name Del Close, but you are undoubtedly familiar with the comedians he taught. Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Bob Odenkirk, Amy Sedaris, Chris Farley and many more all received improvisational comedy training from Del Close, but in a rather unconventional way.

For Madmen Only is a new documentary that chronicles the life of Del Close as he goes through the process of creating a DC Comics title called Wasteland, a horror anthology series that took cues from Close’s life, but exaggerated them into gnarly, surreal tales of terror. But perhaps more importantly, it follows his never-ending ambition to turn long-form improv into an art form that was not only accessible to audiences, but could also be taught to generations of comedians. Oh, and you should probably know that Del Close is absolutely insane, and everyone who knew him confirms that here. Read More »

Dark Side of the Ring Season 2

Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, there’s a good chance you heard about the tragic story of Chris Benoit. That’s because in June of 2007, the world was shocked by news that Benoit had murdered his wife Nancy and their 7-year old son Daniel and then killed himself. The shocking crime and suicide sparked a debate about the mental health of athletes that unfortunately still goes on to this day. Now Benoit’s story will be told in two parts as the second season premiere of Vice’s wrestling documentary series The Dark Side of the Ring, and the first part has been made available online in its entirety for free. Read More »

We Don't Deserve Dogs Review

(The SXSW Film Festival may have been cancelled, but our coverage will go on with reviews of films and TV shows made available to our critics.)

Dogs have already been given the designation of man’s best friend, and while that seems a little unfair to cat-lovers out there, it’s hard to argue with the idea that dogs are generally more loyal and loving than their feline counterparts. If you don’t believe that now, you might after you see Matthew Salleh‘s new documentary We Don’t Deserve Dogs.

The title cashes in on the popularity of the phrase that is constantly used on the internet whenever people’s dogs do wonderful, touching and lovely things for their humans, implying that dogs are too good to us. In reality, the film makes a strong case for why humans not only deserve dogs, but in many cases, desperately need their affection, loyalty and companionship to get through the hardships of life, recover from trauma, make a living, or just enjoy life to its full potential. It’s a compassionate chronicle of dogs from all around the world, but it’s also a portrait of their humans who have been through the wringer, and it will make you shed enough tears to fill your dog’s water bowl. Read More »

Insert Coin Review

(The SXSW Film Festival may have been cancelled, but our coverage will go on with reviews of films and TV shows made available to our critics.)

Today, most video games are played from the comfort of our own homes. But there was a time when adults, teens, and kids flocked to arcades to play the latest video games. The late 1970s and early 1980s is considered the golden age of arcade games, but it all came crashing down suddenly and hard in the late 1980s. However, there was a renaissance of coin-operated gaming in the 1990s, even in the face of Nintendo and SEGA bringing more and more advanced video games into the home. At the heart of this resurgence was Midway Games, a group of tech-savvy geeks who would create some of the most influential and popular video games of all time.

The new documentary Insert Coin, which was meant to play the SXSW film festival, tells their story, and it’s an excellent look back at this exciting period in gaming history. Read More »

the skywalker legacy sneak peek

Disney has released a sneak peek of The Skywalker Legacy, a new behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and how it wrapped up a 40-year saga. The documentary will be available as bonus material on The Rise of Skywalker 4K Blu-ray and DVD when they drop on March 31. See the first 10 minutes of The Skywalker Legacy below.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Documentary Clip

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was made available for purchase on digital a little bit early over the weekend. However, if you’re one of the fans waiting until the movie comes home on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD at the end of March, we’ve got another sneak peek at one of the bonus features coming with it.

On all home video releases of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, there’s a feature length documentary called The Skywalker Legacy, focusing on the impact of Star Wars over the years and the making of the final chapter in the Skywalker saga. A new clip from that documentary shines a light on the second unit of production, which was responsible for the big speeder chase on Pasaana. Listen as second unit director Victoria Mahoney talks about how her childhood recklessness on a bike influenced her work with action today. Read More »

Atlanta's Missing and Murdered Trailer

Between 1979 and 1981, 30 African American children and young adults either disappeared or were murdered all throughout Atlanta. Wayne Williams was eventually convicted of two of the crimes, and the general assumption at the time – at least according to law enforcement – was that Williams was guilty of all of the murders. But was he? Or was the case closed too quickly? The new HBO docuseries Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children delves into the story.

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beastie boys story trailer

Ch-ch-check it out: Spike Jonze made a live documentary about the iconic hip-hop group for Apple TV+. The Beastie Boys made their mark on the popular music scene with their brand of experimental hip-hop, and rose to fame through the ’80s and ’90s. In the unique live documentary Beastie Boys StoryJonze charts their rise to fame, their fall, and the legacy that they left behind with surviving members Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz taking the stage to speak about the band to a live audience. Watch the Beastie Boys Story trailer below.

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Dick Johnson is Dead Review

Kirsten Johnson’s film Dick Johnson is Dead isn’t dissimilar from Mucho Mucho Amor, which premiered at the True/False film festival just the night before Johnon’s film had its T/F opening, in the same exact venue. Where Mucho Mucho Amor is a more unexpected tale of closure at the end of a life, however, Dick Johnson is Dead is about preparing for a very expected end–the eventual death of Johnson’s father, the eponymous Dick Johnson, from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Kirsten Johnson (who also directed the masterful Cameraperson) and her father conspire on an artistic experiment meant to take some of the sting out of Dick’s expected passing. Johnson creates a series of short scenes in which Dick is killed, shockingly and accidentally. He falls down a set of stairs. He’s crushed by an air conditioner, and killed in a car accident. Johnson even buys him a small coffin to test out which, hilariously, cost exactly $666. She also films a few scenes that are her approximation of heaven, in which Dick is reunited with his wife, Johnson’s mother, and enjoys copious amounts of chocolate cake.

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