Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Encounters at the End of the World (2007) G - 4½ Stars

Now if you want to watch something that is totally cool, literally, and you can appreciate how insignificant the human race really is in comparison to mother nature, you will absolutely love this movie. It's breathtaking and a little peek into part of the world most will never see in their lifetimes. Werner Herzog, with his ironic humor in his commentary, takes a delve into the human psyche and allows us to visit places most have little knowledge of. It's not a National Geographic, look how pretty documentary, but a real feeling of connection to the opposite end of the world.

I was truly in awe at the living conditions and work being done by scientists that are drawn like a magnet to this world. It's not an action packed Jacques Cousteau and does take some time to lead into this isolated world, but I found myself just drawn in like a magnet as well. From experiencing life underwater against an iceberg, the Pink Floyd symphony of the seals, the eerie steam formed ice caves of the active volcano at Mt. Erebus and even the disoriented Penguin who will walk himself till death in the wrong direction because he is that sure of himself, the film makes you feel tiny.

Filmed entirely at the South Pole in the Antarctic community of McMurdo Station, located on Ross Island, at the headquarters of the National Science Foundation. Even the lessons on survival training, show just how rough it is for this men and women to live, work and call this place their home. Absolutely hauntingly stunning! Thank you Werner Herzog.

ThinkFilm, Image Entertainment
Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: Werner Herzog
Producers: Andrea Meditch, Henry Kaiser
I viewed 1/10

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film (2006) NR - 2 Stars

Being the movie lover that I am, I felt in appropriate to educate myself more about key players in the industry. You're only going to enjoy this documentary, on the life of Hunter S. Thompson, if you're interested in learning more about the man behind the "Gonzo" journalism style. Gonzo style roughly involves the reporter writing himself as a central figure into whatever he's reporting on.

With touching tributes from Thompson's good friends like, Johnny Depp and Sean Penn, taken after his death, I felt the love they had for him from other's in the industry but I don't feel like I learned much more about him like what made him so anti establishment. Instead, I found the film a bit on the boring side more like a tribute than an insight. An old sounding Nick Nolte narrates while Tom Thurman directs. "Buy the ticket, take the ride," was also how Thompson lived by. He believed when you start something, you finish it no matter where the journey takes you and staying true to your course.

Thompson was a strange bird and his quirkiness will be etched into the archival pages of journalism for ever. When I first saw his film, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," I thought it was about one of the most bizarre films I'd ever seen. Bill Murray perfectly captures Thompson down to the fact he doesn't move his mouth or lips when speaking making it hard to listen to his dialogue. For me, closed captions is the only way to go if you want to understand what he has to say. I've added "Buffalo Roam" to my list of movies to rent, more out of curiosity. I have another film at home to view, "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson," so stayed tuned for that review soon.

Starz Original
Director: Tom Thurman
Writer: Tom Marksbury
Producers: Christopher Black, Tom Thurman
I viewed 4/10