Documentary Review Part 2

One of the goals for my Day Zero Challenge was to watch 10 documentaries. I enjoy getting an informational glimpse into the lives of others and usually learn a thing or two in the process. {And, let’s face it, it’s much faster than reading a book! ;-)} Here are my reviews of two that I’ve watched recently.

3. Food, Inc.

“Director Robert Kenner’s Oscar-nominated documentary explores the food industry’s detrimental effects on our health and environment. Kenner spotlights the men and women who are working to reform an industry rife with monopolies, questionable interpretations of laws and subsidies, political ties and rising rates of E. coli outbreaks.”

{My Rating: 2 of 5}

This movie was based on two books,  Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  I actually read the book Fast Food Nation in high school {6 years ago?!} and it really opened my eyes.  I literally have not eaten at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc. since then.

The book exposed the fact that the health and safety of the food itself, of the animals themselves, of the assembly line workers, and of the consumers are often overlooked by the companies and by the government in an effort to provide cheap food regardless of consequence.

The movie Food, Inc. gets 2 out of 5 from me because it was nowhere near as good as the book Fast Food Nation.  The information in the movie was portrayed as a drama as opposed to a documentary, so many of the most important facts were left out or glazed over.  If you are truly interested in learning more about the modern food industry, do yourself a favor and read the book Fast Food Nation; the movie, on the other hand, was forgettable.


4. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

“When Steve Wiebe got laid off, he turned to the classic arcade game Donkey Kong for solace; soon, he decided to challenge Billy Mitchell’s long-standing record score. So began the bitter rivalry that lies at the heart of this curiously compelling documentary. Providing a history of competitive video gaming and a look at some of the key players, The King of Kong is at its best when revealing just how far Mitchell will go to retain his crown.” 


{My rating: 5 of 5}

I totally did not expect much from this documentary; however, I was completely blown away.  It not only provided great insight into the world of competitive video gaming {which I did not even know existed}, but it was highly entertaining.  There is an underground society and an entire organization devoted to verifying and maintaining the record books for the top scores in classic video games.  The great lengths that these men went to in order to be the “best in the world” at their game was incredible. 

Surprisingly, the film reels you in emotionally as well.  I could care less about video games in general, and even less about competitive gaming, but by the end of the documentary my heart went out to Steve Wiebe.  I wanted him to get the record so badly!  I won’t say much more because I don’t want to give away the ending; all I can say is that I highly recommend this movie.  {It’s on Netflix instant streaming right now if you have it, so cheap entertainment!} 

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1 Response to Documentary Review Part 2

  1. Kate says:

    I love King of Kong! I wasn’t expecting to like it so much either, but it really pulls you in. Great movie.

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