Documentary Review Part 3

One of the goals for my Day Zero Challenge was to watch 10 documentaries.  Here are my reviews of two that I’ve watched recently.

5. Freakonomics

“Some of the world’s most innovative documentary filmmakers will explore the hidden side of everything.”

{My Rating: 2 of 5}

This movie was based on the best-selling book Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.  I actually really enjoyed the book, so much so that I read Super Freakonomics right when it came out.  The authors expose the way people respond to incentives and tie it to many different examples of popular culture.

I had high hopes for the movie after loving the books so much, but it was a complete letdown.  My sister and I watched it together, and we were both underwhelmed.  The movie gets a 2 out of 5 from me because it left out a lot of necessary information.  Some of the most interesting facts in the book were glazed over, and yet they went in depth for half an hour talking about why sumo wrestlers sometimes cheat (which was the least interesting chapter).  Also, it seemed very incoherent.  The format of the movie was such that several popular documentary directors each filmed a segment representing one chapter from the book.  It may have sounded good on paper, but there was just no consistency.  Different chapters were animated, dubbed over, acted; it was all over the place. If you are interested in learning some really unique information on pop culture, I’d highly recommend reading the book, and passing on the movie..

6.  Exit Through the Gift Shop

“The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The incredible true story of how the world’s greatest Street Art movie was never made…”

{My rating: 5 of 5}

I was expecting great things from this movie, since it was one of the Oscar nominees this year, and it did not disappoint.  It’s one of the best documentaries I’ve seen!  The film begins by showcasing the fascinating underground work of various street artists and soon after shows the director’s new found obsession with finding and documenting the work of Banksy, one of the most infamous street artists of all time.  The quest is intriguing and it takes a twist that you will never expect.

This movie gets a 5 out of 5 from me; it offered an inspiring glimpse into the lives of many street artists.  They work for money just enough to survive, but their true passion is lived out at night, as they plan and execute their newest art projects on the streets.  And trust me, you’ll love the twist the movie takes!  I didn’t expect it at all from the description, and it was actually better than what I anticipated it would be.

{FYI, both of these are on Netflix instant streaming right now, so cheap entertainment if you have it!}

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