Harlan County U.S.A.

I’ve really been hooked on documentaries lately. I looked at a lot of lists online for the top rated documentaries. This was near the top of every list. It’s about a coal miners’ strike in 1973. And I just don’t get it. I understand the significance of the whole thing and they did manage to captured some great moments, but it was no where near the best documentary I’ve ever seen. As a matter of fact, it was pretty long and boring. I’m glad I saw it, but it’s just not something I’d ever watch again, or ever recommend to anyone.

Vernon, Florida

My youth minister let me borrow a tape of this in high school. I remember watching and thinking it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen. For years I tried to remember what it was called. A few months ago I thought about it and did some research and finally found out that this movie was what I’d seen. I got a copy last week and we watched it with the Mezzells. I was maybe not quite as hilarious as I remember thinking it was, but it is pretty dang funny. It about an hour long, and all it consists of is people who live in Vernon, Florida talking. That may sound boring, but these people are far from normal. I’d recommend this to pretty much everyone. It’s strange, silly and quite interesting.

One Day in September

This was easily the best of this batch of documentaries. I invited Reid to come watch this one with me because I knew he liked the movie Munich, and had visited some of the places that have to do with this ordeal when he was in Germany. The movie is about the kidnapping and killing of some of the Israeli team by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Olympics. Parts of this film were new to me, and some of them were quite unbelievable. I’d recommend this to people who are interested in documentaries. It’s very educational, well made, and at times quite a shock.

Night and Fog

This is another one Reid watched with me. It’s about the Holocaust, mainly the concentration camps. Obviously, it’s super depressing and sad and gruesome. It was a good documentary, though. Luckily it was only around 30 minutes long. I don’t know if I could’ve taken much more. The whole thing is in French, but it’s all narration, which I commented to Reid would be easy to just redo with an English translation. Maybe it adds to the movie? Anyway, this isn’t something most people would want to see, but it was good non-the-less.

Eagle Eye

This isn’t a documentary. It is, however, quite good. It’s very intense and pretty non-stop. I was hoping whatever was behind all that was going on wasn’t super cheesy, and it wasn’t. There are definitely some holes in the plot, but for an action/suspense movie, I was happy with it. Definitely worth checking out.

Dark Days

Sheena and I had seen this documentary before, but we wanted the Mezzells to check it out, so I got it at the library and we watched it last night. It’s really, really good. To give a little background, the director of the film decided to go live with the homeless living in an abandoned section of an underground railway system in New York City. After a few months, he decided to make a documentary to gain awareness and help raise some money for them. He’d never made a film before. This movie is super interesting, and sad, and enlightening, and awesome. I’d recommend this to pretty much everyone. It’s got some bad language, and parts are quite heartbreaking, but it’s a great glimpse into the homeless community.