Amanda Knox: A Feast for the Eyes
Netflix’s newest documentary, Amanda Knox, is an absorbing and complex biopic that reels you in from start until finish. The murder of Meredith Kercher is one of the most haunting stories in the last decade.
"Either I'm a psychopath in sheep's clothing, or I am you …” I’ll let this line spoken directly from Amanda Knox herself sink in throughout this review. One of the most provocative cases in the last decade, documentarians (Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn) speak hand-to-hand with Knox who was convicted and eventually acquitted for the 2007 death of another student, Meredith Kercher, in Italy. Grey slatted and pasty faced, Knox examines her story to the audience telling it in strange fashioned.
In 2007, Knox was an American exchange student traveling to Perugia, Italy. Young and sexed-obsessed, Knox met a boy named Raffaele Sollecito. In Knox’s own words, “they were lovers.” Though, they had only known each other for a matter of a week, Knox exclaimed they could spend a lifetime together. When suddenly on November 1, 2007, Knox’s roommate (Kercher) was found stabbed to death in her room. This eventually led police of Perugia to arrest Knox, Sollecito and third-party Rudy Guede. The whole case turned the world upside down and was a feeding frenzy for tabloids. Headlines sprang and readers everywhere ate it up.
The “Foxy Knoxy” headline was a worldwide sensation. Knox was found guilty at the end of the first trial and then later acquitted due too a messy forensics investigation by the Perugia police … oh the madness! So is Knox a cold-blooded psychopath who brutally murdered her roommate or a naive student abroad trapped in an endless nightmare? I’ll let you be the judge and watch the documentary yourself only on Netflix. In a dog-eat-dog world, this true-crime case takes an eerie look at the inner demons inside the media and the very people around us. Amanda Knox is a documentary for the ages as we take the full 92 minutes to self-examine her underneath “sheep's clothing.”
Amanda Knox is Not Rated (NR).
Audrie & Daisy takes a harsh look at the painstaking recounts of two sexual assault cases through innocent eyes in this porn-addled boys world.
Netflix’s newest documentary shares the heartbreaking realities of sexual crimes that send ripple effects through families and communities across the nation. The documentary examines two teenage girls lives has they are broken from the aftermath of rape. Filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (The Island President, The Rape of Europa) take an in-depth look at the age of rape culture and cyber-bullying gone out of control.
Audrie & Daisy examines how our society encourages the horrible excuse of “boys will be boys" mindset. With this set of mentality, our culture allows young men to disregard other people’s innocence and sense of humanity. Both cases take place in 2012, the first being in Saratoga, California and the next being in Maryville, Missouri. Audrie Potts, sadly, committed suicide after events of her assault and online bullying. After Daisy Coleman’s assault her rural town of Maryville literally split into two sides. Some taking the boys side, while others supported Daisy.
At times infuriating, filmmakers show the horrors of sexual crime that goes unpunished because there are people who would rather blame the victims for what happened to them. While Audrie & Daisy gets a little messy in its editing and timeline, nevertheless, the film’s unflinching story and underlining message succeeds. Audrie & Daisy offers a redemptive message of compassion and hope. In the end, the documentary advocates a voice for women all around the nation to be strong and to speak out.
Audrie & Daisy is rated NR (Not Rated).
The 13th: An Eye Opener
The 13th delivers stunning commentary of America's tangled racial history striking a cord with your inner self.
One of the best documentaries of 2016, director Ava DuVernay (Selma) goes full throttle into America’s past history and where we are now as a society. DuVernay’s documentary refers to the 13th Amendment of our Constitution, which reads "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States."
As we read and see there’s a surprising loophole written within the 13th Amendment, as DuVernay teaches us a history-lesson of indictment on "new slavery.” This term refers to the mass incarceration of African-Americans within the American criminal justice system and it’s a major wake-up call. The documentary starts off with the abolishment of slavery in 1865 as a rejoicing community comes to a new start of possibilities. Unfortunately, this is also known as the beginning of an era known as mass criminalization. This affected all minorities inside the United States, particularly the African-American community.
The documentary travels through time as we explore the horrors and progress of our society. DuVernay unveils a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men. The 13th is a powerful look at what it means to be a black man or woman in America. It will certainly make you rethink history and where do we go from here?
Calm and controlled, DuVernay also explores the movements that have helped progress our society like the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements. In the end, The 13th engulfs its audience with dense information and an underlining message of hope. Note to the Academy: The 13th is hands down one of the best documentaries of 2016 and deserves every bit of that Oscar. Go and watch it one Netflix’s right now.
The 13th is NR (Not Rated).
Before the Flood is an epic documentary two-years in the making as we follow Leonardo DiCaprio’s quest on the effects of climate change around the world.
Before the Flood is a very solemn film about the man-made effects climate change rapidly hurting our planet. Although, the documentary may not cover new ground, nevertheless, Leo’s message of urgency is one that every human should hear. Director Fisher Stevens (Crazy Love) coherently layers scientific evidence with facts throughout the 96-minute film.
On and off the film set of The Revenant, DiCaprio travels the world to examine firsthand the effects of climate change, while also learning how to prevent catastrophic damage that could make the Earth unsustainable for human life. During Leo’s journey, he speaks with leaders such as President Barack Obama, Pope Francis and Elon Musk. DiCaprio also makes a speech before the United Nations as he calls for greater action on this pressing issue.
Before the Flood is a compelling as it is important for the sake of our planet. Viewers will take it or leave it before the film even begins, but for the sake of our environment try to watch with an open mind. You can watch the full-feature documentary right here or on YouTube by National Geographic. If you want to learn more about climate change or be apart of the cause go to https://www.beforetheflood.com/ “You are the last best hope of Earth. We ask you to protect it or we, and all living things we cherish, are history.” – Leo
Before the Flood PG (Parental Guidance). For thematic elements, some nude and suggestive art images, language and brief smoking.
The Accountant brings fun-filled action to the big screen, while also adding depth to the script with strong character narratives.
Ben Affleck’s newest feature film is a real doozy; The Accountant brings action junkies a new level of excitement to the cinemas. Director Gavin O'Connor (Warrior) and scriptwriter Bill Dubuque (The Judge) help infuse tension and paranoia into the film. Affleck’s acting is strong and subdued as he recalculates his daily routine of life in a small-town.
Christian Wolff’s (Affleck) day job is being a math wiz for a small-town CPA office. As for Wolff’s night job, he’s a freelance accountant for some of the world's most dangerous criminal organizations. The CPA gig is just a cover-up for Wolff as he bellies down in the underworld of crime. Wolff is also autistic, which plays a huge role in the plot and to his life on mathematics. O’Connor tightly allows the film to play to both Wolff’s strengths and weaknesses throughout. Also, trying to break Wolff’s true identity is the U.S. Treasury Department led by actors J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
Actors Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, and John Lithgow help balance the character depth throughout the film. O’Connor grapples with many twist and turns as he weaves character's stories to help piece the plot together. At times, The Accountant can seem outlandish; nevertheless, the actor’s performances and nicely packed action sequences help prevail the film to satisfying results. The Accountant jumps in during an exciting time at the cinemas, leaving viewers thrilled for more to come.
The Accountant is rated R (Restricted). For strong violence and language throughout.
The White Helmets: Everyday Heroes
“To save a life is to save all of humanity;” this is The White Helmets humbling message as we follow the lives of volunteer rescue workers in the midst of the Syrian civil war.
Watching this documentary-short is emotionally devastating as director Orlando Von Einsiedel (Virunga) brings the civil war to reality through the screen. Running at a short 41 minutes, The White Helmets leaves no room for breathing. Instantly, we are thrown into the chaos of the streets of Aleppo, Syria and Turkey as the violence intensifies. Following these volunteer rescue workers as they put everything on the line to save civilians whom are affected by the war.
This moving and provoking film will leave you in tears wanting to watch more. Netflix compellingly tells these real stories happening overseas, right now, in the world today. Everyday, there are bombs dropped all over Syria as the White Helmets bravely gather to rescue the civilians from turmoil. Director Von Einsiedel’s decision of using shaking cam allows the audience to fully grasp the realities of these events depicted. The White Helmets is a humbling portrait of the power of the human spirit and is more than just a movie … it’s real life.
Since the creation of the White Helmets, the group has saved more than 62,000 people from the attacks in Syria. To learn more about and possibly support the White Helmets go to https://www.whitehelmets.org/ “We don’t always know what will make history. This could be the thing that multiplies the movement of support for the White Helmets and forces world leaders to act to stop the bombs raining down on Syrian families. 141 White Helmets have been killed saving lives. For them and for every Syrian civilian, let’s watch this film, share it with our friends, and demand support for the White Helmets and their message of peace.” – Netflix
The White Helmets is Not Rated (NR).
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