Monday, February 22, 2010

33. Watch 10 Documentaries - DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks to Dave Kulp for this suggestion and for Matt Tringali for choosing it. I'm not the brainy type, so you'd think that a documentary on the National Spelling Bee would not be something I'd enjoy. But I did. And who new it was a comedy. So funny. The kids are weird and charming. The parents are just plain crazy. And it was loads of fun to watch. I'd recommend this one for sure.


I loved this one. One of my favorites thus far (thanks Rebecca McD for the recommendation). And just for the record, Matt did pick this one. Sort of. It was in my Netflix instant queue and it came up. He said sure, so I say he picked it.

It is a must see, whether you believe in God or not. It's about scientists who believe that Intelligent Design is a plausible theory for how the world started and how they are getting the boot from the academia world. And it also had a great bit in there about how Darwinism and Hitler are linked. Very interesting. And sad.

Now, I'm pretty scared to see my last documentary. Matt has a lot of war ones in the Netflix queue. Stay tuned to see what he picks...


So, this documentary gets mixed reviews.

The Good: This film was a very interesting concept and had loads of potential. I love how he is living his convictions. I love how his wife was overall very supportive. I love how it brings to light some issues that the world as a whole needs to address.

The Bad: He sets the film up poorly. He states that he and his family are going to live with no net environmental impact for one year. Actually, his "year" happened in phases. So, he did end up turning his power off, but for only 6 months. Understandably, he arranged it so they would have heat for the winter. I get that. They have a kid and would probably prefer for Child Protection Services Agency to not make a home visit. But, I felt misled. I feel like if he had just said that up front (this is but one of many examples), the film would have had a lot more integrity.

The Ugly: No toilet paper. Composting in the house = flies all over. And the nastiest of all: no restaurants.

So, would I recommend it? It's entertaining to watch. So, watch it with that filter. I wouldn't call it life changing. I feel like I do a pretty good job of being "low impact". And it didn't inspire me to do more. I felt like it was a interesting story of 1 man's personal journey. Could be that if you are more emotion driven, you will love this film. I'm more logical and facts driven. So, it doesn't make sense to me when he tells his family they won't use toilet paper, then use a newspaper to kills flies. it doesn't make sense to me when he says all the garbage we produce is causing asthma and brain damage...but then doesn't give the reference for that statement. He undermines himself in many ways - even the title discredits him a bit to me. So, watch it - don't watch it. I have no strong feeling about this film.

On a slightly more interesting note - my husband has been so gracious and sweet watching all these documentaries with me and he just informed me tonight that had it been up to him, we'd be watching different films. So, he'll be choosing my last 2 documentaries. Yikes.


The 5 words that come to mind right after watching this film:

1. Interesting
2. Sad
3. Enlightening
4. Racist
5. Offensive

I saw Chris Rock on Oprah a while back, promoting this documentary. To be honest, I thought it would be a lot funnier than it was. So, if you're looking for funny, look elsewhere. If you are looking for insight into the hair of black women: this might give you some. A little bit. I felt like it had so much potential; in the end, I was left disappointed and offended.


Just watched Dark Days. Very good documentary on a group of homeless people who live in an Amtrak tunnel. There is some language, which is understandable considering the content. If you're looking for the plight of the "typical" homeless person...look elsewhere. It is not a movie you can watch and then generalize to the public as a whole. But, it was a very interesting look in to the tragic and often funny lives of these particular group of people. If you're at all interested in the lives of those without homes, Dark Days is a movie you should watch.


And on a heavier note: this documentary was amazing. Sad. Tragic. I cried several times. It's about a middle school in a small rural town in Tennessee that took on a huge project collecting 6 million paper clips to represent the 6 million Jews that were murdered in the Holocaust.

I love anything Nazi Germany. Non-fiction: The Diary of Anne Frank; The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. Fiction: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; Sarah's Key (which is actually based on a historical event in France and is a must read) . And now I can add Nazi Germany documentary to my list.

I enjoyed both The March of the Penguins and Paper Clips. They have both left me to marvel at God's creation. How amazing is God that he designed Penguins to do what they do. And how gracious of God to send a savior to do what He did for a people who are capable of something so horrific as the Holocaust.


The story of these Emperor Penguins is amazing...but not as amazing as the photography in this documentary. The shots they were able to get really is extraordinary. I would highly recommend watching this film. It's sweet, sad, and weirdly romantic.


Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. Very interesting documentary about, well, the high cost of the low prices of Walmart (someone did a great job on the title of this documentary). It's a bit sensationalistic, which I loathe. It tries (successfully) to pull on your emotions and heart strings.

I heard about this film years ago, when it 1st came out (2005)....which happened to be around the same time that I decided to stop shopping there. My personal boycott was about customer services...or the lack thereof. And now after watching this, I'm even more delighted in my decision.


The Future of Food. It's similar to Food Inc. but has more information about genetically modified food. It brings up interesting issues such as patent law, can life be patented, is there enough food to eradicate starvation, could genetically modified food solve world hunger, the politics behind the FDA and EPA, and much more. Regardless of which political side you are on, this film is a must see for those interested in the topic. Better yet - see it with friends so you can talk about it afterward.


I loved Food Inc. It was well produced, honest, and did a good job of presenting the information and letting you determine what you think about it and if you will change anything based on it. And let me say, if I ate beef, I'd be all over Baucom's -

So, here's how this movie has affected me: I've decided to not buy Perdue or Tyson chicken. The way they have their farmers treat their chickens is detestable. Earth Fare, here I come.

And interesting timing. I watched this movie last night. My sister just posted on her blog about this movie:

She's am amazing writer (she writes for Paula Deen people!) and teacher of food and happens to be working on pieces about eating local and organic. She's actually having a give-a-way of Food Inc. So ironic.  So, go visit her page and enter to win this wonderful must see documentary.


  1. Penguins and Paper Clips are both in our Netflix cue. I guess we'll need to be in the right frame of mind for the latter. Thanks for saying I'm a good writer; that's sweet. :)

  2. Still no Spellbound...Get on it!

  3. You finally watched Spellbound! I knew you would like it...the "I am a Robot" kid is the best! Oh and I watched Dark days after I read it on here...Very interesting!