Leap Of Faith William Friedkin On The Exorcist and The Nest (2020)

A lyrical and spiritual cinematic essay on The Exorcist, exploring the depths of William Friedkin’s mind’s eye, the nuances of his filmmaking process, and the mysteries of faith and fate that have shaped his life and filmography.

This was another really strong documentary to come out of this year, it’s very straightforward and to the point. It’s basically about the making of The Exorcist and it shares huge amounts of information some of which I didn’t actually know about. William Friedkin also seems really passionate about the film he has made which is beautiful to see, the documentary itself is very well crafted and feels very personal. It’s a huge tribute to one of the biggest horror movies of all time and it does a fantastic job of doing just that!! Highly recommend giving this one a go!!

8/10 B+

Life for an entrepreneur and his American family begins to take a twisted turn after moving into an English country manor.

The Nest I feel like is going to be one of this year’s divided award nominated films and I won’t be surprised if that ends up being the cast. There is absolutely no denying that Jude Law and Carrie Coon both give fantastic roles and rightfully got nominated for Gotham awards. Both of them did a fantastic job on bringing out raw performances that felt impactful at times. With that said the movie suffers from huge pacing issues and spend a little too much time on scenes that really felt like they were supposed to be shorter. The ending I also have very mixed feelings about it’s the type of ending where you are either going to love it or hate it. I do think the idea of The Nest was interesting and at times it was done well, the problem is that it never really expanded on those ideas in a lot of areas. I absolutely respect on what The Nest was trying to do a lot of it just did not work for me. I recommend giving it a watch because it is a solid movie.

7/10 B

I Am Greta (2020)

Documentary follows teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on her international crusade to get people to listen to scientists about the world’s environmental problems.

While I Am Greta is a solid documentary and at times very inspiring, a lot of it is things that a lot of people already know, I feel like this movie specifically made for people who have absolutely no idea who Greta Thunberg is (which is kind of hard to NOT know who she is) it’s a very nice introduction to her and tells what she wants to change and what she’s fighting for which is some really good causes and the points she makes are incredibly solid. With that said if you already know a lot about Thunberg you basically already watched this movie. I do wish it gave more insights on her as well. But I will say the movie is crafted very well, it was clearly made with a ton of effort and as I said it does have a ton of inspiring moments. But overall the end result is just solid documentary that really doesn’t standout in a year where tons of far superior documentaries have released.

7/10 B

Us Kids (2020)

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida speak out against the national gun-violence epidemic after a mass shooting at their school kills 17 people.

I’m going to keep this short because Us Kids isn’t really something that needs a long explanation of why it’s so powerful. Us Kids as you can tell from the summery is about the 2018 Parkland Shooting, the movie also cleverly connects stories to black students who have experienced gun violence that the media doesn’t give enough attention. Us Kids is truly a powerful documentary it’s about stepping up when your leaders don’t do a single thing and keep saying the exact same thing over and over again. There’s tons of powerful moments here, moments that if you have watched the news around the time the shooting happened you will most definitely remember and some very emotional moments as well. It’s also a very well put together film, that does what it’s set out to do…educate. It really shows how much these teens want things to change and it really captures of how much they want it as well. Overall Us Kids is a fantastic film I highly recommend seeing this one when you get the chance!

9/10 A

Time (2020)

Fox Rich fights for the release of her husband, Rob, who is serving a 60-year sentence in prison.

Time is one of those documentaries that is sort of hard to actually review, as this is a very personal type documentary. As said in the plot it’s about Fox Rich fighting for the release of her husband, it is truly a powerful documentary that really gets to you. It’s an emotional ride that is really well put together by the editing combined with the directing, it also shows what happens when two people who absolutely love each other are separated, Fox shows every moment of the film how much she loves her husband. It shows that she wishes things could rewind where her husband can be with her every moment, every laugh, every birthday party, every accomplishment. This is when the film really gets you because you as the viewer know how much pain and sadness Fox must be going through. It’s actually like coming across someone and they are telling you their story, it truly captures everything so perfectly and beautifully to the point where you are truly at lost for words. If you haven’t seen Time yet I highly recommend to do so when you can, truly one of the best films of the year.

10/10 A+

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020)

Down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed at a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement.

Crip Camp is one of the most powerful films of 2020, as someone who was autistic as a child the movie really spoke to me. It tackles so much in the film it’s quite remarkable, it shows how several teens with disabilities use their activism to fight, a lot of people tend to only see people with disabilities who can’t do anything and can’t fight for themselves. This movie shows that’s completely wrong, they use their voices just as much as everyone else does, it might be harder but that’s a risk many are willing to take. The film shows so much footage and interviews these teens as well, it truly is beautiful seeing these teens use their voices and really shows a different light. There are several beautiful moments in this documentary that are truly worth seeing, the film is wonderfully done. Every single moment feels incredibly raw and truly unique, this is a film that I believe everyone needs to see, it’s one of the best films of 2020 and will definitely be nominated for best documentary.

10/10 A+

Blackpink: Light Up The Sky (2020)

Chart the meteoric rise of the South Korean girl group BLACKPINK in director Caroline Suh’s documentary.

BlackPink: Light Up The Sky is fascinating look at four young women who formed a group and a lot about each other them. BlackPink debuted their single album “Square One” in August of 2016, then on October 2nd 2020 they released their debut studio album called “The Album” (the film was released just under two weeks after The Album on Netflix) BlackPink has turned into a very successful and gained a massive fanbase, the group consists of Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa. Now let’s get into the documentary itself which is quite fantastic, what I instantly really like about the film is how it introduces all of the girls and tells a lot about each of them. Including their personalities which are all fantastic and all of the girls come across as genuinely great people who absolutely love their fans. In a lot of ways this film is truly inspiring, all of the girls give this inspirational feeling to the viewer and show they want to accomplish their dreams. Director Caroline Suh makes sure that the viewer gets a lot of detail of member’s personality, energy and understand why they decided to become singers. For a film that is only 79 minutes long it gets a lot out there and does it in a very fast but beautiful way, the editing is spot on it truly wraps everything together really well, the film also has been described as an endearing film that emphasizes each member’s individually. Which I completely agree as I said before it really takes each member and really explores the said member and by the end you will feel fully connected with each member. It also helps that Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa all seem very charming, inspiring, hilarious and seem like genuinely great people. Earlier this year we had Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana which is still one of my favorite films of the year and I said it is definitely going for Oscars. Well I truly hope BlackPink: Light Up The Sky does the same, it truly is a fascinating film and definitely one of my favorites of the year! Give this one a watch!!

10/10 A+

Totally Under Control (2020)

An in-depth look at how the United States government handled the response to the COVID-19 outbreak during the early months of the pandemic.

Totally Under Control is a documentary that kind of just popped out of nowhere all of a sudden, which it’s understandable of why it did. Totally Under Control was a film made in secret over the last five months, it has tons of interviews with former CDC members and plus several people coming forward and telling their accounts. If you go into Totally Under Control expecting a new big story or a big bombshell you are going to be very disappointed, because a majority of the stuff told and shown in this documentary is either common knowledge or things that already have been reported on. What makes this movie interesting however is how all of this information is stitched together and it’s all presented right here. I also do want to say that there is a lot more information that this movie didn’t cover out there about COVID-19 and how piss poorly politicians handled it, but I definitely understand why not everything was included. If anything it’s nice the movie is there so people who want to do research have a nice documentary that tells a good chunk of information. As far as filmmaking goes it’s pretty solid, the editing is very clean, the film definitely will make you angry and want to throw something across the room. Overall a pretty important documentary that really shows how certain politicians messed up. I just do wish the trailer this documentary didn’t sell it as a “this never before talked about events that this movie is going to expose.”

8/10 B+

Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020)

As her father nears the end of his life, filmmaker Kirsten Johnson stages his death in inventive and comical ways to help them both face the inevitable.

Dick Johnson Is Dead is a one of a kind type of film, Kristen Johnson who is also the director focuses on her father Richard who sadly suffers from dementia. Kristen Johnson portrays different ways Richard could ultimately die from dementia some of them being accidents and serious tragedies, in a lot of the scenarios Richard along with Kristen uses some dark humor to make light out of the moments. Dick Johnson Is Dead is one of those types of films that takes a serious subject in this case dementia and uses humor…which actually works, it’s mostly due to how beautiful the relationship is between Kristen and her father Richard. It comes off as very wholesome and quite inspiring, it’s also worth noting that Richard Johnson’s wife died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2007. As a film it’s really well shot and a very beautiful film, it’s very raw which should go without saying but you really do feel a special connection to Kristen and Richard they are both hilarious but at the same time when they are faced with the harsh reality that Richard will die someday that’s when a lot of the emotional moments come in. Which are honestly some of the most powerful moments in a film I’ve seen so far this year, I don’t want to say too much else because this is a film that you must experience. The less you know about the film the better the experience will be, it’s a truly beautiful film about knowing you will die one day especially when you have something as serious as dementia but you make the most of life!!! It’s on Netflix now give it a watch!!

10/10 A+

Robin’s Wish (2020)

An intimate portrait of Robin Williams and his invulnerable spirit, Robin’s Wish is the story of what really happened to one of the greatest entertainers of all time – and what his mind was fighting.

This might seem biased of giving this my highest rating because I’m a huge Robin a Williams fan, but trust me when I say this Robin’s Wish absolutely deserves this rating. The documentary is about Robin Williams final years as he was battling Lewy body dementia which was only diagnosed after his death, the whole movie is a very uncomfortable conversation about death and how it really effected everyone that loved him, Shawn Levy and Williams’s family are both perfect examples. You can hear the heart and pain in their voices as they are trying to live with that Williams is gone. It’s truly sad to see and depressing to see, as a documentary it’s really well made as well. It’s well shot, it’s very interesting and gives a lot of information about Williams‘s final days. It goes into great detail of what happened and how it effected Robin, it truly gets depressing and quite sad. I highly recommend giving this a watch especially if your a fan of Robin Williams..

10/10 A+

Feels Good Man (2020)

Artist Matt Furie, creator of the comic character Pepe the Frog, begins an uphill battle to take back his iconic cartoon image from those who used it for their own purposes.

Feels Good Man is surprising, the idea of making a whole documentary about a cartoon frog and actually dissecting the topic in a surprisingly heroic way sounds bizarre on paper. But this movie does just that as Matt Furie tries to get his creation Pepe The Frog back which became a hate symbol due to the Alt-Right. Matt Furie himself really shows how much he cares about Pepe and does everything in his power to get his creation back, the documentary does a really great job of digging into the mindset of the Alt-Right such as Alex Jones and many of the people on 4chan who started all of this. But at the same time this movie manages to have a ton of wholesome moments, it’s the balance of digging into mindsets and the wholesome moments that make the film work. Matt Furie also shows this sense of kindness that really brings a lot to the film as well, while he is fighting to get control of his creation again. He still keeps this kind attitude that is really inspiring as well, overall this is a fantastic film that highly recommend. Going into this movie I did not think I would love as much as I did, but life is full of surprises and this movie is the definition of a surprise. About a man wanting to make things right and taking back what was rightfully his.

10/10 A+