“This is why victims don’t come forward” is a phrase that is used when people victim blame victims of rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault and other sex crimes. Normally it’s used by a lot of internet users who are either just downright awful people or are trying to troll, but what happens when the police join in the victim blaming and declare the victim as the suspect and accuses them of making up a false report without any evidence or even attempting to investigate? In the cases of Emma Mannion, Nikki Yovino, Dyanie Bermeo and Megan Rondini (who sadly took her own life) that’s exactly what happened.
Victim/Suspect highlights a few cases where the police didn’t even bother to look at the case whether they were incompetent, biased due to the suspect’s connections or just flat out didn’t want to investigate, it’s a documentary that will absolutely raise your blood level. Especially since the women were all proven to be telling the truth, the evidence was there the police just could not care less at all.
As far as filmmaking goes the documentary does suffer a bit from being way too overproduced, a documentary like this doesn’t need to be huge in scale. Some of the best documentaries are often very simple nothing flashy or anything along those lines needed at all.
Then there’s the large focus on the journalism rather than the victims of police corruption, while Rachel De Leo’s reporting is undeniably really great and she should be given her flowers. Focusing on the journalism and true crime rather than letting the victims tell more of their story really does not make too much sense when your documentary is called Victim/Suspect.
I still however do recommend giving Victim/Suspect a look, it might not be as powerful as it could have been. But I still think it’s an very important viewing.
If I had a nickel for every former Disney star that was in some weird supernatural/conspiracy type of movie or show I would have two nickels, that might not be much but it’s very weird that it happened twice. (First being that Demi Lovato UFO show)
Jokes aside I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to say here, Dead Hot is basically one of those ghost hunter shows you would have watched back in the early 2000s when they were popular. Only somehow this is even less believable, Vanessa Hudgens and GG Magree learning about ghost hunting and witchcraft could be a fun idea. But a lot of this is so bare bones and really doesn’t tell the viewer anything at all, if you know anything about ghost hunting you won’t be learning anything new here. If you want to learn about ghost hunting you are better off watching any other program about it.
As far as filmmaking goes there really isn’t a lot to talk about here, the filming is fine enough but a lot of it is just not natural which is a bit strange given that it’s a documentary. It doesn’t have that organic type feel instead it has a very manufactured feel which takes away any of the believability (not that it had any to begin with) it might of had.
Living With Chucky is a documentary discussing the Child’s Play franchise while also discussing horror in general.
The documentary talks about each of the films in order of release (although it discusses Child’s Play III for about 3 minutes), a lot of what is talked about however is very surface level and a lot of common knowledge so if you are a huge fan and aware of the history of the series you aren’t going to get a whole lot out of this.
What makes the documentary great however is who’s interviewed from Brad Dourif and his daughter Fiona Dourif, to Jennifer Tilly, Marlon Waynes, Lin Shaye, Alex Vincent, John Waters, James A. Janisse (creator of the Dead Meat YouTube channel), Don Mancini himself and many others. Each of them really have something to contribute and it’s really interesting to hear their perspectives of the franchise over the years.
Especially with the cast and crew of the Chucky series, hearing Don Mancini talk very passionately about the series he created and has been involved with the series since the beginning is truly inspiring. The father and daughter bond Brad and Fiona have is truly charming and really shows how much fun they have working together.
That could honestly be said about the rest of the cast as well, even when Child’s Play as a series had it’s low points the films always seemed like the cast and crew were having a blast and that really shows here. They see each other as family at this point and are there for one another, it’s quite touching and genuinely beautiful to listen to how much they connect with one another.
Living With Chucky might have a lot of common knowledge but I will say if you are just now getting into the series this is a very decent way to start. Even if you are a huge fan there’s still the charm of the documentary that is definitely worth checking out!
I went into Wildcat expecting a very straightforward documentary about wild cats but instead it ended up being something quite fascinating. The documentary follows Harry a young British veteran who got back from Afghanistan who is struggling with PTSD he meets Samantha an American scientist where they both foster baby Ocelots. The first bit of the documentary is about an Ocelot named Khan who sadly suffers from a tragic fate which completely destroys Harry emotionally, then the rest of the documentary follows another Ocelot named Keanu. The way Harry’s PTSD is connected to his love for these animals is truly gut wrenching at times, there’s moments where he completely breaks down and describes what he saw in Afghanistan that completely destroyed him. He also deals with self-harm saying he wants to be happy and that Samantha (the founder of the non-profit organization that helps these animals) plus Keanu makes him happy. It’s truly heartbreaking seeing Harry in pain, luckily he really helps Keanu get released back into the wild. Wildcat is a such a beautiful documentary that’s also really heartbreaking as well, Harry really pours his heart into Keanu even when he’s at his lowest point mentally, being alone in the jungle for a long period of time could most definitely affect someone’s mental health especially given Harry’s PTSD and suicidal thoughts. As far as filmmaking goes the documentary is beautiful, the jungle is truly wonderful to look at, the many close up shots are personal and add so much power to the documentary. Despite some of the heavy topics discussed in the documentary, it leaves as a very hopeful one, the documentary leaves the viewer with this inspiring and pretty satisfying energy that really matches the film. At it’s core the documentary is very heartwarming, it gave both Harry and Keanu a second chance to adapt and come out on top.
It’s honestly such a shame Love Lizzo had incredibly poor advertising (you would think a documentary about one of the biggest stars right now would have so much better advertising) but with that aside this documentary is truly an honest one. The documentary serves as almost a personal diary for Lizzo to tell the viewer everything, from body positivity to self-love and much more, there’s some really strong discussions here that are absolutely worth listening to. Lizzo talks about her early life, her dad’s death and so much more. But perhaps what makes Love Lizzo standout as a documentary is how authentic it really is, there’s tons of personal moments where it feels like you are sitting in the room with Lizzo having a discussion. There isn’t a whole lot more to say here, if you are a fan of Lizzo you will most definitely love this one.
When you go into a documentary about Louis Armstrong one of the founding fathers of Jazz you exactly know what you are going to get and that definitely applies here, the documentary tells the story of Armstrong and his impact on many people and some of deep insight into him as a person. The diary entries which are narrated end up being some of the most powerful parts of the documentary, such as him using his influence and support for the civil rights movement, sharing political views he didn’t share to the public and about his music. There’s a deep discussion about race and how Armstrong’s career was a huge achievement in several different ways, such as being the first black musician to write an autobiography. The documentary itself might not be anything mind blowing filmmaking wise but it really doesn’t have to be, it’s laying out the facts about Louis Armstrong and how influential he was, this is the perfect documentary to start with if you really want to get a start with knowing about Armstrong’s career.
Louie Armstrong’s Black & Blues is available on Apple TV+
At the beginning of 2022 (January 6th to be exact) Sidney Poitier a huge star from the Golden Age of Hollywood, the first black man to win an academy award and major activist for representation for black people in film sadly passed away. For the most part Sidney does a fantastic job of telling the legacy of Sidney Poitier and his impact on the film industry, there’s tons of insightful interviews, really strong narration from Sidney Poitier himself and his thoughts of his career, his life and his actions during his career. It’s such a beautifully put together tribute to a iconic actor that really left an inspirational mark on the industry and audiences, the main criticism mostly stems from being a bit too generic at times, there’s some interviews that aren’t as good as others. Having that said it’s very easy to look past when you have such a nicely done tribute. Sidney is a very strong way to start if you want to get a nice introduction to Sidney Poitier!
Mickey: A Story Of a Mouse for the most part is a lot of common knowledge, of course it goes through how the mouse came to be, what Walt Disney himself was thinking while creating Mickey, what his goals were with Disney as an animation studio and we even get the story of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and the whole battle over the character. Something that did surprise me is the documentary goes over Mickey Mouse doing blackface in the old cartoons and other issues as well, it’s a bit surprising due to Disney having the tendency to avoid talking about their past that even some fans of the cartoons want to address. There’s a very strong approach towards the topic that the documentary takes here especially with the interviewers, while the interviewers are fans of Disney they are very open to talking about the very rough history of the cartoons. Plus the documentary really hammers it in that the past should be open for discussion as well as being addressed, a lot of other Disney documentaries tend to avoid the topic of blackface being used in some of the old cartoons so I give credit where credit is due. There’s genuine heart out into the documentary and doesn’t feel manufactured which is again refreshing, there’s charming interviews and some engaging bits that have heart in them. Mickey: A Story Of a Mouse isn’t anything groundbreaking but it is refreshing when it comes to Disney documentaries.
Mickey: The Story of a Mouse is available on Disney+
There really isn’t a whole lot to say about Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song, it goes over pretty much a lot of common knowledge about Leonard Cohen and one of the most beautiful songs ever written Hallelujah. Plus the song’s impact on the music and parts of the film industry as well, there’s some interviews that are truly touching as well as footage of Cohen commenting on parts of his career and when he made his resurgence. The documentary really makes it known just how influential Hallelujah became from being covered by so many artists, to being sung by several people on American Idol, X-Factor ect as well as being used in a lot of films most notably Shrek. It’s a song that’s been celebrated and will continue to be celebrated, the documentary has so much heart and soul put into it mainly from the footage of Cohen himself. It’s honestly a inspirational documentary that really goes deep into Cohen’s career, definitely check this out if you are a fan or if you are interested as this is quite a good introduction to Leonard Cohen.
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song is available on all VOD platforms.
Selena Gomez is someone I’ve always been a fan of, whether that be due to her overall personality or her determination to talk about mental health and keep the conversation going, plus her role in Wizards Of Waverley Place is a favorite of mine growing up. In this documentary Selena Gomez talks about her struggles with fame, her physical and mental health when being diagnosed with lupus and bipolar disorder. The major thing that brings this documentary together is honesty of it all, there isn’t anything that feels manufactured for a quick buck like some other celebrity documentaries tend to have. The documentary is Selena Gomez and the people who know her telling you about Selena’s mental health, which in a lot of ways could be relatable to some people. The film does that by having up close and personal shot of Selena Gomez as she talks to the camera like she’s inviting you to a conversation, it’s some pretty clever camera movements that really make it go the long way. I definitely think one of the major highlights of the film heck Selena herself says it’s a highlight of her life is the Kenya Trip. Not only does Selena Gomez share her experiences with Kenyan women but they themselves share their experiences with Selena, it’s a really touching and quite inspiring moment of seeing two perspectives both of which are very compelling in their own ways. The documentary really does a fantastic job with the topic of mental health it’s done very respectfully which isn’t a surprise since Selena regularly uses her platform when talking about mental health, as I said before the film is honest and focuses on having a conversation which it accomplishes quite well! This is something I truly recommend checking out!
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me is available on Apple TV+