Sundance Review: TikTok, Boom doesn’t tell anything new about the popular app.

With TikTok crowned the world’s most downloaded app, these are the personal stories of a cultural phenomenon, told through an ensemble cast of Gen-Z natives, journalists and experts alike.

TikTok, Boom was by far the weakest documentary I watched at Sundance, basically this documentary covers all the controversies that TickTok has been in such as the whole situation with China, the Trump rally being taken over, Trump threatening to shut down TikTok, the BLM hashtag being silenced because of a “glitch” and so on. There is absolutely nothing new here at all that wasn’t on the news, sure the documentary does a decent job of talking about the controversies but if you go into this already knowing everything that has happened with TikTok you are not going to get anything out of this. The best thing I can say about it is at least it was sort of refreshing to hear the perspective of some other TikTokers who aren’t Addison Rae, Bella Poarch or some of the others. But that doesn’t make it an interesting documentary, I guess it ends on a nice message but it doesn’t make up for the rest of the movie being a slog to get through. You are better off just reading news articles about the controversies surrounding the app rather than sitting through the documentary.

TikTok, Boom currently has no release date.

3/10 D-

Val (2021) Movie Review!

Documentary centering on the daily life of actor Val Kilmer featuring never-before-seen footage spanning 40 years.

Val is a very straightforward documentary about Val Kilmer, it’s a heartfelt and at times moving documentary about his life and career as an actor. Kilmer himself is in the documentary and goes into detail of his experiences in certain films he’s been in, there’s also a lot of home movies (that’s mostly filmed by Kilmer himself) and behind the scenes footage that’s used and it’s quite enjoyable to watch. Val is a very personal documentary that Kilmer share’s with the audience, I’ve said this in past but this is the type of documentary where you feel like your having a conversation with someone, in this case Val Kilmer. He’s telling you his experiences as an actor and about his life and the end result is a moving and touching conversation. As far as filmmaking there really isn’t anything noteworthy but in this case there really doesn’t have to be, it’s a personal film that gets the point across pretty well. I say give this one a watch it’s a solid documentary that’s a very enjoyable and moving watch!

Val is now available on Amazon Prime Video!

7/10 B

Summer Of Soul (2021) Movie Review!

Over the course of six weeks during the summer of 1969, thousands of people attend the Harlem Cultural Festival to celebrate Black history, culture, music and fashion.

Summer Of Soul is a fantastic and very wonderful experience, seeing a lot of footage that was thought to be lost be rediscovered and shown to the public. Especially when it’s about the topic of summer of 1969 where thousands of people attended the Harlem Cultural Festival. The documentary is exactly what the description says it’s about, it’s a huge celebration of Black history, culture, music and fashion and every minute of it is glorious. I have said before how I like lost media being found and then being released to the public, this is a prime example of that. The footage shown is absolutely beautiful, it feels like you are there at the festival with everyone just having a great time. It’s time capsule that’s truly beautiful and captures so much about a community coming together and just having fun while talking about important history and issues. I highly recommend giving this one a look if you haven’t already.

Summer of Soul is now available in Theaters and on Hulu!

9/10 A

Tribeca Review: The Kids (2021)

In the early 1990s, before New York City’s mass gentrification, a group of disparate youth venture outside their broken homes into the city’s brutal streets. United by skateboarding, they cultivate a family and build a unique lifestyle that inspires Larry Clark’s 1995 groundbreaking film, “Kids.” The crew become overnight commodities, thrust into the spotlight. Left adrift under the bright lights, some discover transcendent lives and careers, while others suffer fatal consequences.

The Kids is a documentary that’s not going to be easy to talk about and it’s definitely going to be hard to review as the documentary is very self explanatory, but I feel like this discussion needs to be talked about. Almost immediately when I saw this being confirmed for the Tribeca Film Festival I knew this was going to be one of the ones I’m going to watch. The documentary is about the actors and actresses who were in the controversial film and disturbing film that released in 1995 and how they were treated terribly, felt used and taken advantage of by Larry Clark. Before I say anything about the documentary…Kids will always be one of my favorite films of all time, it was one of my major influences of getting into photography and I really appreciate what it did for indie films back in the 90s. HOWEVER I am willing to call out disgusting behavior from directors who take advantage of people and treat them horribly like what Larry Clark did in this case (Harmony Korine isn’t much better either he never stood up for the cast and pretty much abandoned them as well) the documentary itself has Hamilton Harris and a lot of other cast members talking about what happened behind the scenes and so much more. It’s a very disturbing documentary that I almost guarantee will make you very angry and question why people were actively ignoring this. The documentary goes over the deaths of Justin Pierce (who won Best Debut Performance at the Spirit Awards in 1996) and Harold Hunter the lack of never reaching out to these kids to make sure they are okay or anyway trying to help is truly gross. The kids struggled to find work and Larry Clark did nothing to help them at all, Harris ultimately does find peace with Korine and Clark’s decision not to be interviewed in the documentary. A lot of the cast members now have families of their own (Harris included) but that doesn’t erase how disturbing this whole situation was. As far as filmmaking goes the documentary is nicely crafted with tons of information that you definitely need to know about the topic, it’s truly one of the best films so far this year. I truly hope this releases soon.

10/10 A+

Tribeca Review: Kubrick by Kubrick (2021)

A rare and transcendent journey into the life and films of the legendary Stanley Kubrick like we’ve never seen before, featuring a treasure trove of unearthed interview recordings from the master himself.

Kubrick By Kubrick is pretty much a tribute to Stanley Kubrick, it’s a very straightforward documentary that doesn’t linger long on a certain topic. It’s about his legacy as a filmmaker and the films he directed, there’s fun little facts about some of the movies, some interviews that are quite neat to listen to and it all comes together in this pretty well crafted documentary. The major flaw this documentary does have is it’s 72 minute running time, I said before how it doesn’t linger on things for too long which is a very good thing but that comes with a negative as it does speed through some topics very quickly. It really doesn’t matter too much anyway since a lot of what is talked about in Kubrick By Kubrick is very common knowledge especially to people who are a huge fan of Kubrick, there really isn’t much else to be said here! It’s a really solid documentary that Kubrick fans will definitely like as well as movie fans in general!

7/10 B

Tribeca Review: The Price Of Freedom (2021)

A look into the inner workings of the NRA and its influence, featuring interviews with government leaders, NRA representatives and people whose lives have been personally touched by gun violence.

If your going into The Price Of Freedom expecting new information about gun violence or the NRA then you are going to be very disappointed. Because a lot of this information is either very well known or can be looked up easily with a quick google search. What makes The Price Of Freedom interesting is it has a ton of interviews from all sides you have politicians, parents of school shooting victims and even NRA officials or people who use to be part of it but are no longer. They talk about their values and just hearing one of them brag about how they influenced the 2016 election with fear it makes you incredibly angry. That I believe is where the true power of the film comes in and it definitely works. It’s definitely an interesting look on this topic the documentary also goes over the NRA’s history which I thought was well detailed and would give anyone who’s unfamiliar with their history a pretty good rundown of what they are. The Price Of Freedom is a very good starting point for people who want to learn about gun violence and the reactions to it, people who know a lot about the subject will probably still find this one interesting. Just don’t go in expecting anything brand new!

The Price Of Freedom releases July 7th in theaters!

7/10 B

Kitty Love: An Homage To Cats (2021) Movie Review!

Famous feline Abatutu presents this charming celebration of cats, showcasing their finest and friskiest moments with a collection of home videos.

Kitty Love: An Homage To Cats is basically an hour long special of compilation of cat videos! However what’s interesting about it is a famous cat from the Netherlands named Abatutu who presents the documentary and leave commentary. The special is exactly how you would expect it to be, show a bunch of cute cats talk a little bit about Abatutu and call it a day. However I found it cute and quite enjoyable, it’s not anything groundbreaking but for what it’s trying to go for you can’t really argue that it didn’t succeed. Sure it might not be as in depth as Kedi (a fantastic cat documentary) but it’s a very enjoyable one that any cat lover would absolutely love! As far as filmmaking again it’s nothing mind blowing but as I said a very cute documentary! Really not much else to say here!

Kitty Love: An Homage To Cats Is now available on Netflix!

7/10 B

P!nk: All I Know So Far (2021) Movie Review!

A behind-the-scenes look at P!NK as she balances family and life on the road, leading up to her first Wembley Stadium performance on 2019’s “Beautiful Trauma” world tour

This is sort of hard to review but I’ll try my best. P!nk All I Know So Far focuses on P!nk and her relationship with her daughter which is touching and absolutely beautiful, it’s one of those documentaries where you get to see more into a celebrity’s life that feels raw and meaningful. A lot of the film is behind the scenes and home videos which again keeps it more interesting, P!nk really shows the audience how she keeps a balance between family and her career as it can be hard to balance the two. It’s a very wholesome documentary, it’s almost like those old family videos your family made when you were younger. It does surprise me how Amazon did very little advertising for this documentary because it is quite interesting. As far as filmmaking there really isn’t anything mind blowing but I feel in this case it really doesn’t have to be. If your a fan of P!nk you are most definitely going to love this documentary!

P!nk: All I know So Far is now available on Amazon Prime Video!

7/10 B

The Boy From Medellin (2021) Movie Review.!

Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin prepares for his 2019 homecoming concert amid intense political turmoil, in Matthew Heineman’s latest documentary.

I was very unfamiliar who J Balvin is , I knew of him and know some of his songs but that’s about it. I feel like the best bits in this movie are when it tackles Balvin’s depression and anxiety it starts to feel somewhat relatable…it’s too bad the rest of the documentary couldn’t do that, look I’m glad J Balvin eventually did use his platform to speak about what was going on in Colombia the problem is for way too long he felt like he “was obligated” to comment and use his platform. Which I get being scared about commenting on politics (look what happened to The Chicks previously known as The Dixie Chicks) but in this case I would argue is a little different, his fans were actually the ones who wanted him to say something. It’s very hard to actually review this movie to be quite honest because nobody really knows what was in J Balvin’s mind, as far as how well made it is? It’s nothing really special but nothing bad either. It’s something that I really don’t think I’m ever going to watch again. If your a fan of J Balvin you will probably like this one.

The Boy From Medellin is now available on Amazon Prime Video!

6/10 C+

SXSW Review: Clerk (2021)

A documentary on the career and life of filmmaker and raconteur Kevin Smith.

Clerk is exactly what you expect it to be and is the very definition of a straightforward documentary, it goes over Kevin Smith’s career and life. For a lot of people this is going to be nostalgic, others are going to love this documentary because it has a lot of information on Kevin Smith. Heck I would argue that this is one of the best and fastest ways to get a lot of information on Kevin Smith if you don’t know who he is or know of him but don’t know much about him. A lot of the information is already public knowledge and you could just as easily look on Smith’s Wikipedia page however there’s a special charm to it being in documentary form. You get to see Kevin Smith talk which he comes off as a genuinely great person and you get to see his family and friends talk about him as well! As far as the filmmaking it’s nothing too crazy it’s very standard when it comes to documentary films. Of course that’s definitely not a bad thing at all just nothing really noteworthy! If you are a die hard Kevin Smith fan you will absolutely love this movie and I recommend checking this out once it releases!

7/10 B