Stream Police: Documentarian’s Delight

Posted in The Screening Room by - May 24, 2016

We are right smack dab in the middle of Werner Herzog month, so documentaries are on the mind here at Kulture Shocked. Personally, documentaries, when done right, are one of my favorite genres in filmmaking. They allow for an actual emotional narrative to be told that often relies on eyewitnesses or experts to give their perspectives on the event or topic in question. With that in mind, Netflix has a seemingly endless selection of documentaries that are worth checking out from all variety of topics. 

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project

Don Rickles is one of my favorite comedians. His brand of insult humor paired a fair amount of shock humor has always resonated with me. He heckles the crowd which is a lost talent in the world of comedy. However, he does make a great subject for a documentary namely one directed by the talented John Landis. The film cuts between Rickles on-stage performance in Las Vegas and those who have worked with him or were influenced by him. It’s an interesting look at the life and times of one of Hollywood’s finest comic talents.

Trophy Kids

Parents can be a tad overbearing at times. It’s particularly bad when the parent is engaged in their child’s athletic pursuits. Trophy Kids follows four such parents as they push their kids to the limits in basketball, tennis, football, and golf. It’s a pretty upsetting film to watch as an outsider the parents in the film are absolutely brutal to their kids. Screaming at them, berating them, calling them names; it’s all in a day’s work for these overbearing parents. It’s a horror movie in the psychological vein and a cautionary tale for any parent with young children. 

We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!

Twisted Sister is one of the greatest metal bands ever not to be seen popularly as a metal band. The glam rock they are not folks; they are true masters of the craft of metal. Along with that, they are the quintessential bar band of the 70’s. The film doesn’t focus on their time during the 80’s as the stadium band they would become but rather their rise to fame in the 70’s. It chronicles their formation, rise to fame, and the comedy of errors that occured as they tried to get a record deal. It’s an interesting look at stardom and music without alot of the fluff or unnecessary dirt of an Inside the Music

Killing Them Safely

Think tasers are safe? Think again. Killing Them Safely takes a decidedly biased look at Taser Incorporated, the company behind the infamous non-lethal option. To say that they are less than transparent with their corporate dealings would be an understatement, though. The film delves deep into the way tasers have changed the business and how they’ve become more dangerous as the years have gone on. It’s an interesting and thought-provoking look at what happens when society deems something safe only for it to be possibly untrue. 

The Champions

The Michael Vick dog-fighting case is one of the saddest abuses of animals in American history, but not all tragedies have a bleak ending. The Champions focuses on what happened to the pitbulls after they were rescued from the Vick compound. Rather than be executed like PETA insisted, they were rehabilitated and adopted out to loving families. The film chronicles their journey along with taking a look at why the pitbull breed has gotten such an unjustly bad rap over the year. It’s a different kind of sports documentary but one that resonated with me as a pet owner and lover. 

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Chris Stachiw is the Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Kulturecast. He’s a native Californian with a penchant for sarcasm and a taste for the cinematic bizarre. You’ll often find him wandering the wasteland of Nebraska searching for the meaning of life and possibly another rare Pokemon.

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