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Best documentaries you've seen lately?


Spaceman Spiff

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I've been watching documentaries on Netflix for awhile now, what are some of your favorites?  They don't have to be necessarily on Netflix but I figure those are the most accessible ones.

 

Ones that I really like:

 

Beware of Mr. Baker:  Ginger Baker is probably most well known for being the drummer for Cream and he's completely insane.  INSANE.  Great interviews with him, Stewart Copeland, Charlie Watts Eric Clapton and others.  It documents his life, his upbringing and his career.

 

Cocaine Cowboys:  Completely entertaining.  Talks about the cocaine trade in Miami in the late 70's and 80's from different angles:  importing, dealing and the scrambling police force that tried to capture them.  Interviews Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday, the importers who made millions.   Rivi Ayala, a Colombian enforcer for Griselda Blanco, the Godmother of Miami cocaine.  Really well done from a style standpoint, too.  They just released a new version of it on Netflix, kind of an uncut version.  Not sure if the original is still up there but both are worth watching.  

 

Bones Brigade:  An Autobiography:  Documents the Bones Brigade skateboarding team from the 1980's.  Lots of cool archival footage, good interviews with Stacey Peralta, Tony Hawk and others.  I've never skateboarded but I've always been in awe of those that do it really well.  

 

Salinger:  Pretty decent, but I didn't know much about him, outside of the Catcher in the Rye.  

 

The Man Behind The Poster:  Drew:  The guy that drew a lot of famous movie posters from the 70's and 80's, Drew Struzan.  Responsible for all of the artwork for Star Wars, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones and others.  Did album artwork for Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath, too.  Didn't know anything about him, or didn't know that the same guy was responsible for all of that art.  A little bit of humble-bragging and the production value isn't the best but it's interesting.

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Some recents that I have watched and re-watched are Blackfish (Netflix), 9/11, all of the 30 for 30s (Bad Boys and Hillsborough were phenomenal), When the Levees Broke (on HBOgo), The Iceman Tapes (was on HBO about a month ago) and the Paradise Lost series (on HBOgo) and the Lenny Cooke doc (on Showtime).  I would recommend all of them.  I am definitely trying to find some newer docs to watch.

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Not sure they really qualify but I enjoy almost all of the PBS Frintline series even the ones I think I won't

Also just watched the new Bob Marley documentary pretty outstanding

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There's a really good doc on Netflix about North Korea.  The name escapes me now, but just search "korea" on netflix instant streaming.

 

It was about this guy who managed to escape and make it to Seoul, and now he's under 24 hour protection because NK spies are looking for him.  He tells his stories, and the movie shows animations, about what happened to he and his family at the work camps.  Truly disgusting what is going on there. 

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There's a phenomenal documentary on North Korea that I think Nat Geo did?  They posed as a team going with a doctor that was helping people with a common eye problem be able to see again.  And my God, the amount of brainwashing, it was honestly like a cartoon how evil that government is.

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   And my God, the amount of brainwashing, it was honestly like a cartoon how evil that government is.

 

I'm out of likes for the day, so I had to quote you to let you know your post was appreciated. 

 

The brainwashing there is unbelievable.  I can't believe people are still living like that in 2014.  Unfortunately, life, and Planet Earth are so overrated.  :(

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The Truth About Zombies -> this sucked don't watch it. Less of a documentary more of a piece of crap.

For the gambling addicts among us there is a Doc on Netflix called The Player: The Secrets of a Vegas Whale. It's low production value but it's about high roller Don Johnson and how he took $15mil from the casinos.

It actually made me pretty mad because he essentially made the casinos play a variation of blackjack with unique rules that tremendously benefit the player and the casino was dumb enough to go along with it. Very interesting watch.

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Muscle Shoals and Sound City are both worth viewing.

 

I didn't care for Salinger, and I am a huge fan of his work.  That documentary seemed like a mess to me.

 

Some "not so new" docs I watched recently...

 

Crumb - Watched it again for the first time since it was released during my college years.  The story of Robert Crumb, a controversial comic book artist and his weird family.  Awesome stuff.  Perfect for any David Lynch fan, he is a presenter here.

 

American Movie - The story of two down and out guys from Wisconsin who try to make an independent film.  Hilarious stuff.

 

Inside Job - A look at the role of the banking system during the most recent financial crisis.  A sobering, disgusting tale, but definitely worth checking out.  It goes way beyond, "hey, those guys are crooked".  

 

Grizzly Man - Werner Herzog at his best.

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Wrestling with Shadows - about wrestler Bret Hart's last days in WWF before being screwed over by Vince McMahon

Broke- 30 for 30 about athletes that go broke

Clean flicks? I think it's called that. About a Mormon that started making clean versions of movies

Cocaine Cowboys 1 was good. Two was really ****ing weird

Can't go wrong with any hip hop concert doc on Netflix

Knuckleball - about the baseball pitch

One called either the enforcer or goon. About the turmoil filled life of an ex NHL goon

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I think it was the very first of the "30 for 30" series.  Filmmaker Barry Levinson, who is a Baltimore guy through and through, directed "The Band That Wouldn't Die" about the Baltimore Colts Marching Band and the Colts leaving Baltimore.  Loads of fun with some great anecdotes from the time.  And you can see that Jim Irsay's drunken recklessness seems to be inherited.

 

Somewhat related... just last week Deadspin ran an article where they talked to the frat guys who actually moved the Colts out of Baltimore.  At the time they were in a fraternity at the University of Maryland and would pick up work for Mayflower Van Lines for extra cash.  They got a late night call to do a job in Baltimore - hush hush.  The pay was double the usual rate.

 

http://deadspin.com/the-frat-boys-who-moved-the-colts-out-of-baltimore-1571994488

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Saw "Shored Up" recently .   This film talks about  beach erosion and ways that some communities are fighting to save their beaches.  ( very informative )

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2464786/

 

 

 

"The woman who wasn't there"   This one just blew my mind.   The film details events following 9/11 and how the survivors worked together in healing and getting back on with life.   There was one woman that really did a lot working with the survivors.  Only one problem, she was not in NYC during the attack.   An interesting piece and if you have not seen it, check it out.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2114490/

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Wrestling with Shadows - about wrestler Bret Hart's last days in WWF before being screwed over by Vince McMahon

Broke- 30 for 30 about athletes that go broke

Clean flicks? I think it's called that. About a Mormon that started making clean versions of movies

Cocaine Cowboys 1 was good. Two was really ****ing weird

Can't go wrong with any hip hop concert doc on Netflix

Knuckleball - about the baseball pitch

One called either the enforcer or goon. About the turmoil filled life of an ex NHL goon

I enjoyed the 30 for 30 on broke athletes and Knuckleball.  Definitely a high risk/high reward pitch, but I've always been amazed watching knuckleball pitchers.

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I've seen and love about 90% of the doc's listed in this thread as that's about all I watch these days. There's 2 on Netflix that you guys are really missing out on:

 

1) G-Dog

2) Burn

 

Also if you like nature stuff, all of the "moving" series are awesome as well(i.e. Moving Oceans, Moving Forests). There's also one ridiculous one about flowers from the same director that the camera-work is some of the craziest I've ever seen.

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