This baller got a new TV recently (first one in twelve years!) and is now able to watch Netflix, Amazon and Google Play movies in a lovely 40-inch high-def presentation. I’ve been gobbling up a lot of documentaries, nothing too intense or serious, TV time is fun time for me. Here are a bunch of gems I’ve spent time with recently.
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me Movie – This is a truly beautiful story of an iconic musician and his family dealing bravely with his Alzheimer’s Disease, can’t recommend this enough.
Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC – Solid history of DC punk with all the requisite players interviewed. On the downside, a bit humorless.
R.E.M. by MTV – Best band of the 80s gets a nice retrospective here, lots of good early footage and tons of Michael Stipe weirdness.
Soul Boys of the Western World – You don’t have to like the band Spandeau Ballet to enjoy this doc, lots of good inter-band dynamics (fighting!).
Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All – The story of one of my favorite bands done incredibly well. Viva La Bill Stevenson!
Wild Boys: The Story of Duran Duran – Was not really a fan of theirs as a kid but now I dig them now. Solid documentary.
A Band Called Death – African-American musicians playing punk “music ahead of its time.”
History of the Eagles – For a guy who hates the Eagles, I certainly enjoyed the hell out of this fascinating doc about big harmonies and bigger ego.
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me – A riveting look at the rise and fall of the 70s-era power pop legends.
Merge Records: 25 Years in 24 Minutes – Nice/smart people producing great music the right way for a quarter of a century.
I Want My Name Back – Creators of the seminal rap mega-hit “Rapper’s Delight” got screwed, this is their story.
We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen – Poignant look back at a seminal punk band that will bring you much joy and many tears.
DiG! – I don’t care for the music of the Brian Jonestown Massacre or the Dandy Warhols but watching this petty rivalry was a lot of fun.
Couldn’t You Wait? The Story of Silkworm – An inspiring and tragic story of indie rock legends and their 18-year career.
Mudbloods: The Movie – I’m not a big Harry Potter fan but this movie about a bunch of college nerds playing Quidditch put a spell on me.
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – Easily the best film about battling arcade game champions.
Indie Game: The Movie – Fascinating look at what it takes to make and promote an independent video game.
The Rock-afire Explosion – One of my favorite docs of all time, it’s an oddly sweet tale of oddball obsession.
Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters – Yup, this is a film about competitive Tetris and it is surprisingly compelling.
Word Wars – What word-loving nerd wouldn’t want to look at the obsessive world of competitive Scrabble?
Magic Camp – Nerdy but lovable tweens and teens hone their tricks of the trade at a spellbinding summer camp.
I Know that Voice – It’s fun to see the faces of the people who do voices for your favorite cartoons and animated features.
I Dream of Wires – Ever wonder just what the hell a synthesizer is or does? Watch this and learn the difference between a modular and a Moog.
Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film – What happens when the company who makes the film for your beloved iconic camera goes out of business?
Art and Craft – Prolific art forger with mental health issues donates his fakes to galleries and eventually gets exposed. Oddly sweet.
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness – I love Hayao Miyazaki movies and now I love the man. So incredibly inspiring.
Stripped – The history of newspaper comic strips told by some very talented and charming artists.
Just like Being There – Fan of music “gig” posters and screen-print artwork? This is a must.
Drew: The Man Behind The Poster – Get a peek at the man who created the iconic Indiana Jones, Back to the Future and Star Wars trilogy posters and many more.
Food and Drink
SOMM – Want to become a Master Sommelier? Grab a glass/bottle of red and watch this first.
Kings of Pastry – Good lord, who knew making pastries could be so insanely stressful?
Beer Wars – A tasty behind the scenes look at the business of beer making both large and small.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi – This old fella dreams about sushi and is the best at making it!
The Class of 92 – Are you ready for some soccer! Engaging flick about the 90s Manchester United squad including David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes.
Dogtown and Z-Boys – Sadly not a lot of dogs in this doc but it’s still a captivating look at the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team including Tony Alva, Chris Cahill and Stacy Peralta.
Bones Brigade: An Autobiography – Watch 80s skateboard legends Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero and Mike McGill shred and do some ollies and grinds and stuff.