5 Favorite Shows About Nature & Culture

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Howdy!

I’ve always had a difficult time watching nature documentary series on Animal Planet, mostly because I never really liked when the hunters went after their prey, most of the time they were capturing young and giving it to THEIR babies! When I started watching some nature shows on Netflix over the summer, I kind of hoped I was over that but then I realized that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can never really be over that aspect of life in the animal kingdom! Truth be told, I’ve been watching nature shows for a long time on PBS, but it’s only now that I’ve kind of deluge a fairly large amount at one time. In my defense, prior to this happening I was binge watching both Arrow and The Flash, so I felt this would be a nice break away from the superheroes, I just didn’t think I would keep watching one right after the other like I did, but it’s been sort of helpful when it comes watching episodes of Jeopardy!

I am more drawn to the series that were made by a British or Australian company, but only because there are in two these areas on Netflix than any other country! I also like when there are people narrating each episode to the viewer, like the visual version of Audible! Thanks to this, I have become a bit of a fan of Sir David Attenborough. I’m embarrassed to say that I have watched close to three different ones where’s either in it or narrating what you’re seeing on the screen!

Galapagos (2006)

This was the first show I watched in July that basically started it all and it was narrated by the lovely Tilda Swinton. I think I watched this because I remembered that Jeopardy were running a contest for fans of the show to win tickets to go there with Alex Trebek last year. I figured that meant they would have several categories about it and I should get some knowledge about the Islands of The Tortoises.

I really loved this program! I found the fact that various birds, turtles, and seals all on this very unstable, volcanic place where hardly anything grows. The first episode basically opens up with what really surprised me, was that iguanas also live close to the edge of the cliffs. They actually live on a side where there’s an active volcano so the surface doesn’t really have anything for these creatures to eat, so they have developed a taste of algae at the bottom of the ocean. So, these spike-y little devils literally crawl to the ledge where the water is being brushed up the sides of the island by the currents and either jump or slide right down and they can SWIM! Now the really cool, and sort of adorable thing I loved about them is that when they finally come back to shore, since swallowing salt water is bad for them, they sneeze out the water out of the nose! I was really dumbfounded by this adaption.

South Pacific (2009)

This was a six episode series, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. Now, I have to say, I watch funny moments on the Graham Norton show on YouTube a lot, and there was a clip of Benedict discussing with Graham about how he says the word “penguin” and it was funny as crap, if you want to check it out here you click here. Anyways, it was about a year or so, since I watched that clip and I finally watched the show and realized that he definitely can’t say that word right at all, even in a British accent, it still sounds bad!

“South Pacific” was about all of the islands in their different shapes and what kind of life they support around the Pacific Ocean. One of my favorite things about these types of shows is that it gives you an insight of life on these islands, not only for the animals, but humans too! You see tribes of people, living off the land and they’re so out there away from other people. We did visit the Galapagos Islands again throughout the series, but you were transported to other smaller islands, I really enjoyed learning about the different plants, when editors use the fast-moving on how fast the landscape changes! I actually fell in love with the Birds of Paradise species, and they are usually located on New Guinea and Hawaii, but they are decorated in different colors and shapes with really unique ways of attracting a mate and fighting to be with that female as well. It can get a little weird, but their dances make it all worthwhile trust me!

National Curiosities (2013)

This show was the longest out of the whole list! It had probably 12 episodes in the three seasons it was on BBC, but what I truly liked was that they are about an hour-long, but they’re comparing origin stories of two different species so you kind of need that amount of time to explain what makes these animals so complex.

When I would watch this, I always felt like I was becoming more of a naturalist, like David Attenborough. He has this caring personality and it shows whenever he has an animal next to him or sitting on his lap, you can feel that affection aerate on the screen and it makes you want to change your mind on some of the creepy species and help support them later on, although it didn’t work on spiders or snakes! One thing that he does on this is that he’ll talk about how they discovered, and the evolution of theories they had for each one, my favorite was when they thought Platypus were a hoax in the 1800’s!

Monkey Planet (2014)

Monkey Planet was my most recent to watch and I really enjoyed myself! It was hosted by Dr. George McGavin and even though this was only three episodes, I have realized that it doesn’t take much for me to giggle as these mischievous monkeys were really my downfall when it came to watching this late at night!

I’ve always loved monkeys, but while I was watching this I realized that I don’t give them enough credit when it comes to their intelligence. I mean, they are our distant relatives. At first, I was purely watching it because I wanted to learn more about the different types, but instead of having an episode devoted to a certain type, they were squished together but after a while I was okay with it. The colors of their fur and cute facial expressions were too much and once I found out how they all get their food by banging rocks up against tough shells or grabbing a stick of some sort and poking it through small holes in a branch about killed me in the best way possible!

Baby Animals In The Wild (2015)

I really have a problem with baby animals, thankfully no babies were harmed in creating this series, thank god! This was hosted by Luisa Prosser, and consisted of 10 episodes ranging of animals located in deserts, forest, jungles, and mountains. There were times in the program where they would share snapshots of babies in captivity so you got to see them after they were just born or a few weeks old, and told about their characteristics in the wild.

I think the two places that made me wonder why these animals would still want to live in these areas where the arctic mountains and desert. However, once I saw how they were able to live, I had a change of heart pretty quickly and the one species that really grabbed me was the Ibex. The mothers give birth on top of their dry cliffs and after a few days and the babies figure out their footing, the mothers need to get around food and water so they go down these steep cliffs and their kids just follow them down, some of them being overzealous and sprint down that made me very queasy but they have these pads on their hoofs that help grip the rocks underneath to keep them stable, but good gosh! It made me really nervous, but nobody lost their balance so that made me feel better!

I have to say, it was extremely hard to pick out five shows for this post, because I have watched little over 12 of them in the several months, but they’re surprisingly fun to watch. You’re seeing these animals having a blast on top of having to continue searching for food and water, and they all have information stored up in their minds from previous generations. The fact that some of them are still able to live in their natural environment like in a dry savanna of West Africa or lush woods in the middle of France was so cool, but I’m not going to lie when I say seeing the monkeys steal fruits and vegetables off of market stands in India cracks me up! It was just so fascinating to me!

How are you when it comes to nature and cultural shows? Was there one that really made you go, “wow”? And just for good measure, what is your favorite animal(s)?

snowflake

REVIEW | Andre The Giant Documentary

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Howdy!

Last month, HBO really decided that the month of April would be about documentaries, so at the end of March, they played Judd Apatlow’s two part film about Garry Shandling, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t remember him or any of his work, but I did think it was a very educational and funny film dedicated to this comic legend. After that, they aired another one that I had my eye on for a while and we’re going to talk about it on this post: Andre The Giant. And finally the last documentary was about Elvis Presley,  I did try to watch it but I didn’t really like the format of the people were interviewed, so I never finished it.

I’ve always heard about Andre The Giant, through my dad. While I sat in my room, trying to watch the film, I told him about it and he said to me that he saw or met him while in Louisville. Yes, I believed him. My dad at a younger age probably liked wrestling, I mean, he still likes to arm wrestle! The only thing I know about him that I didn’t get from my dad was the fact that he was the inspiration for Shrek.

When I started watching it, I didn’t exactly know what I was getting myself into. I just thought it would be a regular documentary about a fairly large legend of the wrestling world. Honestly, I was right on a certain level, but there were parts in it that I absolutely hated about it.

As somebody who doesn’t know really anything about Andre Roussimoff, as a person, I thought we’d get to know more about him and more of his condition: acronmegaly. They interviewed his family and they did talk about how he was as a young lad, even showed us a handmade wooden chair that his mother had made for him, but they didn’t really explain more about this condition, they just showed us the affects of it. I wish his family were a little bit more open about how Andre himself felt about this when he was younger. They just rushed into the wrestling.

In the beginning of every film, they gave the different production companies that helped get it out to people. One of these companies was in fact WWE. At first, I thought this was a nice gesture because he did a lot to make wrestling a lot more interesting. Although, I felt being called “the eighth wonder of the world” is a little mean; it gave me a sense to the circus people with their disabilities on display, and it made me sad, but I also had to keep an open mind at the same time, because sometimes people will do anything to get work. Some people strip, others will do bodily harm.

Anyways, back to what I saying before. I really thought WWE’s big boss Vince McMahon Jr. basically called the shots for this documentary because for some odd reason, we stopped talking about Andre’s life in the middle to discuss about the rising of Hulk Hogan’s career. Yes, I realize there’s a part of it that needs to be talked about because he and Andre hashed it out before Andre retired from the sport itself, but there was a large amount of information about the start of how wrestling in general became a big thing to cable TV that took over the documentary, and a part of me was really mad about this, because first I thought people were treating him like a freak of nature and now I really got the sense that they were using his name to showcase the WWE name.

Overall, the film was pretty good. It gave me a better sense of this gentle giant. I did feel bad for him later on in life because of his sheer size and amount of fights he’d do in the wrestling world, that people would stare at him in joy, horror, and pity. It was a very enlightening documentary to watch as somebody who doesn’t really like MMA, which considering my story I’m writing, does contain a bit of it.

Did you watch Andre The Giant yet? What did you think about it? What were some of your thoughts?

Favorite Biopics!

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Hello!

I’ve got another movie list for you today! This one kind of rivals the post I wrote about musicals a few months ago. I like a LOT of biographical films and it’s something that I’m always looking for if my documentaries are getting a little low. I have run out of both genres at the same time, it was a very sad day when that happened! I don’t recommend doing that!

I tried taking out all of the biopics I saw as miniseries on different networks like History and Lifetime because I figured that they’d take over this list and as I was busy searching for my favorites I did realize that I was right, I’ve seen quite a bit! So this is a list of big films that there were released from 2001 to 2016. Don’t freak out too much on me please, I’ll only discuss ten films but I will say there a lot of others that I’ve seen that also deserve to be on here too, but I only wanted to talk ten so I apologize.

Bride Of The Wind – 2001 starring Sarah Wynter, Jonathan Pryce, and Vincent Perez

This was one of the most recent biopic films I’ve watched, I think I saw it back in early September – from July to October I was in a big movie mood where I even broke one of my own rules and watched movies beyond 1999 and I rarely do that!

Anyways, this is film about the woman and composer Alma Mahler, as she marries three times. She was first married to the older Jewish composer and conductor Gustav Mahler, when their youngest died at the age of two and she went away because she had a break down and met her second husband Walter Gropius, there she had an affair with a painter by the name of Oskar Kokoschka who painted her as his muse and one of those paintings was used as the title of the film itself, The Bride Of The Wind. Her third husband was the writer Franz Werfel.

The story is very interesting, although it does portray Alma as this spoiled and selfish woman throughout the film. It was basically the only thing I honestly hated about it, although it could have been very true. Gustav makes her give up composing while they’re married and I would be bored with myself if I had nannies taking care of my children. Other than that, I thought it was a good film. I’ll never be able to see the High Sparrow the same, but you know!

Ray – 2004 starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington

Ray will always be a favorite of mine. I actually saw this while I was in school and of course, we had to skip the drug using scenes but I always found it absolutely heartbreaking whenever Ray’s mother forces her young son to try to find her on his own after he becomes blind. And the fact that he blames himself for the death of his younger brother too. I have to prepare myself for those scenes because I know I will start bawling my eyes if I’m not too careful.

The first time I watched this, I wasn’t paying too much attention of great castings until I saw Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles. I thought it was the best decision ever! You literally thought this was the son of Ray Charles or something because he just mirrored him. This was also my second film I ever watched with Kerry Washington in it, before she was made Olivia Pope in Scandal. I thought she also did a great job of bringing Ray’s first wife to life too.

Marie Antoinette – 2006 starring Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, and Rose Bryne

This was my first ever historical biopic I ever watched and I was fairly early in my teens when I watched it too. I never saw it in school, this was a film I watched on TV but don’t ask me whether or not it had commercials included with it because I don’t remember. I do know was after I saw it, I was obsessed with the fashion of the time of the real Dauphine and then Queen of France, Marie Antoinette; later on I became obsessed with French pastries after seeing Marie’s 21st birthday scene.

You get a real sense of Marie’s troubles of conceiving a child with her husband when her mother and ambassadors talk about it in practically every other scene. All that stress doesn’t work well with trying to having a baby, nor does it help if Louis, the Dauphin of France wasn’t interested either. Of course, when it came to producing an heir to the throne, it’s always the wives fault. Never the men!

Public Enemies – 2009 starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard

Yes, I’m talking about Public Enemies again! I told you, at the time I was obsessed with it before and after it came out.

I’ve always wondered why in the world I wanted to watch this movie so much, because beforehand I wasn’t really interested in the 1920-30’s crime wave, but then once I got into John Dillinger’s story, I somehow got into Bonnie and Clyde afterwards so I’ve been trying to rack my brain for the answer in the last several years! I do have a theory though, maybe it was because John Dillinger was a Hoosier native, because once I found out that piece of information I just searched for anything I could find, so in other words I screwed myself of how the movie would end in a way.

Side note: I totally forgot Christian Bale was in it! I was doing the list and he popped up on the credits and I was like, yeah that makes sense! Oops!

The Runaways – 2011 starring Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning

I do remember how I got into this movie. When they were doing promo for the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Jimmy Kimmel had invited the entire cast to be on the show and he had mentioned that both Kristen and Dakota were doing this film together about the 70’s all female rock band The Runaways.

Once it finally came out, I actually had mom rent it for me and I’ve been obsessed with her ever since! I think Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett was a very good choice as she’s a little naturally awkwardly shy but passionate too and you get that right away. I’m not too familiar with the real story of the ladies of the band and their rise to fame, but I thought it was interesting all the way around.

The Theory of Everything – 2014 starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, and David Twelis

If you are a long time reader, you already know of my thoughts and opinions about this movie, but for those of you who don’t. It is one of my favorite biopics ever! I think everybody who was involved in making this story come alive was amazing!

I have to say  what I said in my What’s The Point Of Acting post, that Eddie Redmayne is only a good choice because they needed to show the progress of Stephan’s condition from the start to the present. At the start of it, you get little hints of it showing up in the way he picks up things and definitely in the dance scene, where his hand is awkwardly shaped in her hand.

As the story goes on, you also start to see the dynamic change of narrative of the characters. The movie is about Stephan and his first wife Jane’s relationship and how she respected his wishes to continue living and proving his theories in the scientific world. So I have to give Felicity Jones as much credit as I do with Eddie in her role of Jane Hawking too.

Straight Outta Compton – 2014 starring Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

I always have a soft spot for musical biopics, and apparently I still have a thing for 80’s rap music. That’s what happens when your mother was a teenager in that time, as a child it was a custom to fall in love with that kind of music as it wasn’t until I was about seven or eight when I started listening to music and my tastes flourished. She had a LOT of great rap music at one point, just don’t ask me what she listens to now because it’s definitely not this.

It took me a bit to finally watch the movie. I felt like I had to wait a whole year because there was so much hype behind it. When it landed on HBO I was very happy, but I still can’t believe it came out in 2014, I thought it was like last year! I can’t keep anything straight anymore! I also thought the actor who played Ice Cube was a random guy that looked like Ice Cube. Don’t worry, my mom set me straight after I finished with the film that he was his son and it totally makes so much sense now!

The Danish Girl – 2015 starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander

Yes, I have two movies that star Eddie Redmayne on this list. This was another I had to wait a bit to see as well because from all of the hype for it.

I had fun trying to figure out information for this one, because it’s loosely based off the real Danish girl: Lili Elbe, the first person to have sex reassessment surgery in 1930. The film was about her as a male coming to terms with her women-ly side as Lili, it was also about her relationship with her wife Gerda Gottlieb throughout the process of transitioning. I thought it was a beautiful movie!

I Saw The Light – 2015 starring Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen

I’m still shocked I decided to watch this as I’m not into country music. I do have my tendencies every once in a while, but like I said with talking about Straight Outta Compton, I have a weakness for music biopics. I mean, I do have three of them on this list alone!

I had some issues with Tom Hiddleston playing Hank Williams, mostly because Tom is a British actor but I thought overall he did pretty good. This is another artist that I don’t know much about, but I do know the story of how he died though, so I kind of went into willing and came out with a new respect for this person. You know the crazy part is, I actually recognized quite a few of these songs and I’m pretty sure dad’s only watched it once! He’s the old country music fan compared to my sister who mostly goes for the younger ones (plus Tim McGraw but he never ages!).

Jackie – 2016 starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard

This is the most recent movie I’ve seen, I actually watched it back in September or early October.

I still watch reruns of anything about the Kennady’s on TV. I find that entire family so interesting! I’ve always thought of Jackie Kennady as a strong woman before I saw this film, like how was judged for the fact on how much money she spent on clothes as she loved French designers. The woman lost two of her children, three as John Kennady Jr. died in 1999 as caused by a plane crash with his wife Carolyn. Anyways, I thought Natalie Portman did a fantastic job in bringing this strong women to live again for the younger generations. Although, the story of Jackie is different than you’d expect as it’s about the after how Jackie acted after the assassination of her husband in Dallas, Texas in 1963.

What are your favorite biographical movies? Have you seen any of the films listed above?

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For The Love Of Documentaries!

It seems I’ve started a trend this year. .

Last year I was obsessed with trying to put a dent into my movie list. I was fairly proud of myself for doing that because I managed to cross off quite a bit. This year it’s a different story, the only films I’ve watched that I’ve added onto my 2016 and the first half of 2017 movie post. I’ve seen Morgan, Finding Dory, Beauty and The Beast, and Split. I know, the fact that even wanted to watch shocked a lot of my family!

Since February of this year, I’ve been more into little specials on PBS. If I want something to watch about history, this has been my #1 source until I fell back in love with using YouTube to chase that need for documentaries. I don’t have Netflix so I don’t have a great array of specials like I want like most of the general population, but I think this works just as good though! I wanted to do this post to share what all I’ve seen since the beginning of the year, in case anybody wanted to change their chances and watch them as well!

In January, PBS started on The Six Wives Of Henry VIII which was a three part series, they also premiered the first season of Victoria on the same weekend, I pretty much looked forward to Sundays for a good three weeks. I think Victoria ended in early March, but don’t count me on that!

Around February, I found Secrets Of The Dead but I only found like four episodes that I was able to watch off and on for about five months. The first episode was about the origins of both Frankenstein and Vampyre which you can learn more about in my Tune Tuesday post I did about Switzerland. The others were about Vincent Van Gogh’s missing ear, Nero’s Sunken City and Leonardo de Vinci (which I didn’t necessarily enjoy!). I found The Wonder Of Britain hosted by Julia Bradbury which was on at like four in the morning so I had to record it, however there were a few times that I could have watched it live since I was usually awake around that time! The third one was the Tales From The Bedchamber who was hosted by Lucy Worsley.

By the time April came around, I was using YouTube to watch my documentaries more frequently and as I started looking back at the ones I watched, I quickly realized I probably should have written down the ones I watched because trying to figure out each one made my brain hurt!

When my nana was going through her bad health spells, I used a series to keep me occupied throughout the rough times and I started watching The House Of Windsor which tells you of the origins of the current British monarch, like why King George V decided to change their family name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha which was started at the time of Queen Victoria when she married Prince Albert. It also takes you behind the secrets stored in the archives of Windsor Castle. For explain, the real reason behind why the Russian Imperial family wasn’t allowed to take refuge at Buckingham Palace. I thought it was pretty neat!

I do remember starting the series King and Queens of England I only got to Normans, I watched the Decadence and Elegance: The Age Of Regency  which was about when the Prince Regent George IV – he’s regarded one of the most lavishes royals! It was also hosted by Lucy Worsley. I saw an hour long special called Inside The Court of King Henry VIII and I still feel like that should have been longer than an hour! The last one I vaguely remember watching before the start of June was Prince John: The Windsor Tragic Story. Prince John was the youngest of King George V and Queen Mary, he was different from the rest of his siblings, or in general a royal prince. He was diagnosed with epilepsy and was put away from the public and the rest of his family.

I started with Elizabeth I which talks about the life of Queen Elizabeth I, including the feud between her and her half sister Queen Mary I. How she was accused for helping the Protestant uprising against the Catholics, but she and the leader both denied her involvement. It also talked about she might’ve been sexually assaulted by her half brother’s adviser Thomas Seymour when she was living with her father’s sixth wife Catherine Parr after she married Thomas and became pregnant with his child. I had never heard of these accusations before so that was a new one for me! I have yet to finish the series!

There was a special on PBS about Mary Ann Cotton called Dark Angel, who was England’s first serial killer. It was said that she killed different members of her family, including her children with arsenic to collect their life insurances. It starred Joanne Fogett as Mary Ann Cotton, and I was in shocked but in awe of this woman. It was also said in total she killed over 20 people!

Recently there have been three separate specials I’ve seen on both TV and YouTube. The first was My Mother And Other Strangers on PBS, it has had a slow beginning but it has been very interesting too! It was set in Ireland around the time of World War II. You have these American soldiers living on base in this small town called Moybeg and the narrator is the older Francis, whereas he talks about the life of his family. He is like around seven years old in the actual series. It’s a nice story and kind of hoping for a second season but I don’t think I should hold my breath as like both Victoria and Dark Angel they premiered on BBC or ITV first before making its way to the US.

I watched a special about nuns, and that is what happens when you watch both Sister Act films in one week alone. It was called Young Nuns and it gave you a sense of these modern women becoming nuns for different reasons. I still haven’t finished it, but so far so good! I found one about Princess Alice of Bradenburg, called The Queen’s Mother In Law as she is the mother of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. This was another sad one to watch, but it was nevertheless good though. The third was Richard III: The King Laid To Rest I have been very interested in King Richard III mostly of his disability and living with scoliosis around the the 15th Century. I had watched section of Mysteries At The Museum that talked about finding him in a parking lot in 2012. This was about finally putting his remains in the ground in a well-established church. I still think he should have been buried in a Catholic church since that was what he was at the time, but they didn’t. I thought it was a beautiful service and we may never see that ever again unless they finally find the Princes In The Tower or Henry I.

I’m not just into specials about Ireland and England, I also enjoy other parts of the world as well! PBS recently had a series called The Story Of China that I thoroughly enjoyed! It was hosted by Michael Wood and as I watched it while these people were talking to him in their native languages (and there are a lot!) but he never seemed to have a translator for himself, so in ways you kind of got the feeling he knew what they were saying but I can’t say for certain. They had like seven episodes in all, even through two were combined so there were two hours long. It was glorious! I’ve always been interested in China and it’s traditions so I figured I would really like it and I was right!

I’ve watched a few more in the last four weeks, but I’ve decided to not include them on this post.

Are you interested in documentaries or little specials or series of specific places around the world? What have you watched recently?

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REVIEW | Becoming Cary Grant

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Recently, I watched a very interesting documentary film called Becoming Cary Grant that premiered on Showtime on June 9th. The film is about the life of actor Cary Grant, who is known as one of Hollywood’s leading men from the 1940-50’s working with such directors like Alfred Hitchcock.

Cary Grant was born in Bristol, England in 1904. His given name was Archibald Leach, which while he was on tour in the U.S. he mostly used the nickname “Archie” with his last name as his persona. It wasn’t until he moved on to making big budget movies that he finally changed his name and became an American citizen.

He had been married four times, and only had one child, a daughter named Jennifer with his third wife Dyan Cannon. He was a very private person, as you find out watching the film how sheltered he’d become throughout his time in Hollywood and then you also find out how he became such a bad husband to his wives as well. The documentary draws the story of his life using reenactments, sections of his unpublished biography (read by actor Jonathon Pryce) and then the home videos Cary himself captured throughout the later years of his life.

I find the film to be very interesting, I was thoroughly entertained but before I ever started watching it I kept getting him confused with Clark Gable. They’re both similar between their slick black hair and sturdy roles except for the fact that Clark always had some facial hair! If you like the stars of the 1930’s through the 1950’s, I think you could enjoy this as well!

Have you seen Becoming Cary Grant yet? If you have, what did you like about it?

REVIEW | Disgraced

Last time I reviewed a basketball themed documentary because it was still March Madness, well on the 31st, I watched another one that was similar, but instead of a happy ending this one wasn’t…

Showtime premiered Disgraced and it was about an incident that happened at Baylor University in 2003 involving the entire basketball team. A college student and basketball player Patrick Dennehy, was shot and killed by another team member who was supposedly was his best friend. Patrick and the one who shot him, Carlton Dotson were again supposedly paranoid about another teammate Harvey Thomas and his friend and cousin, Larry Johnson after having them over. The story goes that both Harvey and Larry had guns on them and were using them to scare the boys from accusing them for any wrong doing.

Later, after feeling extra paranoid of their situation, they in turn buy their own set of guns and told their other roommates that if Harvey or anybody else came looking for them to not let them in. So clearly, this raises some flags I would say! I guess though, they went to their coaches and asked if they should go to the police, their main coach Dave Bliss, said to keep things “in house” meaning don’t tell anyone as I imagined. This is where things began to get very strange because within a few days later Patrick Dennehy ends up missing and it’s within these days that people are now looking into the team and the coaches of Baylor University.

I was very much amazed by the amount of things discussed or in some cases, not talked about it within the mystery of how Patrick is dead and how Carlton, who was like a brother to him, would kill him. I mean, if they were as paranoid as they said to be, the mental statuses of Carlton kind of makes sense. You’ll learn more about what I mean when you watch the film. My thing was what the coaches did though, assistant coach Abar Rouse recorded the head coach, Dave Bliss as they began to create a cover up for the rest of their team on how much they knew about the situation of their players. Now a lot of people would think this was wrong and that he should have went to the coach and told him about his feelings about it, but like everybody said he was literally backed into a corner and Bliss even told him “I can hire and fire assistant coaches at will” now would you want to tell him after hearing that? I wouldn’t, I’d probably record him too honestly!

The film was very interesting and like my dad told me too, they’re not the first ones to have this type of scandal and sadly, I don’t think they’ll be the last either.

So did you watch Disgraced yet? What were your thoughts on the documentary?

REVIEW | Perfect In ’76

The month of March is a time for beloved basketball fans and the most dreaded time for anyone who loathes it as well. March Madness is exactly that, it is madness! I’ve sadly just realized that it’s not all about college basketball though, for high schools around the United States have their sectionals, regionals, and state championships all in this time too! I don’t know why I am just now figuring that out, but I am.

Showtime took it upon themselves to use it to feature a number of specials on the network for any basketball fans, and since I go back and forth with loving and hating it, (yes, there was a time where I’ve hated basketball!) I found a documentary that I thought would be cool to watch despite the fact that it would premiere on the weekend of my papaw’s passing. I recorded it and hoped that maybe I would leave it to the weekend after so I would (hopefully) get through it in one piece. I barely made a day!

It was called “Perfect In ’76” and was narrated by a fellow Hoosier and musician John Mellencamp and the whole thing discusses the perfect season of Indiana University’s Hoosiers in 1976, it included some of the former players on the team and announcers whether on local TV news stations or radio. It also had the infamous coach Bobby Knight talking about not only the undefeated season in ’76 but also the near-perfect season of the year before when they were beat by Kentucky in the NCAA championship.

One of the things that they first show is Indiana’s landscape of both city life with the campus in Bloomington and rural country sides that is probably the most known feature about the state. The first thing that John explains to the viewer is that “Basketball was invented in Massachusetts, but it was made for Indiana” and included that children were raised on basketball and IU was at the heart of it all. Everything about this scene was true, at least in my family.

My family is a fairly large basketball family, it ranges from IU, Butler, Purdue; my sister’s fiance is actually a fan of North Carolina, so he’s the only non-Indiana team in our family, which according to a number of my family members my papaw seemed to hate them with a passion. He was probably not happy how the 2017 NCAA championship ended. Anyways, this man would tape (well, most of the time it was my nana setting it up) almost every game on television so he could watch it whenever he was at home. We’ve had bookshelves and cabinets full of VCR tapes of basketball games around that house! I remember the late 90’s and we’d have family in the living room watching the game and all of us grandkids on the floor not exactly understanding what all the excitement was about basketball, later on majority of my family played basketball in school, I think everybody but my cousin Amy did it outside of elementary school.

Back to the documentary though, I watched it not really understanding some of the stats – I don’t know all of the correct terms and what the difference between a “forward” and “guard” but I have never had a problem with watching it! So whenever they were discussing the different players and Bobby Knight wanting a better offense when he first became the head coach of the team. I think it all went in one ear and our the other. I really liked it though, it was interesting! We all think of Bobby Knight as this angry dude who threw a chair across the court and got escorted off, but to see him like this especially in the last scene where they’re all sitting in the diner and he makes a speech to his former players and gets choked up a bit about how amazing they were and how he always appreciated them. It changes what we see in this person that has such an intimidating persona.

What I really found sort of hilarious, is that literally four days before I watched this Indiana University actually fired their current coach Tom Crean and everybody in my family about had a field day with this news because my papaw called it a long time ago! A month earlier, Bobby Knight had called into a radio and expressed his feelings against his former bosses and I couldn’t contained myself, I had to laugh at that! Gave it a few years and Tom will probably do the exact thing same and we’ll be back rolling our eyes at him.

Have you seen this documentary yet? Do you love (or hate) basketball? 

snowflake

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