This time around we have a few documentaries for you. I’ll start with the one I thought was the most interesting, When The Checks Stop Coming In. This documentary shows what happens to celebs, athletes, actors, entertainers when they stop making money. It focuses mostly on African-American celebs and how their lifestyle causes their downfall. We all know MC Hammer went broke from having a huge entourage (and no more hit music), but this also shows Allen Iverson (NBA), Antoine Walker (NBA), Wesley Snipes (actor), TLC (music) and many others who either over spent, got the rug pulled out from under them, didn’t pay their taxes or simply stopped making the absurd amount of money they were making. Of course some people still blame slavery from over a hundred years ago for why African-Americans buy cars and jewelry, but some of the experts do talk about a lack of knowledge about financing. There’s a lot of personal stories from former athletes that turned their lives around and want to help others from going down the same route. If you liked VH1’s Behind the Music, you’ll like this.
Second we have Killing Jimmy Hoffa. This documentary doesn’t seem to add anything new about Hoffa’s disappearance because well, nobody knows what happened to him. Ok, SOMEONE knows, but the public doesn’t. What I did like about it though is how they made Hoffa seem not so innocent in everything. They talked about Teamsters helping to run drugs (especially heroin) under Hoffa and how heavily involved Hoffa was in the Mob. It talks about the Mob was most likely involved in the assassination of JFK because Bobby Kennedy was going after them. It also brought up the long time rumor that the US government used Hoffa to get connections to the Mob to try to kill Fidel Castro when he first took over Cuba because the Mob lost millions when Castro’s regime took over. If you know much about Hoffa then none of it is all that knew, but if you don’t, you should find it educational.
Third we have Revenge of the Mekons. This is a rock doc about the band The Mekons who I believe I’ve heard of, but can’t name you one of their songs/albums. They are a band that other bands and music nerds say are great, but no one else has ever heard of. They started out as a British punk band, then went country-ish and folksy. They never had a hit single. They never had a hit album. In fact their average album sales is 8000. The music in the documentary didn’t do much for me so I won’t be going out and tracking down their songs. But I will give them credit for being around for 30 years and still playing music. Band members have come and gone (Fred Armisen was involved at one point), their style has changed, but they still tour on occasion and put out music. If you know them, you’ll like this.
Last we have Last Days of the Nazis. This comes from The History Channel and is a two disc set about Nazi Germany during and after World War II. It uses original interviews with Nazis taken after the war with re-enactments to really give you a sense of these people. Some really supported the Nazi cause, others just went with it because they were German and that’s what you did. One person really gave up the goods talking about everything he did, who did what, and why it was so bad. Others felt no remorse for their actions. It’s a side of things I’ve never quite seen before. Plus it’s from The History Channel so it’s well made. World War II and history/military buffs will completely enjoy it.