Also out now are a few non music documentaries. First we have The Only Real Game. This was pretty interesting because I had no idea how popular baseball was in Manipur. The area was once its own solvent kingdom, but then became part of India after World War II. It has fought for its freedom ever since. Because of that fighting, it’s a region of devastation, bombings and violence. The only peace they have is baseball. Kids and adults play it and it’s more of a national past time than soccer or cricket. The game was first introduced to the natives by the Allied forces who made baseball diamonds while stationed there in World War II. The game has gotten bigger and bigger in the decades since and even Major League Baseball has sent coaches there to grow the game and teach proper techniques and strategy. Baseball is a release from the violence, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS epidemic and all the other horrors in that little area. Interesting documentary.
Next we have American Bear. A young couple from New Jersey set out for a road trip through America stopping in many states and visiting every city named Bear in the country. Been done before (minus the cities named Bear), but the difference here is, the couple relies on strangers to put them up for the night. At first I was somewhat intrigued by the film and curious to see how far along they could get without putting up for a hotel or sleeping in their car too often. Then the couple start talking and “analyzing” their trip and I started hating them. First of all, they are 21 and 20 years old so they know nothing of the world around them yet are extremely opinionated and come across self righteous. They seemed mad that the majority of people that put them up for FREE were white. The couple is white and they seemed disappointed that mostly white people allowed them in their home. They don’t take into consideration that most of the states they went to have more white people than other places. Iowa, Utah, Washington, Colorado, guess what? That’s a whole lot of white people. It’s a statistics game stupid, not racism. When they go to Chicago, two African-American women didn’t think the white couple would feel safe in their neighborhood because a lot of African-American people don’t feel safe. That’s reality, not racism. Plus the couple, who are not Christians, at times would wear crosses around their neck to see if people would take them in thinking they were Christians. So basically they skewed their own experiment AND complained about the results. Ugh, these people. I’m glad what happened to them at the end happened because they deserved the bad karma.
Third we have Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot. This is a documentary about Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. I’ve been a fan of Dirk’s for years so I liked this. It tells a lot about him and his career, but what I found fascinating was his mentor that used physics and math to help Dirk become the player he is. Most 7 footers are dunkers and shot blockers, but Dirk is a shooter who can hit threes. I also liked the interviews with his peers, guys like Kobe, Steve Nash, Yao Ming etc. Obviously the more you are into basketball, the NBA and Dirk, the more you will like this. Even if you aren’t a Nowitzki fan, you might be after watching this because you learn a lot about him, his dedication to the game, his respect for teammates and other players and how he views the world and the growing basketball scene.
Last we have Call Me Lucky. Bobcat Goldthwait gives us an intimate look at comedian/activist Barry Crimmins. Crimmins was a political stand up long before guys like Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and Lewis Black. He was angry and liberal and pretty much a socialist. He was anti-government and anti-religion. He helped create the Boston comedy scene of the 1980s and gave careers to guys like Lenny Clarke, Bobcat, Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants) and many, many more. The anger and rage wasn’t a show. He had been molested and raped as a young boy and Crimmins would become a child’s rights activist taking on pedophiles in the early stages of the internet. He went after AOL for not shutting down child pornography groups in their chat rooms. The documentary is packed with stand ups who admire Crimmins and who owe their careers to him. Guys like Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Clarke, and Dana Gould talk about Crimmins, how he built Boston comedy and his work in activism. If you don’t know much about Crimmins, you’ll learn a lot. A fascinating look at a layered man.