Maserati: A Hundred Years Against the Odds (2020) Movie Review

Director: Philip Selkirk

Plot: Celebrate the long and storied history of one of the world’s most recognizable icons, Maserati. From humble beginnings into a small Italian garage to the coveted and luxurious automobile we know today, witness the evolution of the business, the brand, and the cars themselves over 100 years. Featuring interviews with the Maserati family, world-famous racers, collectors, and more.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Interesting Documentary

Story: Maserati: A Hundred Years Against All Odds starts as we learn about how the Maserati brothers worked together to create the fastest race cars, dominating the sport of racing in the era of racing, they faced different competition through the years, financial problems and World Wars, they must learn to evolve to survive the every growing change in the car industry, be it in the racing or commercial use.

Thoughts on Maserati: A Hundred Years Against All Odds

Final Thoughts When we look at documentaries, we need to learn from them, in this film we need to squeeze in 100 years of history, which is already going to be difficult with the length of the film, being less than an hour and half. We do learn the key moments in history, the rise in racing, the move into commercial use before others and the big decisions which saw the company go in different directions. While we do learn the basics, which I would imagine anyone who has done basic history in Maserati would know, it does feel like this could have been a mini series that could have dived into more details, with certain moments being, this happened, things changed, then onto the next chapter, we don’t get enough time to dive into the impact on these moments. If you wanted to get into the small details of the company and its history, you will feel like you have missed out on big moments, which could have shown the true struggles and successes the company had.

Overall: History Lesson 101.

Apollo 11 (2019) Movie Review

Director: Todd Douglas Miller

Plot: A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon led by commander Neil Armstrong and pilots Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Stunning

Story: Apollo 11 starts by showing us the behind the scene footage of the final preparations of the Apollo 11 mission, we know how this story unfolds, but this time we get to see unseen footage from mission control, leading to the take off and while on the mission, seeing how Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins would go onto make history for all mankind.

Thoughts on Apollo 11

Final Thoughts The best way to describe this documentary is incredible to see, it shows how the operation occurred, how calm the team stayed through the mission despite the fact it was a high pressure situation that was important for NASA to achieve. We are seeing the behind the scene footage over anything else which does show us how the people involved on Earth were just waiting for information to make sure the incredible happened, while seeing the close ups of the mission in space, dealing with the isolation factor in Collins position and how close to the moon the astronauts got. We don’t get interviews about what happened, we are just seeing the mission shown in documentary form, cutting out the slow moments of waiting till the next stage, this is important to see how big this moment in history was.

Overall: Important Documentary

Facing East (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tommy Baker

Plot: This story follows the history of the most over buried commercial cemetery in America. It comes full circle to present day and documents a non profit’s efforts to take care of the abandoned and abused burial ground.

Tagline – The True Story of The Most Grossly abused Cemetery in the Country

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Interesting Documentary

Story: Facing East starts as we see the investigation into the Eastern State Cemetery, a location in Louisville, where the owner had been burying people on top of other graves, which has been happening for decades, they didn’t hide it, they just kept taking the money from the families that wanted to bury their relatives.

We get to see how the federal investigation went through the grave to learn the shocking truth and how the owners were running the cemetery breaking nearly every law in the book, with it not sat abandoned with families needing to find their own way to their loved ones graves.

Thoughts on Facing East

Final Thoughts When it comes to a documentary, we always get the spotlight thrown onto a situation which is getting out of hand, this does show us the shocking behaviour being cemetery owners who took people’s money and just buried people on top of each other, following part of the criminal case against them after breaking the laws. We have a mix of archive footage showing the case, mixed with the interviews of former employees that opened up the case and victims of the operation. This is interesting to see, because it could have been happening for years in other location, while we do only focus on one place that has been exposed, it does pose the question about how many more could be out there.

Overall: Eye opening documentary.

An Irish Story: This is My Home (2020) Movie Review

Director: Karl Nickoley

Plot: The Black Donnellys attempt to break the Guinness World Record for a concert played in every U.S. state while exploring Irish immigration to America and its influence and heritage.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice TV Style Documentary

Story: An Irish Story: This is my Home starts as we meet Dave Rooney and Dave Browne known as The Black Donnellys, who have broken world records in the past, including the longest gig. The pair have set their sights on a new world record, the fast number of gigs in the 50 different states in the USA.

As the band start their tour, they start to look at the first obstacles that are thrown at them, which sees the band look to make sure they can continue their dream to achieve this world record.

Thoughts on An Irish Story: This is my Home

Final Thoughts This is a documentary that would be an easy watch through the television screen, mostly because we are watching a small band trying to make history, does give us an interesting theme to watch, with chasing dreams being inspiring to anybody else. We do learn about the stories of the band members, what drives them to achieve with the world records and have their name in the record books until somebody else comes along. We get glimpses of their music, though it could have given us a little bit more, which does play in the background for a lot of scenes, but we could have seen the performances. The highlight of the journey is seeing the different size of the gigs, with some being the typical bar scenes, while others have a much more personal motivation, for people who wouldn’t normally be able to see the band. A nice look at how dreamers could get to achieve everything they are trying to in life.

Overall: Entertaining Documentary

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2019 – F – Fyre (2019) Movie Review

Director: Chris Smith

Plot: An exclusive behind the scenes look at the infamous unraveling of the Fyre music festival.

Tagline – The Greatest Party That Never Happened.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening

Story: Fyre starts by showing how Billy McFarland worked with his partner Ja Rule to create a new app known as Fyre which could give people a chance to book talent for private events, to launch this they buy an island in the Bahamas to host a show for 10,000 people, advertising with the best in the world, bringing some of the top supermodels in the world to promote the event.

As the event is coming up the organisers must fix the problems, which includes finding an island, arranging accommodation for the guests and seeing how the people involved tried to stop the problems, before the event, they simply weren’t prepared for. Seeing how bad the preparations was, reflects just how bad the time everything was, including just how difficult the money was for the staff, let alone the talent coming to the festival.

Then we get to the start of the festival everyone involved knows it is going to end badly and the guests find themselves being sold on something they weren’t sold on, no luxury and barely any food or resources, becoming one of the biggest frauds in social media history.

Thoughts on Fyre

Final Thoughts This documentary does show us just how social media created one of the biggest frauds in music festival history, it is interesting to see just how everybody who was involved in different aspects was sold on the idea that it would work and they were all excellent at their jobs, seeing it as a contract, even when they saw it failing they were left without an option but to continue on with job. It is amazing to see just how social media influenced people into attending this festival, that on paper when it came to the music, nothing was that special, the luxury around it did at least show us how only the wealthier would have been effected rather than the budgeted people, outside of the people who lived and worked on the island that will never see their money. The one big negative from this documentary, would be seeing just how bad the conditions were, like full sequences and stories of the time at the festival, we don’t learn to much about the people that were victims of the fraud. The most important message to take from this documentary would be just how influential social media can be to people that will believe anything that gets offered up to them.

Overall: Essential Documentary.