Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013)

Director Cullen Hoback’s “Terms and Conditions May Apply” is one of the most important films made in years. It is also the most important film made this year. In an age where everyone and their grandparents are connected to some form of personal computers and are freely relinquishing personal information for the sake of using some novelty program, director Cullen Hoback explores in his film how the click of one button will destroy not just your freedom, but the entire world’s freedom.

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John Lennon & The Dixie Chicks: And We All Shine On

I hate country music, I really do. But the only band I can hold any sort of tolerance for is The Dixie Chicks. Am I a fan? No. Am I fan of their views? God yes. Particularly Natalie Maines that little hot firecracker. Outspoken, charismatic, and intelligent, you just have to love her. Hats off to you, babe. In 2006, no two documentaries were more inadvertently paralleled than “Shut up & Sing,” and “The US vs. John Lennon.”

A long time ago, John Lennon, sitting with the Beatles, explained to a reporter, in sheer shock, that he couldn’t believe the way fans were gushing. It was almost as if they were more popular than Jesus.

Fans, thanks to the media, took it out of proportion, and wholly out of context.

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Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower

In the end, “Desperate Crossing” is still a rather glossy depiction of the pilgrims on the mayflower depicting them as rebels and immigrants. Regardless it tries to cut through all the junk and chronicle the realism of their journey and their desperation to move to a land where they could worship freely. However, we never explore how this culture may have dominated the primitive Native American culture, nor does it really take the accounts warts and all.

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The 9/11 Commission Report (2006)

I tried. Lord help me, how I tried. But there are just some people almost incapable of creating quality. Brett Ratner, Uwe Boll, Britney Spears, and Asylum. To their credit “The 9/11 Commission Report” seems like an honest attempt by the company to advance into a more sophisticated state of storytelling and movie making. But for all intents and purposes, it comes off as another truly terrible film in their gallery. At the opening, the disclaimer notifies audiences that all the names have been changed, but the names of the terrorists remain relatively the same.

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WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception (2004)

movie_213685“WMD” is a shocking, sometimes much too disturbing account of the biggest crime that went completely unnoticed, and will continue to go unpunished. This is not a study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, but what this does probe in to is the utter destruction and obliteration of the American journalistic sentiment. Growing up, I was taught that journalists are the people who keep those in power, in line, and catch them in their misdeeds and wrong doings to better serve the public and teach them that we are being looked out for, so that those in power do not abuse what they’ve been given. People like Woodward and Bernstein who helped unravel the Watergate scandal and the legendary Edward R. Murrow who gave the art of journalism the reputation that it was a dynasty of honesty, and truth, and seeking to help those who don’t have a voice. What documentarian Danny Schecter does is give the audience a message we’ll never be given.

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Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Surely, this is one of those obscure classics that people should know more about, and should really talk more about, but alas, it isn’t, and that’s a damn shame. My favorite heroes be it literary, cinematic, or otherwise, were the brainy heroes, and the reluctant heroes, two of which are represented here in this Redford classic about espionage, action, adventure, and government paranoia.

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Chernobyl Heart (2003)

chernobyl-heartOn April 25th and 26th, 1986 the worst nuclear power accident in the world, and in history occurred at Chernobyl in the Ukraine (formerly the USSR). The Chernobyl nuclear power plant located had 4 reactors and while testing reactor number 4 numerous safety procedures were disregarded. At 1:23am the chain reaction in the reactor became out of control creating explosions and a fireball which blew off the reactor’s heavy steel and concrete lid. Thus the Chernobyl accident killed more than 30 people immediately, and as a result of the high radiation levels in the surrounding 20-mile radius, 135,00 people had to be evacuated, a lot of the cleaning workers who came to fix the accident died quickly, and some in a matter of years due to the immense amount of radiation they’d received while cleaning, but Chernobyl left a lasting legacy with the accident, a legacy within the city’s children.

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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

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We’re raised at early ages to fear in America, and we’re also bombarded with images of violence and sex, so much so it becomes numbing. As many of us have periodic moments of violence, many of the people in this tend to look at violence with a sort of comfort, almost as if they perceive violence to be apart of life, almost expected of us. Such is shown when a man accused of aiding the Uni-bomber sticks a gun to his head to demonstrate the accuracy of his gun. In another part of the world, a young boy in kindergarten shot another classmate; why he did what he did is never explained, or perhaps it can’t be explained. When asked why he did so, he replied with an uncertain answer; perhaps he was angry, or mentally disturbed, but that seems too easy. No one is really sure why he shot another student, but it seems the young boy simply shot her; almost as if it was an expected course of action, a first response.

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