Review for “Amy”

Review for “Amy”

Synopsis:  This is a documentary about the life of Amy Winehouse, told by the people who knew her the best.

 

The first scene is the most memorable of many memorable scenes.  Amy Winehouse is just a teenager here, goofing and having fun with a few friends. Of course, we get the first glimpse of Amy’s enormous talent as she belts out “Happy Birthday” to one of her friends.  Amy seems carefree here, and so happy.  Beautiful.  A normal teenager.  The real Amy.  There was no hint of what would later happen to her.

 

“Amy” is a very informative and ultimately sad look at Amy Winehouse’s life.  The first half of the movie focused more on the happier times, when her first album, “Frank” was being promoted, recorded and toured.   The whole movie features many interviews–archived footage of Amy, her managers, friends, ex-husband, parents and others.   Amy seemed like a good person.  She seemed humble, funny, charming and fun to be with.  I could see why people were drawn to her.  She really seemed like the type of person I’d be friends with.  Of course, she was a very talented and versatile singer.  And the scenes where we watched her sing and perform in front of audiences were usually a joy to watch.  I enjoyed watching the behind-the-scenes footage of her writing and recording her songs.  It really felt like you were in the room with her.  It was incredible.  I liked how honest “Amy” was.

 

Of course, this made me even madder at a lot of the people in her life.  The second half was centered around that dark period in her life, when she became famous after “Back to Black” was released.  There were many clear signs that she needed and wanted help.  The bulimia, drug/alcohol addiction, telling people she needed a break etc. I just wanted to grab and shake some of these people, yelling “Why didn’t you help her?!”.  It was very sad to see.  Very depressing.   Director Asif Kapadia did an amazing job with the documentary.  He made an insightful and amazing piece about Amy’s life and tragic death.  It almost felt like you knew her.  I’d like to see another film of his if I can.

 

More than anything else, “Amy” seems to be a cautionary tale about how drugs and fame can be a dangerous mix.  The saddest part of all was that Amy didn’t want any of this–fame.  All she wanted was to share her music in clubs and live a normal life.  “Amy” leaves you pondering many questions long after the end credits roll.  I’d give it a 8 out of 10.  Rent or buy from Netflix, Google Play, Amazon or other sites.

Review for “Hot Girls Wanted”

Review for “Hot Girls Wanted”

Synopsis:  This is a documentary about young women trying to make it in the porn business…and the troubles that come with that.

Hey.  Ever wonder what happens in the porn industry?  This is a provocative, extremely interesting look into life of “professional amateurs or “Pro-Ams”.  Some of us are dreamers.  These girls certainly are.  But what happens when your dreams come true?  What happens when reality hits?  And what if you realize that your “dream life” isn’t at all what you thought it was?  Well, the young ladies in this marvelous documentary are about to find out.

 

The film follows 5 young women aged 18-21.  They are Rachel, Tressa, Jade, Karly and Michelle.  They’re brand new to the porn industry, living with their uncaring agent, Riley.  We see scenes of them working in the porn industry.  Photoshoots, sex scenes, sex toys galore.  But thankfully, it isn’t very graphic.  And there’s not a lot of nudity.  The docu focuses more on the girls themselves and the rollercoaster of emotions the young women go through.  I felt really sad for them a lot of the time.  Yes, they choose to be in porn.  But I strongly believe that they had no idea what they were getting into.  You would be disgusted if you saw what some people are actually into.  The statistics are pretty interesting.  Some of them aren’t so surprising, but most of them are.  The media clips in the beginning of the film are a nice touch.  Who stays, who goes?  The answers may surprise you.

I liked the girls so much, I was kinda sad that movie had to end.  But at the same, I’m glad it did.  The craziest part is that these are just normal girls trying to live the dream.  For the most part, Rachel, Tressa & co. want what most young people want–travel, money, excitement.  The movie focused a bit too much on Tressa, though.  I wish they spent more time on the others. And some of the content is pretty disturbing.   I think this movie could even keep young people from traveling down the wrong road.

 

I’d give “Hot Girls Wanted” a 8/10.  It’s on the streaming section of Netflix.

Review for “Americans in Bed”

Review for “Americans in Bed”

Cast: A documentary about 10 couples–their loves, lives, sex, intimacy and everything in between.

I’ve decided to try something a little different this time.  I was looking for a new movie to review for the week.  And I stumbled across this adorable little docu called “Americans in Bed”.  I’ve always loved films like these, where you have real people talking about real stuff.  And the best part is it’s never boring, not for a second.  It kinda gives you hope that you will find your true love someday.

I loved how honest and comfortable these people were.  They must’ve really trusted the director, Phillipa Robertson.  I liked the different love stories–how they started and how they work out.   The first couple interviewed, Joey and Patty was probably my favorite.  Their banter was cute and natural.  It should be, they’ve been married for at least 12 years.  The argument between Randy and Julie was a bit too real.  But I guess that’s okay.  We are talking about real couples after all.  And real couples fight from time to time.  Helen and Red–the elderly couple–made me understand what most people want–someone to grow old and be happy with.  Linda & Margie called each other soulmates.  But I don’t know if you’re incomplete without someone.  You can be complete on your own.  It’s just about finding someone who will complement your madness.  I think they found that.

Of course, I didn’t like every couple.  There was a couple who started out as an affair, and he continued to cheat even after they were together.  Another man cheated on his wife, and she took him back.  Neither man seemed to feel any remorse.  But I still melted a bit when they were affectionate with each other.

All in all, this was good viewing.  Watch it on HBOGo.  If not, buy a copy of the DVD on Amazon.   8.5/10.