AFI DOCs is weeks away and tickets are on sale now! Be sure to check out the full film line up and find a screening near you. Here are the top five docs we’re most excited about this year!
1. 12 O’Clock Boys
Fast and the Furious meets The Wire! This fast-paced thriller follows the life of Pug, a young boy growing up in West Baltimore. Forget the drug crews of Marlo and Avon Barksdale, Pug wants to be a member of the notorious dirt bike gang- the 12 O’Clock Boys. Strap in for a ride through the streets of Charm City and explore a different angle of inner city living beyond the drugs and the corner.
Thinking of visiting SeaWorld this summer? You might first want to check out the rare, behind-scenes footage in this forceful doc about marine parks. Audiences who remember the death of whale trainer Dawn Brancheau may be surprised to learn that acts of aggression from Orca whales happen more often than they may think. But perhaps what’s most alarming about these “killer whales” in captivity is the corporate-led effort to keep such big profit practices and attractions in business.
3. Expedition to the End of the World
Though the trailer almost makes this doc look like it follows the boys from Jackass, I assure you there’s much more to it. I doubt Johnny Knoxville and company have the insightful views (and IQs) as this rugged band of zoologists, biologists and geologists. With stunning images and a diverse soundtrack, this film about a crew of scientists exploring Northeast Greenland is sure to entertain and enlighten.
4. Camp 14 – Total Control Zone
When it comes to North Korea, little is known and even less is seen to the outside world. Focus on the isolated nation’s labor camps and the shadows grow even darker. But thanks to former prisoner Shing Dung-hyuk’s interviews, audiences can now hear of the hardships of life in a “death camp.” Implementing creative graphic images to show the hard work, starvation and torture that Camp 14 prisoners endure, this doc’s intimate look at life before and after escape is sure to be a powerful experience.
5. The Act of Killing
What’s more shocking than asking a group of men who helped commit genocide reenact their crimes? How about the boastful pride and enthusiasm they bring to the task. In what is surely a very chilling and disturbing doc, filmmakers ask Indonesian death squad leaders to replay their brutal acts of murder from 1965′s military coup on camera. The result is an unforgettable look into the minds of killers. This film is not for the faint-of-heart.
June has arrived and with Summer just around the corner, so is SilverDocs! Tickets go on sale today for the week-long documentary film festival in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. Silverdocs runs from June 18 to 24 and you can find the full film lineup here.
Opening this year is the doc Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, which follows the unbelievable journey (see what I did just there) of the band’s new frontman, Arnel Pineda, as he leaves his separate ways (worlds apart) in Manila and becomes part of one of the most popular American rock bands of all time. If all the classic songs aren’t enough, the inspiring rags to riches tale of Pineda should also leave you lovin’, touching’, squeezin’.
Keeping the good tunes going, the festival is closing with another music doc. The Big Easy Express follows the bands Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show as they travel on a six-stop tour from California to New Orleans by railway. This mix of beautiful scenery, jam sessions and concerts looks to surely please the audience and will keep their legs tapping.
Got more time to kill? Check out our top-ten films after the jump!
Bradley Parker does well to make his directorial debut on the coattails of Oren Peli’s second stab at (co)script writing. That way, even if Chernobyl Diaries sucks, the fact that it’s “from the writer that brought you Paranormal Activity,” will bring in enough fans to cover the cost of production. That’s right, the studio has taken that page from Oren Peli’s notebook as well – make it as cheap as possible and pray for it to be wildly successful for higher profit margins. I can’t say I blame them. Still, given the budget restrictions and a cast of relatively unknowns, Park, Peli, and crew fully utilize the cryptic setting and our imagination to deliver a jumpy suspenseful thriller.
more after the jump!
While I was desperately trying to strategically time my coughing fits to avoid missing the subtle gems hidden in the dialogue of Wes Anderson’s newest movie, Moonrise Kingdom, the wife of the man next to me leaned over and whispered – “This is funny!” To which he immediately responded – “This is weird.” Somewhere, Wes Anderson is smiling.
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, Moonrise Kingdom is a story of the love between Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), the troubled daughter of two unhappily married lawyers – Laura (Frances McDormand) and Walt Bishop (Bill Murray); and least favorite Khaki Scout Sam (Jared Gilman), orphan, currently at scout camp for the summer. After a lengthy pen pal relationship following a chance meeting in a dressing room for a church play, the young couple decide to declare their love for each other and elope. Upon discovering Sam’s disappearance, Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) reaches out to ineffectual island sheriff Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) to begin the manhunt. Captain Sharp’s search brings him to Suzy’s house, where to the surprise of Laura and Walt Bishop; they find Suzy missing as well. On the brink of an anticipated record breaking storm, all (ir)responsible factions, including the other young scouts, join together to bring the children back to safety.
our thoughts after the jump! Continue reading
OK, that huge jet rocket fire at the Daytona 500 was pretty epic but let’s be honest here- that’s the only cool part about Nascar. Sure tailgating is fun but no amount of booze can make 43 cars driving in a circle entertaining for more than a couple laps.
But then there’s the National Auto Sport Association. Created to promote racing (and right turns) for anyone who has that need for speed, NASA has a full tank of events across the country. Spectators can tailgate and watch the races for free and even ride-along with drivers if they are feeling daring.
So whether you’ve got Dale Jr. mugs you only drink with on Sundays or you’re the next Ricky Bobby, consider checking out a NASA event as a cheap way to watch some fast cars and drink beer.
I’m sure you can feel it in the air! Ok maybe not, but either way, I’m sure you are getting excited for December 25, Christmas Day! Christmas is held extremely high in my family’s house, and with that comes a love for Christmas movies. So compiled here is top 25 Christmas movies (with clip or trailer attached!)
25 – Nightmare before Christmas
Never been a big fan, but the songs are pretty catchy.
24 – The Year Without a Santa Claus
This 1974 classic might have a couple creepy looking characters, but it is sure to entertain and have your toe tapping to these songs.
23 – Jack Frost
A great movie to sit around on a Sunday afternoon.
More after the jump!
Arrrgh, forget the Black Pearl and port of Tortuga! Landlubbers be warned that a more fierce ship and terrifying crew patrol the waters of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. No waterfront store is safe when the Fearless and her drunk deckhands sail into port firing water cannons and terrorizing tourists. Some cowardly codfish run for cover while other scallywags stay put to tempt the mischievous crew. Yet the Fearless is always victorious and celebrates with music, dancing and (of course) lots of rum.
Led by the Urban Pirates, the Fearless has very few rules while out at sea; be the best pirate ye can be, party hard like pirates do and ALWAYS finish all the rum. Follow the pirate’s code and ye be in for a night of swashbuckling fun. The Kibitzers crew proved their sea legs and dare any of you scurvy dogs to see if ye has what it takes to man the cannons, search for booty and live the pirates life!
With riffles firing, canons blasting and over 8,000 Confederate and Federal troops clashing under scorching temperatures, the 150th Battle of Bull Run/ First Manassas concluded Sunday with a fiery battle in front of thousands of spectators and history junkies. We were there surviving the fighting (and the heat) to bring you back this exclusive footage from the battlefield!
For one week of the year, downtown Silver Spring feels a little like Hollywood. But instead of glitz, glamor and fiction, there’s emotional, thought-provoking true stories.
The AFI-Discovery Channel Documentary Film Festival announced its full program today for the June 20-26 festival. Full of guest speakers, world premieres and panel discussions, this internationally-recognized film festival brings the best new documentaries to the Washington D.C. area and is the largest doc festival of its kind in the U.S.!
Headlining the festival this year are The Swell Season, Revenge of the Electric Car and The Interrupters. From the serious to the sad, to the comical and just plain fun, SilverDocs celebrates all types of documentaries and is sure to have a film that will strike your interest.
Tickets, showtimes and festival passes are available through SilverDoc’s website,
. They’ve got the full lineup of films as well as the competition slate for the festival’s five awards.
With one of SilverDocs’ awards being the always-popular Audience Award, I’m putting on my critic’s cap and taking you through the docs I’m most excited to see. Keep reading to learn more and watch the trailers! NOW UPDATED TO THE TOP-TEN FILMS!!!