Pumping Iron

yesterdocs

Pumping Iron.  White Mountain Films 1977.
Pumping Iron. White Mountain Films 1977.

Before watching the movie:

Way back in the beginning of this blog, when I was still feeling out what it was and what it covered, I reviewed one documentary. And in the years since, I have had one lonely post in the Documentary category (and one in Mockumentary, which I made a subcategory, but that’s another story).  I like documentaries. I’m just never in the mood to watch them, and I swiftly came to the idea that this blog should only cover scripted films. Maybe I’m better equipped to discuss scripted cinema, maybe it comes more easily. But lately documentaries have become a bigger part of my life, and I’ve been piling up docs in my to be watched list. I decided it was time to do something about it. So this month, not only am I reviewing four documentaries on this blog, I’m also trying to watch a total of at least 20 in the entire month, which I’m keeping track of on Tumblr.

I should probably discuss a little bit about this particular movie, even though I’ve gone on about the theme of the month for one whole Schwarzenegger. I get the sense it probably would have been forgotten if it hadn’t been the screen debut of a model about to become an actor known for being buff and not saying much. I don’t think I knew before now that it also profiles Lou Ferrigno, who also transitioned into acting in roles on his physique. It sounds like Arnold is more of the bad boy superstar of the movie, while Ferrigno has a more, perhaps sympathetic portrayal. They might be positioned as rivals in the narrative, or they might just be competitors in the same circuit, but the former seems more likely unless I’m missing an option for how the narrative may be constructed.

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This Is Spinal Tap

This is Spinal Tap. Spinal Tap Productions 1984.

Before watching the movie:

Mockumentaries tend to be great or mediocre. CSA: The Confederate States of America was disappointing, but mostly because I didn’t expect the direction it took, and it had a much stronger message than I imagined. As a comedy, especially one that is a cult favorite over 25 years later, I expect good things from This is Spinal Tap.

I’m not much into heavy metal, but the point is satire, so it should be pretty good. Also there are a lot of big names and big non-names (you may not recognize the name Harry Shearer, but he’s one of the core actors on The Simpsons), so a lot of star power and star talent.

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This Film is Not Yet Rated

This Film Is Not Yet Rated, IFC Films 2006.

Before watching:

This Film is Not Yet Rated is a documentary about how the MPAA works. I think I’d heard about it before, but what brought the movie to my attention was when Mugglecast discussed the announcement that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince received a mere PG rating. Host Andrew Simms gave a summary of how the MPAA rating board operates, citing from this film. I understand from him and from the box that it’s an exposè of MPAA corruption.

I’d also like to say hi to my parents at this point, who will probably be among the first to read me write about watching a movie that got an NC-17 before appeal. Fun fact: I spent an extra minute finding a work-safe picture.

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