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April 6, 2013 / Kelvin Jasperson

March Documentary Madness

For the entire month of March we watched one documentary per day.

We realized after having Netflix for a few years we just loved to add documentaries to our queue, but we never watched them since we were so involved in watching other things, such as TV shows we both have never seen. Jilleun decided to make us power through them. I agreed. No way would we be able to get through all of the documentaries in our queue unless we did something dramatic. #firstworldproblems

Here are the movies we watched and my tweet associated with each movie followed by what Jilleun thought of them.

  • Day 1: The Lottery. Good, but Waiting for Superman tells it better. Tweet Jilleun: Some parents will sacrifice so much for their children’s education. I’m all for charter schools and public schools if the job is getting done, like they say in the documentary they’re offering another option.
  • Day 2: A State of Mind. Man those North Koreans are crazy and brainwashed, but that was very impressive how dedicated they were to the sport Tweet Jilleun: Gosh this was really eye opening for me, I didn’t know anything about North Korea and maybe I don’t want to.
  • Day 3: Pressure Cooker. It’s amazing how the love and strong will of one teacher can help so many of her students lives. Very good film. Tweet Jilleun: So good!
  • Day 4: Freakonomics. Sometimes interesting, sometimes pointless. The different segments were too disconnected to tell a cohesive story. Tweet Jilleun: Like half of this movie went over my head, the other half was informing though.
  • Day 5: God Grew Tired of Us. Very touching story of a few Sudanese war refugees that end up in America. Eye-opening what they went through. Tweet Jilleun: Beautiful story.
  • Day 6: Dogs Decoded. Over-dramatic yet boring. The most interesting part was actually about Foxes, not dogs.. Tweet Jilleun: It was cheesy because they made it so dramatic, I also think the idea about the foxes applies to dogs, which is why I agree with putting aggressive dogs down.
  • Day 7: Inside North Korea. We watched this today because it was shorter. North Korean residents are crazy about their leader.. Wow. Tweet Jilleun: Man that place is scary.
  • Day 8: Stranded. Jilleun: A tragedy turned into a miracle. Unfortunately too long and slow. Obvious by Kelvin falling asleep. Tweet
  • Day 9: Food Matters. Interview a few crazy people about some hocus pocus, throw in some scare tactics and you got yourself a “documentary”. Tweet Jilleun: These people were all extremest, I agree with maybe 30% of what they said.
  • Day 10: No Impact Man. Inspiring but extreme. It’s neat to see he is trying to make a difference but some things are a bit over the top. +1 Tweet Jilleun: Really interesting idea, although I didn’t see the point of some of the things they did. Also super cool wife for going along with her husband’s crazy idea.
  • Day 11: Ballerina. Those girls lead really tough lives. Reminds me of those Korean dancers, except they do it for themselves not patriotism. Tweet Jilleun: Crazy that at the age of 9 they are picking a career.
  • Day 12: Between the Folds. Other than the strange directing/narrating this was genuinely captivating. Never thought of Origami like that. Tweet Jilleun: I appreciate the art form, but really I was surprised they actually use in math and other things.
  • Day 13: Steal a Pencil for Me. Miraculous story about two people thrown in a Nazi concentration camp, that survive by writing love letters. Tweet Jilleun: Beautiful love story in the middle of an awful circumstance.
  • Day 14: Deep Water. Crazy unpredictable story about an inexperienced sailor that enters a race around the world. Interesting, sad, but cool. Tweet Jilleun: This guy had some major problems before this race and the race didn’t help him.
  • Day 15: Nursery University. Wow. That process is totally screwed up, and from the movie-seems biased to people with lots of money. Just wow. Tweet Jilleun: The system is kind of disgusting, this is preschool, it doesn’t even count in the real world!
  • Day 16: Forks Over Knives. Much less over the top and more believable than Food Matters. Well done and interesting. Still not going vegan. Tweet Jilleun: This is definitely the best food documentary I’ve seen, it actually made me want to change the way I eat.
  • Day 17: 6 Days to Air. Cool but vulgar insight into the rapid pace at which South Park makes and releases crazy and creative episodes. Tweet Jilleun: They basically choose to live stressed out…not impressed.
  • Day 18: “Next: A Primer on Urban Painting”. Disconnected and boring tale of graffiti artists that just made them look more like vandals. Tweet Jilleun: Terrible, Exit through the Gift shop was way better.
  • Day 19: How Smart Are Animals?. A little overlap from the dog one, but focused on other species too. Still interesting, but what’s the point? Tweet Jilleun: Kinda of lame but still the best animal documentary I think this month.
  • Day 20: Digital Nation. Little bit of FUD, lots of old people grumpy about new technology obsoleteing their ways. A few valid points. +1 Tweet Jilleun: I agree with a lot of points they brought up, both the good and bad parts. But I am super thankful for technology.
  • Day 21: A Walk to Beautiful. Sad story about women who become incontinent after childbirth in Ethiopia. Sucks they don’t have good hospitals Tweet Jilleun: I first heard about this issue from the blog Design Mom, it’s so unbelievable so many people still live this way today.
  • Day 22: “My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story”. Boring and pointless, just a bunch of snobby people telling us how much they like their dogs.. Tweet Jilleun: Pretty dumb…
  • Day 23: Mad Hot Ballroom. Pretty entertaining story of a few 5th grade ballroom classes in NYC headed to a city-wide competition. Tweet Jilleun: Its great to see programs like this helping kids. Also crazy to hear 5th graders say they just want a boyfriend who’s not on the streets, and into drugs.
  • Day 24: Happy. Insightful show about what really brings happiness. Unlike @RagingViking I’m probably not going to move to Denmark. +1 Tweet Jilleun: I want to see this one again, it had so much fascinating information.
  • Day 25: Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Very fascinating + well done film about a food I don’t even like. Lots of work goes in to a little bit of food Tweet Jilleun: Super impressive, almost makes me want to like sushi.
  • Day 26: First Position. Similar to Ballerina but with a better story and stronger focus on the dancers background. Inspiring, enthralling. Tweet Jilleun: I like this one because it has stories of boys and girls, all different ages, and in different parts of the world.
  • Day 27: I worked really late and we didn’t actually end up watching a  movie this day. Tweet
  • Day 28: Urbanized. Nice and creative documentary about Urban planning. Not something that crosses my mind very often. Eye opening. Tweet Jilleun: This documentary was really intriguing. I felt like I learned so much.
  • Day 29: The Business of Being Born. Spreading FUD about hospitals. Also, the nastiest thing I’ve ever half-watched (covered my eyes a lot). Tweet Jilleun: Well I don’t know too many guys that could watch this one so fair warning. I thought it was really cool honestly.
  • Day 30: Buck. Nice guy horseman that teaches people to train their horses. Good story, interesting enough to watch, not terribly exciting. Tweet Jilleun: Sad but a happy ending, goes to show you can be successful, with your job and personal relationships, despite your background.
  • Day 31: Craigslist Joe. Very good movie about a guy that lives off only Craigslist for an entire month. Just might be my favorite one. +1 Tweet Jilleun: Awesome idea and story, although he did encounter some crazies on his journey, he never once mention that or spoke badly about the people he came across.

My favorites:

  1. Tied for 1st place: God Grew Tired of Us / Craigslist Joe
  2. Buck
  3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jilleun’s favorites:

  1. First Position
  2. A Walk to Beautiful
  3. Tied: Urbanized and Happy

We had fun with this and might even do it again soon. For those who are wondering: we made a big dent in our Netflix queue, but then we just added a whole bunch more as we were looking at movies related to the ones we had just watched. Our Instant Queue is at 60 items right now, which might actually be more than we started with :\

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2 Comments

  1. mary elizabeth / Apr 6 2013 2:13 PM

    this is such a cool idea!! can’t wait to see your next reviews!

  2. Natalia / Apr 6 2013 3:44 PM

    I’m adding a few of those to our list.

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