Best Documentary Movies of 2007
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
In this hilarious arcade showdown, a humble novice goes head-to-head against the reigning Donkey Kong champ in a confrontation that rocks the gaming world to its processors! For over 20 years, Billy Mitchell has owned the throne of the Donkey Kong world. No one could beat his top score until now. Newcomer Steve Wiebe claims to have beaten the unbeatable, but Mitchell isn't ready to relinquish his crown without a fight. Go behind the barrels as the two battle it out in a vicious war to earn the title of the true King of Kong.
From the acclaimed team that brought you BBC's visual feast "Planet Earth," this feature length film incorporates some of the same footage from the series with all new scenes following three remarkable, yet sadly endangered, families of animal across the globe.
Sicko is a Michael Moore documentary about the corrupt health care system in The United States who's main goal is to make profit even if it means losing people’s lives. "The more people you deny health insurance the more money we make" is the business model for health care providers in America.
Encounters at the End of the World
Herzog and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger go to Antarctica to meet people who live and work there, and to capture footage of the continent's unique locations. Herzog's voiceover narration explains that his film will not be a typical Antarctica film about "fluffy penguins", but will explore the dreams of the people and the landscape.
Taxi to the Dark Side
An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.
The Pixar Story
A look at the first years of Pixar Animation Studios - from the success of "Toy Story" and Pixar's promotion of talented people, to the building of its East Bay campus, the company's relationship with Disney, and its remarkable initial string of eight hits. The contributions of John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs are profiled. The decline of two-dimensional animation is chronicled as three-dimensional animation rises. Hard work and creativity seem to share the screen in equal proportions.
Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.
The crew have now set off to finish what as left over from Jackass 2.0, and in this version they have Wee Man use a 'pee' gun on themselves, having a mini motor bike fracas in the grocery mall, a sperm test, a portly crew member disguised as King Kong, as well as include three episodes of their hilarious adventures in India.
Queen: Rock Montreal & Live Aid
The movie contains two concerts of the British rock band Queen. The first concert is their show at Montreal in November 1981, with “Under Pressure” topping the charts in the UK, Queen arrived in Montreal following dates in Japan and their record-breaking tour of Latin America. It was to be the only concert by Queen that was ever shot on film. Always a great live band, with arguably the greatest frontman of all time in Freddie Mercury, they excelled themselves with the cameras rolling. The second concert is their live performance at Live Aid in 1985 with Queen's 24 minute contribution to 1985's Live Aid benefit concert held in Wembley Stadium, featuring an epic 7 song rock concert followed by a stripped back acoustic segment.
No End in Sight
Chronological look at the fiasco in Iraq, especially decisions made in the spring of 2003 - and the backgrounds of those making decisions - immediately following the overthrow of Saddam: no occupation plan, an inadequate team to run the country, insufficient troops to keep order, and three edicts from the White House announced by Bremmer when he took over.
The Making of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
The making of 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog'.
Dangerous Days: Making 'Blade Runner'
The definitive 3½-hour documentary about the troubled creation and enduring legacy of the science fiction classic 'Blade Runner', culled from 80 interviews and hours of never-before-seen outtakes and lost footage.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Runnin' Down a Dream
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich and packed with rare concert footage and home movies, this documentary explores the history of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, including Petty's famous collaborations and notorious clashes with the record industry. Interviews with musical luminaries including Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Eddie Vedder, Roger McGuinn, Jeff Lynne, Dave Stewart and Petty himself shed some revelatory vision.
Super High Me
Determined to find out the true effects of marijuana on the human body, stand-up comedian and former Stoner of the Year Doug Benson documents his experience avoiding pot for 30 days and then consuming massive amounts of the drug for 30 days. More than just an amusing story of one man's quest to get superhigh, this documentary also examines the hotly contested debate over medical marijuana use.
White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Steven Okazaki presents a deeply moving look at the painful legacy of the first -- and hopefully last -- uses of nuclear weapons in war. Featuring interviews with fourteen atomic bomb survivors - many who have never spoken publicly before - and four Americans intimately involved in the bombings, White Light/Black Rain provides a detailed exploration of the bombings and their aftermath.
A 3-D presentation of U2's global "Vertigo" tour. Shot at seven different shows, this production employs the greatest number of 3-D cameras ever used for a single project.
In 2007, The Sci-Fi Channel premiered "Ghost Adventures," a raw documentary in which 3 men go to Virginia City, NV and Goldfield, NV on a ghost hunting expedition. Virginia City is rife with macabre lore and reputed to be one of the most haunted cities in America. Ghost Adventures has won a Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary that was given by the New York International Film & Video Festival.
Suck My Geek!
The Enemies of Reason
Documentary written and presented by scientist Richard Dawkins, in which he seeks to expose "those areas of belief that exist without scientific proof, yet manage to hold the nation under their spell", including mediumship, psychokinesis, acupuncture, and other forms of alternative medicine.
For the Bible Tells Me So
An exploration of the intersection between religion and homosexuality in the U.S. and how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize the gay community.
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
Filmmaker Adam Scorgie explores the illegal marijuana industry in British Columbia, revealing how the international business is most likely more profitable than it would be if it was lawful in this enlightening documentary. Marijuana growers, law enforcement officials, physicians, politicians, criminologists, economists and celebrities—including comedian Tommy Chong—shed light on this topical subject in a series of compelling interviews.
The War on Democracy
Set both in Latin America and the United States, the film explores the historic and current relationship of Washington with countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile. Pilger says that the film "...tells a universal story... analysing and revealing, through vivid testimony, the story of great power behind its venerable myths. It allows us to understand the true nature of the so-called "war on terror". According to Pilger, the film’s message is that the greed and power of empire is not invincible and that people power is always the "seed beneath the snow".
A documentary examining possible historical and modern conspiracies surrounding Christianity, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the Federal Reserve bank.
The Trials of Darryl Hunt
"The Trials of Darryl Hunt" is a feature documentary about a brutal rape/murder case and a wrongly convicted man, Darryl Hunt, who spent nearly twenty years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Both a social justice story and a personally driven narrative, the film chronicles this capital case from 1984 through 2004. With exclusive footage from two decades, the film frames the judicial and emotional response to a chilling crime - and the implications that reverberate from Hunt's conviction - against a backdrop of class and racial bias in the South and in the American criminal justice system.
In the Shadow of the Moon
Archival material from the original NASA film footage – much of it seen for the first time – plus interviews with the surviving astronauts, including Jim Lovell, Dave Scott, John Young, Gene Cernan, Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Edgar Mitchell, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt.
Secrets from Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks
A select group of key creative forces involved in the making of Twin Peaks reveals their take on the fascinating creation and journey of the wildly popular show.
Louis Theroux: The Most Hated Family in America
Louis meets the Phelps family — the people at the heart of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church. The Phelps have rabid anti-homosexual beliefs, and often campaign at the funerals of American soldiers. They believe that every tragedy in the world is God's punishment for homosexuality.
A Map For Saturday
On a trip around the world, every day feels like Saturday. A Map For Saturday reveals a world of long-term, solo travel through the stories of trekkers in 20 countries on four continents. The documentary finds backpackers helping neglected Thai tsunami victims. It explains why Nepal's guesthouses are empty and Brazil's stoplights are ignored. But at it's core, A Map For Saturday tracks the emotional arc of extreme long-term travelers; teenagers and senior citizens who wondered, "What would it be like to travel the world?" Then did it.
Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who
A documentary on The Who, featuring interviews with the band's two surviving members, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey.
An Unreasonable Man
An Unreasonable Man is a 2006 documentary film that traces the life and career of political activist Ralph Nader, the founder of modern consumer protection. The film examines Nader's advocacy for auto safety features, such as federally mandated seat belts and air bags, as well as his rise to national prominence following an invasion of privacy lawsuit against General Motors.
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib
An examination of the prisoner abuse scandal involving U.S. soldiers and detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in the fall of 2003.
A chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band.
The Key to Reserva
Finding an unfinished script written by Alfred Hitchcock himself, Martin Scorsese attempts to recreate it himself as Hitchcock would have.
The Rape of Europa
World War II was not just the most destructive conflict in humanity, it was also the greatest theft in history: lives, families, communities, property, culture and heritage were all stolen. The story of Nazi Germany's plundering of Europe's great works of art during World War II and Allied efforts to minimize the damage.
War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.
The War is a seven episode documentary miniseries, produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, that examines the myriad ways in which the Second World War touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America. By telling the stories of ordinary people in four quintessentially American towns â€“ Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and the tiny farming town of Luverne, Minnesota â€“ the series will portray this enormous worldwide catastrophe on an intimate, human scale. The War will intertwine vivid eyewitness accounts of the harrowing realities of life on the front lines with reminiscences of Americans who never left their home towns, and who tried their best to carry on with the business of daily life while their fathers and brothers and sons were overseas. The film will honor and celebrate the bravery, endurance, and sacrifice, of the generation of Americans who lived through what will always be known simply as The War.
The Devil Came on Horseback
While serving with the African Union, former Marine Capt. Brian Steidle documents the brutal ethnic cleansing occuring in Darfur. Determined that the Western public should know about the atrocities he is witnessing, Steidle contacts New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof, who publishes some of Steidle's photographic evidence.
Three children living in a displacement camp in northern Uganda compete in their country's national music and dance festival.
The story of the rape of Nanking, one of the most tragic events in history. In 1937, the invading Japanese army murdered over 200,000 and raped tens of thousands of Chinese. In the midst of this horror, a small group of Western expatriates banded together to save 250,000. Nanking shows the tremendous impact individuals can make on the course of history.
In this chilling documentary about the power of addiction, three friends take their fourth longtime pal Bryant "HairKutt" Johnson to a remote cabin in the Tennessee woods, hoping to force him to kick his heroin habit. The group must cut short their trip when HairKutt's body begins to fail without the drug, and after rushing him to a hospital, the friends are dismayed to find that he quickly returns to his old ways.
H.R. Giger's Sanctuary
"H.R. Giger's Sanctuary" explores the treasures of the H.R. Giger Museum & Giger Bar at the Chateau St. Germain in beautiful Gruyeres, Switzerland. The documentary features an interview and a museum tour with the master of the airbrush, the inventor of "biomechanics", and the creator of the Academy Award winning "Alien". The artist talks openly about his fascination with the morbid, his fame and cult following, his fears and nightmares, and about his visions of the future.
American Drug War: The Last White Hope
Texas filmmaker Kevin Booth delves into a world of deceit and corruption controlled by a drug dealing government who's only allegiance is to its corporate masters.
Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten
As the front man of the Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death, his influence reaches out around the world, more strongly now than ever before. In "The Future Is Unwritten", from British film director Julien Temple, Joe Strummer is revealed not just as a legend or musician, but as a true communicator of our times. Drawing on both a shared punk history and the close personal friendship which developed over the last years of Joe's life, Julien Temple's film is a celebration of Joe Strummer - before, during and after the Clash.
The Greatest Raid of All Time
Jeremy Clarkson tells the story of what’s been called ‘the original Mission Impossible’ – the audacious Commando raid on the German occupied dry dock at St. Nazaire in France on March 28th 1942. Operation Chariot, as the raid was codenamed, had a simple aim – to destroy the dry dock and thus deny the German battleship Tirpitz a safe haven on the Atlantic coast of France. There were many who thought the mission too risky, but the Chief of Combined Operations, Louis Mountbatten, pushed forward. This programme explores the story around March 26th 1942, when Commandos in Cornwall boarded their floating bomb and set off to see if the element of surprise really could overcome all the odds.
Last Stand of the 300
This is the true and astounding saga of the Spartans at Thermopylae. It is among the greatest tales of war ever recounted. All the glory and grit of these warriors' last stand is captured in this exceptional documentary. It is almost impossible to understand how 300 Spartans managed to hold off the million-man Persian army for even a moment, much less seven days. To a man they paid with their lives but their stunning Last Stand assured that their sacrifice would resonate throughout history. Transporting dramatizations and incisive graphics put you in the heat of the battle and show the lay of the land. The complications and strategies of the conflict are revealed through careful analysis, and critical moments are reconstructed to show exactly what happened. Discover what the Spartans were fighting for, what made them capable of such heroics and what drove them to such sacrifice.
The geographical dead center of North America and the beloved birthplace of Guy Maddin, Winnipeg, is the frosty and mysterious star of Maddin’s film. Fact, fantasy and memory are woven seamlessly together in this work, conjuring a city as delightful as it is fearsome.
Heavy Metal in Baghdad
The story of Iraq's only heavy metal band and their fight to play music.
The Making of Minutes to Midnight
Californian sextet Linkin Park simultaneously took inspiration from and expanded upon the hybrid of heavy rock, hip-hop, and electronics that made such bands as Korn and Limp Bizkit so successful at the tail end of the 1990s. This DVD/CD combo marks the rap-rock heavyweight's triumphant return after a four-year absence. Super producers Rick Rubin and Mike Shinoda join the band in crafting MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT, a full-length album that features the single "What I've Done." The DVD also includes downloadable MP3s for each of the songs, plus it takes fans behind the scenes of the album's creation.
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project
The documentary consists of tape of Don's show (never been filmed before), interviews with Don's contemporaries, (Steve Lawrence, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds, etc.), established comedians (Billy Crystal, Rosanna Barr, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, etc.) and young comedians (Jeff Atoll, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, etc.).
Archival race footage, outtakes, home videos and interviews Dale Earnhardt's friends, family, and competitors are used in this documentary on the racing legend who won seven NASCAR championships before his death in 2001 at the Daytona 500.