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Documentary Review | Good Hair

This film takes a look at all aspects of the Black Hair Industry. From processing to market, from price to thoughts on beauty from an intercultural perspective, this movie is extremely interesting from start to finish. Featuring actor Chris Rock, the entire documentary is full of humorous interjections that make it a film worth watching for both educational purposes and as entertainment.

Good Hair is by far one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Having grown up in a city with a large ethnic population, it was mind-blowing to learn how central to a culture hair can be. I enjoyed learning about the origin of these various hair products, as many of them involve large networks and broad outsourcing. I was astonished at the risks involved with many popular hair treatments, and the price of this kind of beauty. I highly recommend this movie to everyone.

Written by: Kelsey Parker

Movie Review | From up on Poppy Hill

From up on Poppy Hill (PN 1995.97 .J3 J37kok 2013) is a Japanese foreign film that creates a unique twist on the everyday classic cartoon. The story takes place in Tokyo, the exciting and busy city of Japan. Umi, a Japanese school girl creates friendships and pairs up with her schoolmates in order to save their beloved school club house from being torn down. Alone the way, Umi discovers some past stories about her family and father that casts a shadow on her newly built friendship Shun, her schoolmate.

I really enjoyed how unique this movie was from American made cartoons. It was a cute story and showed insight into the life of an everyday Japanese teenager. This cartoon is light hearted and is good entertainment. If you like cartoons and want to relax and watch a feel good movie, I would defiantly recommend this one!

Written by: Mallory Meng

Movie Review | The Abyss

This sci-fi thriller follows a team of underwater workers who are sent on a government mission to find a sunken nuclear submarine. As the crew partners with a team of government soldiers, tensions rise and a mysterious entity appears. The main couple must work out a complicated relationship before time runs out and the whole crew becomes trapped underwater. To add to the suspension, a storm rolls in just as the mystery begins to unravel itself.

The plot to the movie is well done, up until the end. I thought that the film was well paced through out the movie until the ending. The end felt rushed and introduced an entire aspect of the movie that received no further explanation. I give this film 3 stars out of 5.

Written by: Spencer Bradford

Documentary Review | Single

Single is a documentary that summarizes the life of a single adult in the United States. Various single adults with a variety of careers and life experiences share their thoughts on the challenges and aspects of single life. This documentary manages to hit on every point that most BYU students have felt at one point or another, yet it reinforces the idea that being single is okay to a certain extent.

I thought that this film did a great job at addressing the primary concerns and challenges of many single adults. However, I thought that though it included some facts, the documentary could have done a better job at exploring other aspects or perhaps the reasons behind the situations from a more analytical view. Some of the images used were also of a more adult nature which would not be appropriate for a younger audience. Overall, I give this film 3/5 stars.

Written by: Spencer Bradford

Movie Review | Dear John

This movie follows “John” and his love interest Darla, as they meet and develop a relationship (if you can even call it that) over the summer. When Darla tells him her parents don’t want her to marry someone who hasn’t served a mission, John decides to put in his papers and leave for two years.

Honestly, I’m not even sure what to say. This movie takes a weak relationship between two people who barely know each other, and visually represents two competing ideas about how serious they were before the boy (John) leaves on a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that he chose to serve for the wrong reasons. I think this movie was supposed to be a romantic comedy, and definitely had potential to be funny, but the plot was too underdeveloped to reach a point where I could laugh. For most of the movie I just found myself confused about what and why everything was happening.

Written by: Kelsey Parker

Documentary Review | Twins

This short documentary took pairs of twins (and one group of triplets) and interviewed them about what it’s like to be a twin. Each set of twins wears a costume (many were slightly disconcerting) and uses humor to describe their lives together. Many of the discussions were very sweet or funny.

This documentary definitely brought up some interesting points in regards to the day to day lives of twins, and their general concerns about life in the framework of each other. Concepts such as twin marriage, spouse jealousy, and triplets being referred to as “twins” were things I have never really stopped to think about. However, the overall film quality was very poor, and reminded me of a home video. Likewise, there were a few disturbing images. Overall it was okay (it made me want to be a twin), but watching it once was enough.

Written by: Kelsey Parker

Documentary Review | In the Shadow of the Moon

This documentary recounts one of the most thrilling sagas in US history. The Space Race! See the real life interviews of the men who walked the moon. Hear about the wonders and challenges from the very people who faced it all! A insightful look into one of the most, if not the most, iconic voyages ever undertaken by humankind.

This documentary was legit. First off, ignore the fact that they are old white men. These dudes went straight to the moon! Incredible! Their stories and experiences all make you want to go out and explore the universe. Each of them was noticeably changed from their life-changing journeys into space. Just to witness a little part of it makes this film worth watching.

Written by: Tommy Barriga

Movie Review | Million Dollar Baby

The story of an underdog boxer and her old, and sometimes stubborn trainer as they defy all odds to become a contender in the boxing world. Maggie Fitzgerald was always told she was good-for-nothing and she believed it, that is, until she found her passion of boxing. After convincing Frankie Dunn to train her both of their lives are changed in miraculous ways.

The acting is top-notch. It’s understandable why my girl Hilary won the Oscar for this performance she killed it. The story is a tried and tested dynamic of a begrudging old dude training a young and enthusiastic protagonist but it works so well that you fall for the characters every time. The film addresses some serious themes but does it in such a clear and open way that it doesn’t feel forced or uncomfortable during the movie. Overall, an excellent film that plays out in all the best ways.

Written by: Tommy Barriga

Documentary Review | Wake Up America: A Sleep Alert

This documentary takes a variety of sleep conditions (like breathing trouble, restlessness, and poor quality) and breaks them down to make them understandable and recognizable to the general public. This documentary not only describes the conditions, it went into detail in regards to treatments such as the CPAP and various sleeping pills that I think would be helpful to anyone who thinks they might be having trouble.

Although I myself do not have sleep problems, this is definitely a short film I would recommend to anyone who thinks they often have trouble sleeping, or knows someone who does. My Dad does have sleeping problems, and it helped my to realize how serious conditions like this can become over the span of a lifetime.

Written by: Kelsey Parker

Documentary Review | Cannibal Tours

Cannibal Tours is a documentary explaining the interactions of native tribes of Papua New Guinea and tourists who come to visit. Although this documentary isn’t as graphic as the title may portray it, it explains their lifestyle, and compare it to ours with our metropolitan societies. Breaking the barriers between “Primitive” and “Civilized” civilizations, this documentary also compares the two factions involved. Each of the two parties tell their perspectives, and it is interesting to watch.

I gave this documentary 3/5 stars. It was interesting to compare and contrast our civilization from theirs and their tribes. It was a bit slow, and no music, which to me feels like it added to its length. But again, I thought it was entertaining. It did remind me of past experiences visiting and living in different countries, and even bartering to get the prices down. This documentary also proves that globalization is a very real thing, and these tribesmen were being forced to participate in it.

Written by: Jeshua Osorio

Check-out Periods

Students: Audiobooks can be checked out for three weeks; DVDs can be checked out for seven days.

Faculty: Audiobooks can be checked out for three weeks; DVDs can be checked out for two weeks.

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