The Cove

 Posted by at 3:36 am  3 Responses »
Jan 092011
 

Tl;dr – The Cove is “Bowling for Columbine” for dolphins.

Okay, here we go. Every couple of years, a documentary comes around that is touted as “important” – a word that in the film industry is code for “soul-crushing”. In 2009, that movie was The Cove. To no one’s surprise, it won the Oscar for Best Documentary and, like most “important” documentaries, large-toothed men in non-black suits and cowboy hats accused it of being fabricated propaganda. But all that is neither here nor there.

What is both here and there is that you should really probably watch this movie.

First, a little clarification: I wouldn’t call myself a “dolphin-lover”. I don’t own a sweet-ass dolphin necklace or a poster or a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. I’ve never even been to Sea World. In fact, when I think about dolphins, the first thing that comes to mind is this bizarre half-formed memory of being sick and shitting my pants while watching Flipper when I was little (it was last week). This is not to say that I’m dolphin-ignorant. I’ve seen Planet Earth. I’m fully aware that dolphins are one set of thumbs away from sending us back to the fuckin’ trees. I guess I’d describe my emotional relationship to dolphins as one of cautious respect.

That being said, The Cove straight fucked me up. Plus, now I’m totally gay for dolphins.

Here’s the skinny: In the 1960s a dude named Ric O’Barry captured and trained the dolphins that played Flipper (ugh…there’s that feeling again…gross). Basically, Flipper did for dolphins what the Taco Bell dog did for chihuahuas – people went batshit. So insatiable was the public’s appetite for frolicking, subservient dolphins that the marine entertainment industry exploded overnight.

Fast forward a few years. After some incredibly uncool shit goes down (which I won’t spoil for you), Ric O’Barry comes to the realization that this multi-billion dollar industry that he had a hand in creating is completely fucked up on every level imaginable so he does what anyone would do – he becomes a crazy-ass activist.

Director Louie Psihoyos and a group of guerrilla filmmakers team up with O’Barry and head to Taiji, Japan – the hub of the dolphin industry where every September, during their migration, dolphins are herded into a “secret cove” and captured by local fishermen. Some are sold to trainers and parks and some are sold for food. And according to O’Barry, shit gets pretty fucked.

In a shocking twist, O’Barry is not an insane person. Everything he said is true. After infiltrating the cove under the cover of darkness and setting up hidden cameras, the filmmakers capture events so flat-out abhorrent, they must be seen to be believed.

Ultimately, my list of reasons you should watch The Cove reads a lot like a list of reasons not to. I’m not going to lie to you – it’s a huge fucking bummer. But it’s an important bummer. You should really watch it.

I give it 5 out of 5 perfect spirals from Dan Marino. (Get it? He played for the Miami Dolphins. I’m trying to butch up after this teary sniffle-fest.)

Knucklehead

 Posted by at 5:39 am  1 Response »
Jan 072011
 

Not since Santa With Muscles have I been so excited for a WWE superstar to grace the silver screen. When director Michael W. Watkins (who I’m sure you know from the 6 episodes of Quantum Leap he directed) signed onto this project, he was faced with a tall order: Somehow manage to wrangle the effervescent star power of Wendie Malick, Dennis Farina, and sassy little black kid phenom Bobb’e J. Thompson and let Paul “Big Show” Wight’s light shine.

Was Watkins able to accomplish this most daunting of tasks?

I honestly have no idea. I fell asleep 10 minutes into it.

Having only seen 10% of this movie, (you can now deduce that this movie is 100 minutes long, and you would be correct. THAT’S CALLED DOIN’ SOME MATHS, SON!) it would seem to the casual observer that there is no way I could, in good conscience, write a review for it. Well you know what, casual observer? I don’t like your attitude.

In fact, not only was 10 minutes enough…it felt like 9 minutes and 6 seconds too much. However, C.O. has a point. Which is why in lieu of a standard review, I have decided to instead give you, dear reader, a gift…the gift of time.

Below you will find the film “Knucklehead”, painstakingly re-edited to retain all the nuance of the original narrative, but condensed into a manageable 54 seconds.

You now have 99 minutes and 6 seconds to do something awesome. You’re welcome.