Sunday, April 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 5
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
1917
AD ASTRA
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGABLE: DON’T F**K WITH CATS: HUNTING AN INTERNET KILLER (2019)
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995)
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BLOODSHOT
DOCTOR SLEEP
EMMA
FORD V FERRARI
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HATEWATCH: 92ND ACADEMY AWARDS (2020)
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HATEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
I STILL BELIEVE
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
KNIVES OUT
LITTLE WOMEN
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
ONWARD
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CALL OF THE WILD
THE GENTLEMEN
THE HUNT
THE INVISIBLE MAN
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE WAY BACK
TV REVIEW:
TV REVIEW: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE
TV REVIEW: SELF MADE: INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF MADAM C.J. WALKER
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: WESTWORLD (Season 3 debut)
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: DOUBLE DRAGON (1994)
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES


Where is it playing?: Disney Plus

What's it rated?: TV-G

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Until recently, I had no idea film director James Cameron has been to the actual wreckage of the Titanic 33 times. When my daughter did a report earlier in February on Robert Ballard for her seventh grade English class, I got to revisit the facts surrounding the historic shipwreck. Ballard, an underwater archeologist, discovered the Titanic’s wreckage in 1985, which opened the door to myriad explorers and history sleuths to speculate and piece together exactly how the ship sank. Cameron was one of those explorers, and in the National Geographic documentary, Titanic: 20 Years Later with James Cameron (2017, 46 min.), the director chats with Ballard about what they’ve continued to learn.

Cameron is still concerned about the accuracy of what was portrayed in his movie, and in this documentary, we see him admit some of the details he embellished in the name of storytelling. He talks with descendants of survivors and victims, handles precious artifacts, and revisits not only the prevailing theories on how the ship sank, but why so few people made it into the lifeboats. 

I watched this documentary with my daughter when she was home sick, and she was thrilled to see Ballard, her academic hero, in action. Because we were going to be on the couch awhile, we opted to stay on theme with our next Nat Geo show: Drain the Titanic (2015, 46 min.). This show, part of the ongoing Drain the Oceans series, has a novel concept—simulating draining the waters surrounding famous shipwrecks to see “in broad daylight” what’s there. But beyond the interesting idea, the film’s overdramatic narration detracted from its presentation of actual facts, many of which contradict Ballard’s and Cameron’s theories and discoveries about how the Titanic sank. 

Since my daughter didn’t magically get better after an hour and a half, we went on to watch Ballard’s latest adventure: Expedition Amelia (2019, 95 min.). This documentary rocks! Narrated by Allison Janney (Juno, Finding Nemo), it weaves together Amelia Earhart’s life story with the 2019 expedition to find the remains of her airplane—and possibly her body. 

Archeologists center on Nikumaroro, a tiny atoll in the Phoenix Islands in the South Pacific, hundreds of miles away from where Earhart missed her planned landing on the final leg of her 1937 flight around the world. It was a joy to watch this with my daughter—she geeked out about Ballard controlling his deep-sea robots, and I geeked out about the footage of one of my heroes. I’d done multiple grade school reports on this record-shattering pilot. 

Expedition Amelia is substantive, suspenseful, well made, compelling, and emotional. I teared up several times as we watched archeologists painstakingly search for clues in the area they suspect Earhart camped after her possible crash landing on the atoll. Over the years, they’ve found skeletal remains, cosmetics jars, and other remnants. But the land and undersea quests had to end before any conclusive results were to be had, leaving the mystery surrounding Earhart’s disappearance unsolved, for now. 

In the meantime, my daughter and I will be following Ballard’s adventures in the news and exploring the world with other Nat Geo offerings. 

—Andrea Rooks








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