Champs Documentary – Bert Marcus

Champs
Champs

Champs is a documentary that is currently streaming on Netflix.  It features boxing greats Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, and Evander Holyfield.  The purpose of this documentary is to show how different boxing is from any other sport.

Coincidentally, all three of the Champs featured into this film were born into poverty.  For Mike Tyson and Bernard Hopkins that also included issues with the law from an early age.  For these boxers they didn’t see a flyer about a boxing school and signed up out of interest.  Fighting was a necessity in the poor towns that they were raised in.

Mike Tyson, was raised in the rough parts of Brownsville, Brooklyn.  His father wasn’t around and his mother was promiscuous.  Mike Tyson turned to the streets at a young age.  He would rob people with a gang.  As a juvenile, he went through the prison system.  There he was discovered by a counselor and former boxer.  After training for a few months in the system, he would be introduced to Cus D’amato.  Mike Tyson would be taken in by Cus D’Amato.  Mike referred to Cus as his real father.  He was a great mentor to Iron Mike.

Evander Holyfield was born in a very poor suburb of Alabama.  He was the youngest of nine children.  He went in a different route than Mike Tyson.  He started fighting at the Boys Club from an early age.  By the age of 20 he was in the Olympics.  He went on to have a great career.  Holyfield was the undisputed champion of the world (1990-1992).  Ironically, the other star of this documentary, Mike Tyson bit a part of Holyfield’s ear off in a fight.

Bernard Hopkins was a middleweight champion that defended his title 20 times.  He was a thug that grew up in Philadelphia.  A product of a drug addict father and an alcoholic mother.  When Hopkins was locked up in prion for 5 years, his brother got murdered in the streets.

Champs a multi-purpose documentary.  It entertains the audience to see the struggles that the boxers go through.  The audience is entertained by watching great moments in these boxers careers.  Another important purpose of this documentary is to show the audience that boxing is no joke.  It shows how the fighters that rise to the top went through very serious struggles.  I believe Champs helps many people that are looking into boxing look for another career.  It’s a great documentary and it’s still on Netflix as of today (thanks instantwatcher).

 

Stalking Amanda Todd – TopDocumentaryFilms

Amanda Todd
Amanda Todd

Over the past week I found a new obsession.  A website that offers so many free documentaries.  Check out TopDocumentaryFilms.com.  Let’s begin with the conclusion and move onto the story.  On October 12, 2012, Amanda Todd committed suicide at the age of 15.

Amanda Todd’s parents separated when she was young.  Her mother didn’t want Amanda Todd to own a webcam.  Her father was ok with it.  Amanda Todd loved to perform.  Her father found the webcam necessary to perform.  She started using the webcam to socialize with strangers over the internet.

One day she was requested to do inappropriate things over the webcam.  She settled at simply flashing someone.  Unfortunately, the individual she was communicating with was a ‘capper’.   A capper is someone who captures screen images from video.  He then used this screenshot to try to commit ‘sextortion‘.  He would request that Amanda Todd puts on sex shows for him.  When she declined it would have it’s consequences.

In late 2010, Amanda Todd found out that her topless photo was circulating around the internet.  She was experiencing severe anxiety and depression.  She even turned to drugs and alcohol.  In 2012, her family had moved to a new city to start over.  Once again, the sextortionist reached out to her and requested a private show.  She stood up to the bully once again.  This time the bully created a fake facebook profile connecting to her new school.  Once the facebook profile had most of her classmates, the bully changed the profile picture to Amanda Todd’s topless photo.  This time Amanda Todd moved on to self mutilation and was hospitalized for two days for an overdose.    Shortly thereafter, she committed suicide.

Amanda Todd was from Canada.  The authorities had investigated this crime and traced the criminal’s computer to Holland.  Unfortunately, the  Dutch authorities didn’t really pursue the matter.  Leave it to the country that has legalized drugs and prostitutes to make such a decision.  We need to learn a lesson from this documentary.  When the internet was first becoming popular we were consistently warned that anything posted on the internet is permanent and available to anyone.  It may be easier to lose inhibitions when no one is actually in the room.  Please, learn from these mistakes.

This was a great documentary created by The Fifth Estate.  It is Canada’s investigative documentary program.  It is broadcast on Canadian television on Friday at 9 PM.

Pump – Netflix Streaming (fighting the oil industry)

Pump - Documentary Netflix
Pump – Documentary Netflix (fighting the oil industry)

This documentary on netflix streaming explores the United States addiction to Oil.  The movie begins with showing how oil made some people very rich. Similar to the recent boom that we have in technology (i am referring to the stock of Google, Amazon, Netflix, etc.), there was a big boom in oil.  In the later half of the 18th century John D. Rockefeller took advantage of this oil boom.  He founded The Standard Oil Company.  He did whatever it took to grow his company.  He would create secret ventures with vendors to control the competition.    For example, he would work with freight companies to make them charge higher prices on his oil competitors.  As Standard Oil grew bigger, they would acquire smaller oil companies.  This documentary shows Rockefeller’s large support for prohibition.  Ethanol is created using alcohol and Rockefeller saw this as a threat to his oil empire.

Oil puts us at the mercy of other countries.  Many of our oil reserves are coming from the mideast.  We spend more money protecting our mideast oil interests than the oil itself.  The US puts the military out in these oil fields to protect the oil reserves.  Recently, to help save money the United States started drilling into oil reserves domestically.  We get oil through a process called fracking.  In the process we drill deep down into the earth.  We use high pressure water to release gas from the rocks.  We lose lots of water, increase the potential to release of carcinogens in the ground water, and increase potential for earthquakes.

In China it is very difficult to get a vehicle.  There is a lottery and then you have to bid a large sum of money just to register a vehicle.  China is trying to curb the amount of cars on the road due to recent air pollution.  Oil causes more air pollution than many other types of alternative fuels.  Brazil on the other hand, has experienced economic improvement by using biomass fuel.  They use corn fields and all other types of unused biomass to fuel their vehicles.

The United States is taking a stand on the matter.  President Obama is taking a stand by introducing the Open Fuel Standard Act.  By 2017, 95% of the vehicles are expected to run on non-petroleum based fuels.  The irony is that many of our cars do currently run on alternative fuels, but most people don’t even know it.  For the cars that do not have the option, they can be fixed for under $500.  Some vehicles can run on alternative fuels with a simple software update to the automobile’s computer system.  You can find out which gas stations provide alternative fuels at the energy website.  Overall, a great documentary with great information.

Dear Zachery – Netflix Streaming

Dear Zachery
Dear Zachery

At the date of this post this is streaming on Netflix.  Spoiler Alert…Don’t read if you want to watch Dear Zachery before I write about it.  I stumbled upon this documentary on Netflix after positive reviews on the web.  Dear Zachery is a documentary made by film maker Kurt Kuenne.  From a young age, Kurt created movies with childhood friend Andrew Bagby.  Andrew was a funny individual that amassed many friends.  His schooling had led him to become a doctor.  We see him in his final years giving a best man speech on a video.  Andrew became engaged himself, but the engagement came to an end.  Friends were commenting that he wasn’t the same after the engagement ended.

Andrew managed to meet someone else.  Early on friends had noticed that the new love was a little strange.  They described her as someone who was very needy.  Moreover, she had about 13 years on Andrew.  After some time, Andrew knew that being with Shirley Turner (the one he met) was not going to work out.  She was very jealous and needy.  Andrew broke up with her and put her on a plane to go back to Iowa.  Unfortunately, when Shirley got home she decided to drive 16 hours to Latrobe, PA to see Andrew again.  Andrew told his friend what was going on.  The friend’s advice was, if someone drove 16 hours and is in the front door, than you should go out the back door.  Andrew did not take the advice, was shot 5 times, and left for dead.  The police had many reasons to believe Shirley was guilty.  This included evidence of a recent gun purchase and cell phone records of her making calls in different cities.  After some lieing to the cops, she decided to flee to Canada.

Shirley would be put on trial and found guilty of Andrew’s murder.  But there was another surprise.  She was pregnant with Andrew’s baby.  After labor and during trial, Kathleen and David Bagby (Andrew’s parents), would bring baby Zachery to prison to see his mom.  Shirley’s therapist, Dr. Doucet, posted her $75K bail.  At that point, Shirley would come up with different excuses for Zachery not to see his grandparents.  The Bagby’s were angered by this, as well as Shirley being allowed to post bail.

In July 2003, Shirley met another man.  They dated until he found out that she was in the middle of a trial for killing a man.  When he tried to break it off, she left him about 200 voicemails.  The next month, she took drugged up herself and baby Zachery, tied Zachery to her body and committed murder-suicide via ocean drowning.

The documentary is as unique as the story.  Kurt interviews many people to set up a video memoir of Andrew for Zachery.  In the process, he also documents the trial and the state of child custody.  The documentary fails to be a memoir for Zachery because Zachery dies.  But it helps Kathleen and David cope with their loss.  After the original devastation of their son’s death and then their grandson’s death, the documentary ends up showing how loved Kathleen and David are by the extended Bagby family.  This truly is a great documentary and my first time watching a documentary that I wished was actually fiction.

Dawg Fight – Netflix Streaming

Dawg Fight
Dawg Fight Documentary on Netflix Streaming

Dawg Fight is a documentary that is currently on Netflix Streaming.  It is about bare knuckle fighters in the poor suburbs outside of the Miami area.  Dada 5000 is promoting these bare knuckle fights in the neighborhood.  These fights are extremely dangerous and difficult to watch.  West Perrine is a neighborhood that has unemployment rates 1/3 higher than the national average.  Fighting is a way for some of these individuals to make money.  This small town is plagued with high murder rates.  Ironically, fighting is the safer way for some of the residents to settle their differences.

Dada 5000 became interested in this profession because he grew up within blocks of Kimbo Slice.  Dawg Fight shows a clip of Dada 5000 losing a bare knuckle match to Kimbo Slice.  After touring as Kimbo Slice’s body guard, he comes back to the hood to create a 12′ X 12′ ring in his backyard.  The fights are illegal, but cops are accepting of it.  They accept the fighting because they know the town will be at the fight, so the residents won’t be getting involved in worst things during that time.  The fights are set up by using cheap tarp to cover the fences and there is a VIP area which is created using caution tape.  They charge people $20 to see the fight.  The residents that can’t afford to pay, climb up trees and watch.  Dawg Fight gives you a background of each fighter.  The sad truth is that all of them were locked up in prison.  Training for a violent fight is there way to stay away from trouble.

Dawg Fight introduces us to two individuals that end up fighting each other.  Chauncey is a tough fighter, that the older women believe no one should be messing with.  Tree is a young contender that thinks he may have what it takes to beat Chauncey.  After a great battle, Chauncey does end up with the win.  Days later Chauncey gets into a dispute with his girlfriend’s brother.  He ends up shot in the back of the head and is taken to the hospital on life support.  Days later they pull the plug on him.  Tree, ends up getting tasered by the police and dies from injuries sustained.  Unfortunately, this is a real documentary and those were real people.

Other graphic scenes include fighters breaking their wrist, losing teeth, getting cut up badly, and even being knocked out unconscious.  These men don’t have appropriate medical care at the fights.  Many of them heal themselves because they can’t afford to see a doctor.  Dada 5000 doesn’t earn much of a profit, as he pays out the fighters.  The documentary concludes with Dada 5000 being scouted.  He trains for a fight at the nearby Hard Rock Seminole Casino.  His frightening opponent is a fighter named Cedric.  Dada 5000 wins the fight and based on the internet is currently 2-0 as an MMA fighter.

Truly a great document with graphic fight scenes.  It makes you realize that there are people out there that are really struggling.  West Perrine is a difficult neighborhood to grow up in and I want to see those individuals succeed without violence and bare knuckle fighting.