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.

To Be Takei – Netflix Streaming

George Takei
George Takei

This documentary is on Netflix streaming as of today’s date.  It is about former Star Trek actor George Takei.  He broke into Hollywood by playing a Japanese characters with accents on television shows.  He would land roles among popular actors like Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton, and James Caan.  The most important role he would land is Sulu on Star Trek.

The documentary recounts the attack on Pearl Harbor.  After the attack, Japanese-Americans were forced to go into interment camps.  This lasted from 1942 to 1946 and was authorized by Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Within days of the attack, racist signs against the Japanese were seen everywhere.  Newspapers and state politicians made it clear that they wanted the Japanese to leave as well.  Later on in Life, Takei became a politician.  He led those affect by interment camps to get a restitution payment from the Reagan administration.

On a happier note, George Takei is hysterical.  He is a repeat client on the Howard Stern show.  He is also a homosexual and a huge gay activist.  In response to Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay Bill”, he puts together the funniest video.  Here is that video, George Takei video.  Fortunately, the bill did not pass.  Takei credits coming out of the closet publicly to Arnold Schwarzenegger.  When Arnold was running for government, he talked about some of his best friends being gay.  After getting into office he vetoed the marriage equality bill.  This infuriated Takei and led him to start publicly supporting homosexuality.

Takei has millions of Facebook and Twitter followers.  He is very smart and funny.  His fans love his one liners.  In the documentary he tells his husband Brad (Altman) Takei, as well as Will Wheaton that they put on some weight.  He doesn’t seem very sensitive to other people’s feelings, but he is loved by millions.

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.

The Interview now on Netflix Streaming

The Interview
The Interview

The Interview was one of those movies that I had some interest in seeing after they decided not to air the movie in theaters.

I decided to watch it once it was put on Netflix Streaming.  As I mentioned in the John Spano 30 for 30 article.  This article is written on January 28, 2015.  At this time The Interview is still available on Netflix Streaming.  For an update on what is still available for viewing on Netflix Streaming checkout instantwatcher.

The movie begins with Dave Skylark (James Franco) interviewing Eminem (himself).  In this movie Eminem reveals to Skylark that he is a homosexual.  I kind of understood at this point that the movie was heading towards crazy comedy.  Skylark gets an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).  A CIA agent pays a visit to Skylark and Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), the morning after Skylark and Rapaport are out all night after dropping Ecstasy pills.  The CIA agent wants them to poison Kim Jong-un via transdermal strip.  Other aspects of the movie include portraying the North Korean leader’s feminine side and his love for Katy Perry’s “Firework” song.

The Interview gets a 7.1/10 on IMDB and 54% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.  Personally I like the movie, otherwise I wouldn’t have written about it.  I wouldn’t put it in a category of Oscar winning motion pictures, but it’s the kind of stupid humor that would make one laugh.

For now the Interview is on Neflix Streaming, so the price is right.  If you are in the mood for a stupid comedy than definitely check it out.

 

Big Shot (John Spano): ESPN 30 for 30 Netflix Streaming

John Spano
John Spano

First let met start by saying that Netflix Streaming seems to change what they show constantly.  This article is written on January 20, 2015.  At this time Big Shot is still available on Netflix Streaming.  For update on what is still available for viewing on Netflix Streaming checkout instantwatcher

30 for 30 is a great series of documentaries released by ESPN.  It is well known and Netflix has recently been streaming episodes.  I first found out about this documentary because it was on the top 50 popular list on instantwatcher.

In 1996 the New York Islanders was a suffering National Hockey League franchise.  The team had a poor record, it was being mismanaged, and Nassau Coliseum was falling apart.  One of the piss poor decisions to try to revive the Islanders was to bring in new uniforms.  This created quite an uproar from the fans.

In 1996, a Dallas businessman had decided to rescue the Islanders by purchasing the team for $165 million.  He had made his money from Texas oil or at least that’s why he got the NHL to believe.

In this documentary the Islanders are excited to have someone buy the team.  John Spano had made the fans believe that he had come to the Islanders to turn the team around.  He was being honored at the start of games.  Also, the infamous Garden City hotel had taken good care of him.  He had his own private area at the hotel bar and he brought women with him (didn’t help him much with his marriage).  He had incurred many expenses on the Islanders dime.  He seemed to be on top of the world, except for his poor relationship with Islander manager Mike Milbury.  Mike is known to not hold anything back and give his real opinion about things.  In a recent example he rips Phil Kessel.  When Mike was a player he got into a Brawl that went into the stands against the New York Rangers.  He was a great addition to this documentary because he just rips into John Spano.  In comparing the two individuals it seemed like Milbury was the lesser of two evils.

By falsifying documents Spano was able to get about half the sticker price of the Islanders from a bank in Boston.  When time came to pay up, Spano would start playing games.  When he was asked for a percentage of the amount owed, he would get a certified check for a much smaller amount than what was asked.  He would then make it seem like the bank issuing the certified check had made a huge mistake.  Shortly after that he was charged with forgery and bank fraud.    He fled to the Cayman Islands, but since he enjoyed going to a particular place in the Cayman Islands a Newsday reporter was able to reach him.  In 2000, he was sentenced to about 6 years in prison and was ordered to pay over $10 million in restitution.

Currently, John Spano has been arrested multiple times after getting out of prison.  His latest arrest was as recent as the end of 2014, this time he conned people while working as a medical supplies salesman.  The Islander, on the other hand, are having a very functional season at the time of this writing.  They are the Metropolitan division leaders in points and have one of the highest points totals in the league.