There are certain documentaries that take a completely neutral approach to their subject matter. Most nature documentaries are like that. Then, there are other documentaries with a very clear political message. Waiting for Superman is one such example, but it doesn’t go quite as far as Michael Moore’s films.
While you may hope for a documentary on Clark Kent, Waiting for Superman is actually about the American educational system and the rise of charter schools. We get into a discussion about how the conventional school system is “broken,” and why so many children (and their families) are riding their futures on a lottery system to get into the best charter schools. It’s an eye-opener, to say the least.
One of the biggest take home messages? Despite an increasingly common belief that “poor kids can’t learn,” they really can and they can outperform their wealthier counterparts in some cases; they just have to be given the right environment. I cannot stress enough the importance of education, so I’m really curious to hear the reaction of people who are in the American education system, like Damien Riley and Ray Ebersole. What’s your take on charter schools?
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Strictly speaking, Paranormal Activity makes use of Stephen King’s third type of terror. It’s when you think you hear something go bump in the night, but when you turn around to check on it, there doesn’t appear to be anything there. As the audience, we find ourselves staring at the screen, scanning for anything that might seem out of place.
Yes, Paranormal Activity tries the “this is really for real” kind of approach that the Blair Witch Project did. It’s just as subtle, for the most part, but it feels far too slow to develop. I’m really supposed to get all hot and bothered over a bedroom door that moves ever so slightly?
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Given that I wasn’t particularly enthralled by the first movie, I didn’t exactly have the highest of hopes for Paranormal Activity 2. It really is more of the same kind of gags, but they’ve introduced more cast members and made the paranormal activity much more pronounced. Instead a slight shadow, we see cabinets fly open in a bang.
If all you’re after are some cheap thrills, I suppose this movie will do. If you’re looking for anything more than that, you might be disappointed.