Citizenfour: Inside the Edward Snowden Release

Hello everybody! For today’s Monday show, we are watching the documentary Citizenfour.

CITIZENFOUR

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DIRECTOR: Laura Poitras

STARRING: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, William Binney, Jacob Appelbaum, Ewen MacAskill

GENRE: Documentary

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States, Germany

In January 2013, Laura Poitras received an encrypted e-mail from a stranger who called himself Citizen Four. In it, 2_citizenfourhe offered her inside information about illegal wiretapping practices of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies. Poitras had already been working for several years on a film about monitoring programs in the US that were the result of the September 11 attacks. In June 2013, accompanied by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian intelligence reporter Ewen MacAskill, she went to Hong Kong with her camera for the first meeting with the stranger, who identified himself as Edward Snowden. Several other meetings followed. The recordings gained from the meetings form the basis of the film.

p0299p6hLet me state this here first, I wasn’t planning on watching Citizenfour when I first heard about it. It has taken me a while to be able to actually enjoy documentary films, and in the last three months I have really developed a special interest for this type of film especially with the Edward Snowden scandal. Now to a quick analysis of the film. It was interesting to see all of the journalists work with Snowden, as well as his retreat from Hong Kong. The pacing works out quite well, building and building until it climaxes. The film footage itself is quite raw, which adds to the security of the film as a whole. That is what stood out to me the most.

There were very few things I didn’t enjoy about the film. The major part that bothered me is that Snowden tells the journalists that some of the documents are “legitimately classified” and basically just leaves it to the journalists to decide what to publish. What kind of whistle blower does this?

PROS: 

  •  Scandal.
  • Pacing.
  • Raw footage.
  • Brushstrokes of the Snowden release.

CONS:

  •  Whistle blower logic.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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Terms and Conditions May Apply: What You Actually Agree To.

Hello everybody! Today we have the interesting documentary about technology agreements called Terms and Conditions May Apply.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY

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DIRECTOR: Cullen Hoback

GENRE: Documentary

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: United States

Admit it you don’t really read the endless pages of terms and conditions connected to every website you visit or phone call that you make do you? Of course not. But every day billion-dollar corporations are learning more about your interests, your friends and family, your finances, and your secrets precisely because of this; and are not only selling the information to the highest bidder, but freely sharing it with the government. And you agreed to all of it. With plenty of recent real-world examples, Terms And Conditions May Apply covers just a little of what governments and corporations are legally taking from Internet users every day turning the future of both privacy and civil liberties into serious question. From whistle blowers and investigative journalists to zombie fan clubs and Egyptian dissidents, this film demonstrates how all of us online have incrementally opted-in to a real-time surveillance state, click by click.

maxresdefault The film reveals that Google, Facebook and other Web sites that require and aggregate information about you — including details about your personal life such as age, sex and sexual preference, family, income and finances, education status, employment, political affiliations, hobbies, circles of friends, lifestyle and consumer preferences and habits — actually sells that information not only to marketers and advertising agencies, but also delivers it — presumably free of charge — to government agencies such as the FBI, CIA, NSA and others with surveillance mandates under the Homeland Security Act.

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Like many documentaries TACMA is more interested in making a point than proving its case more polemic and partisan than investigative and inquiring; more fear-mongering than simple awareness raising. As a result it’s quite one-sided in its choice of interview subjects and lacks a balancing voice – there’s no level-headed commentator or journalist here to provide perspective. Still even so, this well-made film forcefully gets its point across.  Thought provoking stuff.

PROS:

  • Interesting information.
  • Pacing.
  • Interview style

CONS:

  • Almost fear-mongering.
  • One-sided interviewing.
  • Lack of balanced voiced.

SCORE: 7.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

Hey…I Know That Voice! Do You?

Hello everybody! For this week’s movie club, we watch the voice acting documentary I Know That Voice!

I KNOW THAT VOICE!

I_Know_That_Voice

DIRECTOR: Lawrence Shapiro

STARRING: Charlie Adler, Kevin Connolly, Mark Hamill, Chuck McCann, Pamela Segall Adlon, Kevin Conroy, Jim Hanks, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Dana Snydder, Carlos Alazraque

GENRE: Documentary

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: United States

I Know That Voice is unquestionably by and for actors, filled with career advice and tips on technique that will appeal to people looking to break into the business. The good news is that bloviating is kept to a minimum. Even the driest shop talk segments don’t last very long and benefit from the interviewees’ laid-back, collegial nature, a quality that many actors credit to relatively low profile of voice work.

voice Tara Strong

Animation enthusiasts will also appreciate the film’s many playful cul-de-sacs. Planted firmly at the heart of the film – though never hogging the spotlight – DiMaggio possesses an infectious enthusiasm. The best moments in I Know That Voice are ones that capture the joy of the profession, as when several actors relate how famous voices were born as failed impressions (Hank Azaria’s Simpsons bartender Moe is a bad Pacino, for example) or in a montage of actors reading a monologue from As You Like It as a succession of their most famous cartoon characters.

john-di-maggio

Dozens of television channels are hungry for new animation for all ages. Foreign animation, especially from Japan, needing English dubbing, has seen a huge surge in popularity. Advancements in computer animation means that every major studio is pumping out family friendly features as quickly as they can approve the scripts. Low cost CGI also brings us more animated characters in traditional film and television than ever before. Last, but certainly not least, the enormous video game industry has a voracious appetite for acting talent. There isn’t a single uninteresting moment. Fans of film or film making will appreciate the frank discussions of the process and methods. Fans of animation or video gaming will be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of hot, liquid awesome.

PROS:

  • Impressive cast.
  • Talk segments well done.
  • Even touches on English dubbing.

CONS:

  • Didn’t stray far from the interview format.
  • Expand the cast just a bit.

SCORE: 6.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.