Sunday, June 1, 2014

On Netflix: Philadelphia tragedy 'Let the Fire Burn' and 'Mitt's' Presidential Runs

Let the Fire Burn (2013, Directed by Jason Osder. Color, USA, 95 minutes) The 1985 bombing of the MOVE compound in Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek neighborhood was the culmination of a tense standoff between the back-to-nature group and police, resulting in the deaths of 11 people, and the destruction of 60 residential homes. "Let the Fire Burn" is a well-crafted documentary that looks at the buildup to the MOVE/police interactions from the '70s to the standoff. Using only archival footage from newscasts, witness testimonies and the investigation hearings by the MOVE commission, this is a perfectly balanced look at happens when fights between a radical group and law enforcement reach a fever pitch. Pretty in-depth considering it didn't use any modern interviews, and a must-see for anyone interested in Philadelphia history.

Rating: B

Mitt (2014, Directed by Greg Whiteley. Color, USA, 92 minutes) Mitt Romney might be the focus of the Netflix-proudced documentary "Mitt", but he's somehow a secondary character. We follow Romney, but mostly his family, through his two presidential campaigns including the debates and sitting around for the election results. "Mitt" portrays its main character as its own MacGuffin. We hear so many opinions about Romney and what he needs to do to succeed, but we don't actually see the tactics to do so. With not enough interesting scenes or characters, "Mitt" is a bland look at an interesting man at the focus of the biggest story of 2012. "The War Room" this film is not.

Rating: C-

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