Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blackfish (Movie Review)

The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the killer whale documentary "Blackfish" in about the time it take to watch the trailer.



Is it possible we could at least just leave me one thing from my childhood that isn’t tarnished? Seriously, not Shamu.
“Black Fish” is a documentary that explores the captivity of Killer Whales in general and the deaths caused by one whale named Tillikum who continues to perform at Sea World even today. The movie is impassioned and aggressive and feels like what would happen if you crossed Free Willy with Michael Moore and subtracted any sense of humor. Right off the bat I have to say this documentary is clearly fascinating.
Though you, like I, may remember the story of the trainer who lost her life a few years ago at Sea World, the backstory is one I had never heard until this movie. It’s a haunting, harrowing tale of how keeping large animals captive often results in unpredictable and even deadly behavior and how many possibly turned a blind eye to this continually mounting evidence. If nothing else, the best thing about “Black Fish” is that it shines a light on this situation in such a powerful way. The doc brings the issue forward in a way that is impossible to ignore and likely to change the way you think about going to a marine based theme park. And yet, I wonder if that same passion overall can make it seem a bit biased.
Now understand, I’m not saying that the information in the documentary is false or that the conclusions it’s creators come to aren’t necessarily valid. But I’d feel a lot better about my new found convictions if I actually heard from the other side. and that’s the worst thing, it just seems very one sided. Yes, I know Sea World declined to comment, but even so, couldn’t you find a few people who might shed some light on what they are thinking, or even how they are changing what they are doing to start dealing with the problem. Especially as aggressive and dark as this documentary is, it would help offset the easy accusation that the filmmakers were primarily out to espouse a view and not to explore a circumstance. It’s not something that makes the movie any less compelling, just maybe a tad less impacting. And when you are dealing with life or death issues like this one, that’s a big loss.
In the end “Black Fish” is stunning new information and a powerful look at a serious issue that needs addressed, I just which it had looked at it from all sides. Still , it’s worth a B.
So that’s the review, but wait there’s more. Stay tuned for the “Challenge Question” in a bit but first, I’m going to put up some stuff you can click over in this area. If you’d like to subscribe, which I would much appreciate, you can do so by clicking the big gray subscribe button. Want to see more reviews? Here are three of the most recent“Best Man Holiday”, “In A World” or Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”. You can also Click the logo up here to go to where you can search by title for reviews. And finally this review’s “Challenge” question, “name the best movie that features an amusement park” It doesn’t have to be a major part of the plot, but it has to play a role. Mine might have come out this year, if you include water parks, which I do. Just leave your answer in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe!

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