This will be my last post for documentaries this year. It has been a banner year for documentaries and documentary series. I’ll be posting my year-end best-of list next week. These three are on the list.
First up is Good Night Oppy. This Amazon documentary looks at the scientific achievement behind two mars rovers: Spirit and Opportunity. The film makes good use of CGI to bring the rovers to life as they trek about the Mars surface looking for signs of water. Two films will come to mind as you watch this: Wall-e and The Martian.
Besides the great CGI, there are some great personal moments as the team members’ stories are told. One involved a woman program manager who set a goal of wanting to work in this field at an early age. She not only accomplished her goal, but she was able to introduce her daughter to her dream as the two of them watched the next-generation rover Perseverence lift off from the Kennedy Space Center.
Both mars rovers far surpassed their planned life expectancy of 90 days. In the case of Opportunity, it lasted fifteen years before its batteries and mechanical parts finally gave out.
The next documentary falls into the category of I can’t believe this actually happened. Don’t Pick up the Phone is about a prank caller who gets managers of fast-food restaurants to do strip searches of mostly female employees by pretending to be a police officer. That may seem like a hilarious prank until you see how far the prank caller took it and how far the victims of his prank were willing to go.
I get anywhere from two to three calls a week from people informing me that my credit card is going to be charged $299 for a purchase on Amazon unless I call to cancel the purchase. So, they’re telling me that I made a $299 purchase and they want me to make sure I want what I purchased or they’re going to charge me? Okay, right. I didn’t make any $299 purchase on Amazon. I better call to find out what this is all about. I’ve actually follow-up with these morons and kept them running in circles for fifteen minutes before telling them to get a real job.
The saddest part of this story, and there are lots of sad parts, is how our justice system totally failed at almost every point in this story. This three-part docuseries can be found on Netflix.
My last documentary recommendation for 2022 is The Descendants. This documentary tells the story of the descendants of the last slave ship. I was interested in seeing it because it tells the same story told in the book The Last Slave Ship.
I recommend reading the book first and then watching this documentary. There is no connection between the book and film other than both cover the same story. You catch this on Netflix.