October 21, 2016
        "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race                "The Jungle Book," "Zootopia" and Craft Artists to be Honored at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" officially is a 2016 contender        

How DVDs ruined the theatrical documentary

HollywoodNews.com: I hesitated before watching Knives Over Forks on Netflix Instant yesterday. I had an interest in the picture, and the DVD was in my Blockbuster quque, so there was seemingly no reason for me not to just watch it right from my Netflix streaming system, right? Well, first I had to go online and look up the reviews for the Blu Ray.

Specifically, I needed to check what kind of supplemental materials were on the disc. To my relief, there was only about six minutes of PSA-type material to be found, so I watched the movie yesterday (quick review – the information is worthwhile, but it’s a terribly amateurish documentary with few real insights beyond its broad thesis). I have discussed before the problem of films coming out on DVD 3-5 months after theatrical with significantly altered or extended ‘director’s cuts’ and how that negates the whole purpose of seeing a film in a theater. Documentaries are a different story. When you watch a documentary in theaters, you get the final film. But when you rent a documentary on DVD, there is a good chance that you’ll actually get two films for the price of one, with enough extra material in the form of deleted scenes and unedited interviews to constitute a second look at the same subject.

No End in Sight was a dynamite 104-minute documentary chronicling the utter disaster that was the occupation of Iraq from 2003 to 2007 (when the film was released). It was the best documentary of the year in a very good year for documentaries (Taxi to the Dark Side and Crazy Love are also modern classics). But if you happened to catch the film on DVD, you got not only the film itself, but 105 minutes of additional documentary material related to the subject. In other words, you got No End In Sight and its quasi-sequel/spin-off.

If you happened to rent Food Inc. (the best documentary of 2009, natch), you were treated to the film itself as well as around forty-minutes of additional relevant and worthwhile material. And of course, in these cases, we aren’t talking about behind-the-scenes or making-of footage, we’re talking about deleted scenes, IE – MORE documentary. And since this footage isn’t lacking in context when viewed by itself (as is the case for deleted footage of an actual feature film), you basically just get more of the content and information you wanted after you watch the film itself.

Photo by Magnolia Pictures

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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