One Direction

lauradekker_silhouette

We’re all aware of and used to the blockbuster knockoffs from The Asylum. Maybe you were reminded this past week by coming across their 2011 movie Almighty Thor while looking up Marvel’s own Thor: The Dark World. Well, they haven’t taken on documentaries yet, but there are comparably cheap versions of hit nonfiction films to be found around the web. We can’t call them all knockoffs or ripoffs or copycats or anything of that responsive nature, though, because most of the time they are produced earlier and are actually the ones being overshadowed by the new, better-known features. Last week I was going through the latest documentary additions to Netflix Watch Instantly, as I regularly do for my home viewing picks for our sister site Nonfics, and one title stood out to me: Wild Eyes: The Abby Sunderland Story. The synopsis told me simply that it was about a teen girl who “dares try to become the youngest person to sail around the globe solo.” That sounded awfully familiar. I’d known about the SXSW audience award winner Maidentrip, which also is about a teen girl who set out to sail around the globe solo. But I didn’t know that film’s subject’s name and thought maybe it was Sunderland. After all, how many teen girls are there who attempt such a dangerous adventure? Apparently at least two, because the girl’s name in Maidentrip, I quickly learned, is Laura Dekker.

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One Direction

If this year’s Morgan Spurlock “documentary” about UK pop whiz kids One Direction didn’t seem beefy enough or juicy enough or some other adjective that can also be applied to food (cheesy enough? No, there’s no way it could get much cheesier than Spurlock’s glorified and dumbed down commercial for the mega-popular boy band) for your tastes, you just might be in luck. We’ve got two words for you – unauthorized documentary. That’s right, 2013 is the year of One Direction docs, and now a fully unauthorized is prepped to whiz right at your eyeballs, though presumably with less panache than Spurlock’s One Direction: This Is Us. Is it still them? We have no idea, but we know that whatever it is/whoever it is, it will be unauthorized. But what difference will an “unauthorized documentary” have on anything if said unauth-doc sounds just as damn fizzy, light, and silly as the year’s fully authorized outing.

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dujour

I understand that not a lot of FSR readers are even marginal One Direction fans, let alone “directioners,” so bear with me this week as I offer this list to any who find their way here. Also, if you’re not into 1D and don’t plan to see their new documentary One Direction: This Is Us — even if you normally like Morgan Spurlock‘s films or are a Martin Scorsese completist (he has a cameo) or think it could be a good place to pick up chicks (and not just tweens, as my screening had a number of adult women fans in attendance) — you may discover something of actual value among the selection of films below. The easiest and even most logical way to go with this week’s hottest new movie is to just offer a basic list of the best concert films and tour docs of the past. But really there’s not much there to connect Gimme Shelter (nobody dies at any of the 1D shows) or Woodstock, even though the latter involved Scorsese. There are mostly music movies picked for this list, but they’re specifically relevant and they’re joined by other kinds of films.

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One Direction

Let’s not bury the lede here – attending Morgan Spurlock’s latest film, a Frankenstein’s monster of concert film and cliché-laden personal documentary about Britain’s insanely popular boy band One Direction, solo during its first night of showings is incredibly boring. Perhaps because the excitement among fans wasn’t palatable (most of them were surprisingly sedate, at least until a shirtless 1D-er ambled across the big screen, which happens in Spurlock’s film a lot) or because attendance was low or because it was a school night or even because I am so, so old these days (at least, that’s how I felt), but the experience of attending One Direction: This Is Us at 7PM on a Thursday night in an Upper East Side AMC theater was one of the most flaccid movie-going experiences of my entire life. There weren’t even special edition 3D glasses. I arrive early. Afraid I’ll get a “bad” seat because of a swollen attendance, I walk up to the theater a full half an hour before showtime. It is far too early. Most likely expecting both a larger crowd and a more rowdy one, the theater provides a roped-off area for fans to line up before being admitted into the theater. No one is wearing any One Direction gear, there is only the occasional scream, and the only thing festive is one sad balloon, bobbing above its owner’s pig-tailed head. It’s star-shaped. (The balloon, not its owner’s head.) The teen girls behind me don’t chirp about the film […]

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One Direction

Morgan Spurlock just came off directing a documentary about male grooming, and now he’s turned his lens toward five young men who don’t even need to shave yet. The band is One Direction, the English-Irish pop band that was formed on the television show The X Factor and vaulted to international fame  the way that dancing boy bands often do (even, impossibly, when they don’t feature Professor Ashley Angel from O-Town). It would be easy to write something like this off as pablum for the screaming tween crowds, and there are a lot them in the trailer, but recent behind-the-scenes concert movies have been able to weave bubblegum into bold looks into what it’s like to be desired by mobs of millions. There’s a safety to the subjects, but as cultural feeds off itself, it’s also interesting to see what the pressure of superstardom entails. Plus, if there’s anyone who can lend a bit of quirky credibility to a project like this, it’s Spurlock. The new trailer for 1D3D isn’t too surprising. When you can hear anything above the screaming fans, there are teary phone calls with parents, harmless antics and a whole host of male bonding.

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

This week saw the countdown to the end of the Twilight movies, though we didn’t pay it much attention. Kevin gave us a drinking game to play while watching the whole series in marathon form, but that’s it. Maybe we were all too busy still appreciating the greatness of the latest James Bond — a series that fortunately didn’t conclude after only five installments — or skipping through to wonder about the future, as in whether The Mortal Instruments is the new Twi-like sensation. We did, of course, review the final Twilight Saga film, and we remind and invite you to check out that and other reviews of new releases (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2; Lincoln; Anna Karenina; Price Check) as well as an interview with Anna Karenina director Joe Wright. We also watched a lot of trailer, including new spots for The Host (from Twi-lit author Stephenie Meyer), Oz: The Great and Powerful, The ABCs of Death (Red Band) and, yeah, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. We also saw some short films that readers seem to have enjoyed a lot, including The Sleepover and Dragon Baby. Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.

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One Direction

The news flicks by without raising any bells – of course Sony is making a concert film to showcase the world’s (current) biggest boy band, One Direction. Of course this film will be in 3D and of course it will open on a holiday weekend (on August 30, 2013, just in time for Labor Day, as it were). And of course this film will be directed by Morgan Spurlock. Wait, what? Yet, as insane as this news might be at first blush (and, we’ll admit, we stared at its announcing press release slack-jawed for at least ten minutes), it’s hard to deny that Spurlock’s Super-Size Me and Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? days are long over. Spurlock’s work has rarely been close to truly “hard-hitting” (who among us has not eaten McDonald’s for weeks at a time? let you cast the first stone), but his films have steadily been declining in terms of seriousness and and wide-ranging import for quite some time, shrinking his audience to nothing short of niche levels (Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope didn’t even break the bank for either Comic-Con or Star Wars fans). Why not direct something guaranteed to bring out screaming, poster-shaking teenagers eager to spend their almighty dollars? In short, why not direct a One Direction 3D concert film?

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