STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
Title - Kevin Michael Vance - writer/musician/purveyor of raw materials
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance

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Kevin Michael Vance
Writer - Portland, Oregon


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Title: GRIZZLY MAN
Director: Werner Herzog
Year: 2005
Reviewed: January 08, 2006

Rating:   Rice Cake-Lowest Rating
[Rating Definitions]

  GRIZZLY MAN

It's strange how documentaries like this can be so trumpeted as sheer brilliance, and or, riveting. Grizzly Man is neither of those things, rather, it is a pathetic look into the mind of a very, very sick individual; and I mean that in the most clinical sense of the word. Timothy Treadwell, the man who spent 13 summers in Alaska unarmed amongst Grizzly bears until his inevitable and inexorable death at the hands (or should I saw claws and fangs) of his beloved animals, quite obviously, and more often painfully, is, or rather was, extremely mentally sick. I am no psychiatrist or psychologist, but if I had to guess I would say that he suffered from either bi-polar disease, manic episodes, obsessive compulsive disorder, or all of the above.

I give Grizzly Man a RICE CAKE review.

As far as documentaries go, and I've seen quite a few, this is actually not very good. Many of the interview scenes seemed elaborately staged, with the director and his Schwazenegar-like accent prompting and prodding the inexplicably strange people who had populated Treadwell's life into sudden and strange outbursts of emotion. This Werner Herzog also seemed to glorify and deify Treadwell's amazingly impetuous and well, down-right stupid, way of life with one breath and then vilify it with the next. This sort of ambiguity makes for a disjointed and seemingly insane documentary; mirroring, I think, accidentally the mental instability of the focus of the film.

Now I will readily admit to my own sick pension for the perverse. I mean the main reason I rented this DVD was the rumor that they had audio of Treadwell and his girlfriend being mauled to death. Granted, this is not something I am proud of, however, nor do I pummel myself for it. The fact remains, though, Herzog chose not to put the audio on the DVD, which I do respect. But again, the horrible truth of this DVD is that Treadwell was neither a naturalist or an activist. What he was, yet again… what was painfully obvious to me, was Treadwell's decreasing mental acuity and his inability for cognizant thought. By the end of the DVD he was suffering massive bouts of paranoia, his delusions had taken on an almost child-like quality, and his grip on reality was quickly and inescapably slipping from his fingers.

Grizzly Man is not a very good documentary, made worse by the directors lack of focus and the subject matters inherent pathetic quality. If you enjoy watching a sick individual spiraling down into ever increasing depths of sickness, rent Grizzly Man. Otherwise, I would recommend the documentary Murder Ball over Grizzly Man.
   



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