Even while I truly enjoyed watching this documentary, I still felt somewhat disappointed by the end. Something was missing.

I often love watching dumb, low-budget B-movies, no matter how bad they are. It's sort of relaxing to watch and helps to make you forget all your sorrows for a short while. Besides, the thing about B-movies is that it keeps reminding you about it how complex and painstaking the movie making process actually is. With good and big budgeted movies you can't really see how the movie got made but with B-movies you notice every little detail. Every piece of bad dialog becomes more notable, editing, camera-positioning, storytelling, acting is often so simplistic and lacking that it makes you appreciate the art, passion and talent that often goes into making a movie. When it's done right, you hardly pay attention to it but when it's done poorly, you all suddenly start to realize this and appreciate and respect the movie making business all the more.

And Roger Corman is everywhere- and by everyone regarded as the king of B-movies. No wonder, since his movies are pretty much form the definition of a B-movie; cheap, simplistic and they got put together as fast as possible, even if there isn't a completely finished script to work with. And not only that, it is hard to find a film-maker with more movies behind his or her name. He has produced over 400 movies in the past 7 decades and directed over 50.

And this is a documentary about the film-maker Roger Corman and his methods of filmmaking and about his views on the industry. So don't expect an insightful documentary about the man behind the film-maker. In that regard this really isn't a documentary that goes deep into things but that doesn't mean that it also doesn't have plenty of different stuff to offer.

No doubt that you'll still learn a lot from this documentary and makes you realize what Corman has done for the industry and how his movies and his style of film-making have influenced the business and helped to give many film-makers a boost. Many people that normally wouldn't had been given a chance in the industry started out their careers with Corman's movies. I'm not just talking about actors but also lots of people involved with the work behind the cameras. Many of them actually grew out to become big names in the industry as well, such as James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante, Ron Howard, Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper, Talia Shire, Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro, David Carradine and William Shatner. Some of them participate in this documentary as well, which makes you realize all the more what Corman and his movies must have meant for them.

The whole documentary is presented as a light and fun one to watch. It never gets too serious and when it does, there is something to laugh about 5 seconds later again. This ensures that the entire documentary remains pleasant to watch but I surely wouldn't had minded some more depth and also some more focus on the negative aspects at times. You feel that this movie is mostly being a tribute to Corman and his work, over the many decades.

Perhaps the documentary would had featured some more depth and feeling to it if it was about 30 minutes longer. Normally a documentary of movie can feel to long but in this case it could had truly benefited from a longer running time. I don't have the feeling that this documentary told the entire story and especially the ending, when Corman receives an honorary academy award feels very rushed, as if it got put into the documentary at the very last moment.

It's still good and fun to watch, especially when you are a Roger Corman enthusiast but it's lacking a bit of depth and substance at time.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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