VISUALGUI

Quincy

Directed by Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks, Quincy documents the 70-year career of the music legend whose producer credits ranging from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. His accomplishments were astonishing. His marriages were not so much. Still, it’s an intimate, inspiring watch. Check it out on Netflix.

D.L. Hughley: Contrarian

Hughley is hilarious yet he never quite delivered. His latest Netflix special is no exception. He had lots of one liners. Most of them were funny, but none unforgettable. By the middle of the special, the rapid fire started to fade. I can’t even recall a single joke that stood out. Maybe I prefer a deep dive routine over quick shots.

Black Panther

I finally got a chance watch this much-talked-about movie this year on Netflix. The visual is splendid, but the story is disappointing. I enjoyed the experience, but was not satisfied with the characters and narration. It’s a missed opportunity.

Ken Burns & Lynn Novick: The Vietnam War

This documentary took way too long to finish because I had been watching it with my sons. My six-year-old Đán fell asleep ten minutes into each episode, but my nine-year-old Đạo who has profound interest in the history of wars watched every minute of the eighteen-hour series. At first, I was concerned about the gruesome images and adult languages for a nine-year-old, but the educational values outweighed the violent materials. He learned about the Vietnam war through this ten-part documentary as much as I had.

Even though I am much older than Đạo, I had not fully understand the complexity of the Vietnam war. It was over by the time I was born. Living in the US, I am constantly reminded of the war through musical shows, Asia Production in particular, hatred stories from the older generation of Vietnamese-Americans who fled the country, and painful experience from South Vietnamese veterans. For almost thirty years, I have only heard one side of the story. I understand their pain, suffering, loss, and lost, but I had always interested in the true, unbiased view of the war. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick have tried to accomplished that in their monumental documentary.

Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, narrated by Peter Coyote, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, The Vietnam War tells the story from all perspectives. It does not shy away from telling the truth about the dishonesty of the North Vietnam, the corruption of the South Vietnam, and the failure of the America. Every side involved was responsible for this bloody, brutal massacre. This excellent, evenhanded documentary has shed a light our tragic past and it is now a part of our history. The footages are breathtaking. The interviews, which ranged in different views, are convincing. The music, includes Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Cassandra Wilson, enhances the experience. A must-watch masterpiece.

Follow This

Log off Twitter and Follow This, a new Netflix Documentary Serious in collaboration with BuzzFeed. Each episode is sixteen minutes on a peculiar topic that had been reported by BuzzFeed journalists. Two eye-opening stories for me are on the world of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) and intersex. These mini documentaries are short, informing, and fascinating. Give it a try.

Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial

In her latest Netflix special, Iliza focuses on one topic: women vs. men. Her writing and performing are so good that she is engaging the entire hour. Iliza is a feminist with a positive message for women and their body. Whatever you think you are, you are right. In addition, no flaw on a woman’s body can be worse than a scrotum. I love it when a comedian dives deep into one subject. Iliza did it brilliantly.

Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now

From his descriptive act of “grab them by the pussy” to his use of the “C” word, Jefferies admits he has a few misogynistic jokes under his sleeves. His takes on Trump and Kevin Spacey are clever and on point. He also delves into being a father and dealing depression. He also revisits gun control a bit. Jefferies pushes toward vulgarity quite a bit. Watching his special right after Gadsby’s is quite a contrast. I still enjoyed his.

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette

Gadsby kicks off her Netflix special with hilarious lesbian jokes. She addresses white men in the #MeToo moment and then provides fascinating view on art—particularly Picasso who she hates. The second half of the show, however, Gadsby abandons comedy to share her deep, personal story. The price she paid for being different was devastating. Her powerful storytelling choked me up. She makes me think of my nephew. I need to share this special him.

W. Kamau Bell: Private School Negro

In his newest Netflix special, W. Kamau Bell delves into interracial parenting, white supremacy, and racism. He has so many proofs that Trump is a fucking racist, and yet the best is for Sean Spicer who seems to be “composed of the bare minimum amount of semen that it takes to make a human being.” It’s a cruel joke, but Spicer deserves it for his short stint as Trump’s little bitch. I wish he had gone harder on Sarah Huckabee Sanders. He is still entertaining to watch.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Took the kids out see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom yesterday. I made the mistake of taking the first-row seats, which were the only spaces available. It is now Sunday afternoon and I still have a headache from yesterday. The cause was probably the lack of sleep in the past several nights, which I stayed up late to work on my Vietnamese Typography. Needless to say, I did not enjoy the movie much. Although I do think this one is better than the previous one, which released a few years ago. The kids seemed to be fine. They enjoyed popcorns and a big Hawaiian punch. Đạo had a bit of motion sickness as well and he suggested that we wait at least three days after a new release to go to the theater. I am definitely taking advice from a nine-year-old boy. I will never do this to myself again.