Toy Masters

15Jul12

In recent times I’ve become as interested in watching a well made documentary as I have about movies. Which in many ways is not surprising – I remember when DVD arrived circa 1999; the studios started to include interviews and behind the scenes content and I found myself enjoying those better than the movies sometimes.

The latest documentary to capture my attention is Toy Masters – the real story of the creation of the He-Man line of action figures. (I believe that He-Man was my first proper blister pack action figure I ever owned). I am very much looking forward to seeing this – until then please check out toymastersmovie.com although there is not much content there currently.

And if I may segue to other documentaries that are favorites of mine and very worth watching:

Indie Game The Movie – A look at the teams (read: guys) developing Super Meat Boy and Fez for the XBOX 360.

The Shark Is Still Working -Feature length retrospective of one of the greatest movies of all time.

The Beginning: Making Episode I – Found on The Phantom Menance DVD – this is the best thing released by Lucas since The Empire Strikes Back. It is filled with classic moments of hilarity, rarity and cringity (is that a word… it should be…) It highlights that George is a genuinely good guy but has surrounded himself with too many agreeable people (with the possible exception of ILM wizard John Knoll) and in my humble opinion is where it all fell down.

The King of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters – A hero, a villian, henchmen, a corupt system, and more cringity (I am determined to make this a word…)  This could be the greatest American soap opera documentary ever made.

Halo 2 – Behind The Scenes – Bungie are now renowned for their ViDocs – and although this was not the first behind-the-scenes documentary they produced, this is the best of them. There is a joy, a history and a sense of greatness with this one – if you have ever played any Halo or wanted to work in the game industry this is well worth viewing. It is available on the Limited Collector’s Edition – and I think you need a 360 to play it (or youtube has you covered). Bungie followed up with a similar doc for Halo3 but it was a bit lacking; and then an hour long 20th Anniversary of Bungie (O Brave New World) which was a good return to form. There is also a much older original Halo era doc where Frank O’Conner (who is heading up Halo4) does an office tour in grainy video – I am pretty sure I have a copy of this on my hard drive… somewhere!

Pearl Jam Twenty – Cameron Crowe’s greatest film charts the rise of Pearl Jam from 1990 to 2010. The film includes many “perfect” moments along with an outstanding soundtrack of well chosen performances during their long and varied career. But it is human moments from Eddie, Stone, Jeff and Mike that really elevate this into something special. The second half of this is particularly good… and I must have watched/listened to this 20+ times.

Long Way Round – Magic on motorbikes; a travel TV series based on the friendship of Ewan MacGregor and Charlie Boorman. It charts their motorbike camping trip from London to New York the long way round. While they’ve had other adventures since; this is by far the most interesting, fresh and fun.

That’s all for now… I’ll update if I can think of any others.



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