While MHB touches on all these, it's with a light, deft hand. The filmmakers don't have any obvious agenda, except that of showing the joy these young dancers express as they merengue and rhumba.
Although the making-of doc behind the doc tends to the overwrought ("Do I darken the purity of the White Continent with words?"), it provides more birdy footage plus context for the filming, which included a near-fatal whiteout that sidelined production for a month.
At its heart a sports movie, MURDERBALL follows Team USA and their Canadian rivals, and the drama runs high. A parallel story thread about a newly rehabbed young man trying to come to terms with the shifted definitions of his life provides both bitter and hopeful moments.
The most heartbreaking scene for me, though, came at the very end, where the team demos quad rugby for future players among Iraq War veterans, all of who look about fourteen years old.
One year, an Orellaia red sells for 35 Euros. The winery partners up with American juggernaut Mondavi, and the next year the wine's at 110 Euros and named the best in the world. Not, importers and retailers note, because the wine got better, but because it was made more palatable to the market and critics. Kinda makes me feel like a slob for buying my wines from the bottom shelf at Vons.
(1) It's another incredible story about the natural world.
(2) Even more than MARCH OF THE PENGUINS makes you gasp, "How did they film that?!"
(3) Though narration-free (Morgan Freeman must've been booked), it contains myriad mini-narratives, some funny, some sad (crabs are mean!).
(4) It's the DVD selection of the month in the cat area of the kennel some friends are using to board their feline over the holidays. Yes, in LA even the cats have screening rooms.