Tag Archives: Netflix

The Mark Roehl Certified Netflix Documentary List – Part 2

Here is part two of my favorite documentaries. If you missed part one, you can view it by clicking here.

11. Beer Wars – A great documentary about the stupid laws we have in America around Beer and how anyone who isn’t Coors, Bud or Miller is fighting an uphill battle.

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12. Nerdcore Rising – A crazy documentary about a new form of hiphop called Nerdcore that follows MC Frontalot on his national tour….

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13. Monster Camp – A documentary on Larping. If you can find it, it is absolutely surreal.

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14. Dumbstruck – A documentary that follows the ventriloquism community for their annual Vent Haven convention… If my memory serves correct, this documentary also includes a ventriloquism wedding (of the puppets)…

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15. Chasing Ghosts – Beyond the Arcade – This was similar to King of Kong and focused on the video game culture in the early 1980’s and Twin Galaxies. Definitely worth a watch. If the picture below won’t get you to watch, then I don’t know what to tell you.

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16. Pulling John – I really don’t remember much of this one, but I had it on my list and I know it’s about arm wrestling.

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17. Grizzly Man – The story of a man in Alaska who wanted to live amongst grizzly bears… This won at Sundance.

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18. Who Killed the Electric Car – A documentary about the EV1, the first electric car made by GM and how they did everything in their power to sabotage it. It does a great job showing how dumb the American auto maker was (and still is).

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19. Indie Game: The Movie – A great look at the world of creating independent games and some of the challenges designers face. It’s also interesting to follow up on the games featured and see what happened to them after they were released.

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20. The People vs. George Lucas – A documentary on how George Lucas screwed up Starwars at the expense of making more money.

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21. Food Inc. – A documentary that will make you rethink food.

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22. The Short Game – A documentary about the 7-9 year old world golf championships. It made me angry because every one of those kids would beat me, but overall, a good documentary definitely worth watching.

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23. Frisky Business – This is a British documentary on the largest online sex retailer in the country. I watched the entire series within 24 hours…. It was fascinating. I rated it 5 stars.

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If you have any other great docs I should check out or any comments on any of ones listed above, please drop a note below.

The Mark Roehl Certified Netflix Documentary List – Part 1

As I’ve written before, I gave up cable television midway through 2012. The reasons for this were numerous, but mainly, I watched a lot of crappy tv and the prices kept going up. I currently get my television through Netflix, Amazon Prime or over the air (like our ancestors!!!).

As such, I’ve watched a lot of Netflix so I thought it would be helpful to list some of the better documentaries that I’ve seen and why I liked them. This list is not in any order other than I liked all of these. Also, please note, these often appear and disappear on Netflix so they all may not be available at the current time.

1. King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – Perhaps the greatest documentary ever made. This follows various individuals as they go for the Donkey Kong world record. The people involved are infinitely fascinating and this movie has plenty of ‘wait a minute, did I just hear what I think I heard?’ moments. Unfortunately, this isn’t available for streaming at the current time but it should still be on any list of great docs.

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2. Exit Through the Giftshop – This was created by the street artist Banksy and delivers in so many ways. Anything with people named Space Invader or Mr. Brainwash is going to have me interested. This chronicles famous street artists and is well worth your time. Unfortunately, this movie also isn’t available for streaming at the current time.

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3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi – One of my favorite docs, this follows the story of an 85 year old man named Jiro who runs a Michelin rated sushi restaurant in Japan. The passion and dedication is legendary and was inspiring.

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4. Somm – This documentary follows a few people who embark on their quest to pass the Master Sommelier exam. This exam is supposed to be crazy hard to pass as their are around 200 people worldwide who are certified. It was fascinating to watch people at the top of their game and all the preparation that went into this.

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5. Bronies – This documentary is about adults (mostly male) who are obsessed with ‘My Little Pony.’ After watching this documentary, all I could say is ‘It really does take all kinds.’ The crazy factor is off the charts with this. I describe this as the movie that keeps on giving. I really really liked it.

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6. Confessions of a Superhero – A documentary about the people who dress up as superheros in L.A..

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7. Spirit of the Marathon – A must watch for any of the runners out there. Chronicles several people as they get ready for a marathon. It’s very inspirational.

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8. Up for Grabs – This follows what happened with Barry Bonds 73rd home run ball…. one person caught it…. another ended up with it…. it’s much more bizarre than that.

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9. Queen of Versailles – This follows one of the wealthiest familes in America as they build a ginormous house only to have the great recession cost them their fortune.

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10. Exporting Raymond – What happens when you take one of the most successful television shows and try to bring it to Russia? This documentary follows Phil Rosenthal as he tries to do just that.

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Look for part 2 coming soon. If you’d like to comment on any of the above documentaries, feel free to drop a note below.

Life Without Cable – Fall Edition

As I’ve written about before, I’ve given up Cable Television in an effort to save money and also to better use my time. As such, periodically I write about what’s passing my time without cable. Here is the Autumn 2012 list.

Running with Tobey – In the first 6 months of the year, I averaged a little above 22 miles a month. Since I’ve given up cable, I’ve been averaging a little more than 49 miles a month. As part of this, I’ve also lost about 10-15 pounds. The weight loss can’t be traced to running, but it has certainly aided it. Prior to cutting cable, the longest run I had made this year was 4 miles. Recently I’ve run 6.5 with Tobey (new PR for him) and 5.5 with both pups (New PR for Lily). Running with both pups was a major accomplishment because it’s like running without arms.

(Mark and Tobey at the 2012 CHA Dog Jog where we raised over $1200 for homeless animals in Columbus)

Netflix – Let there be no mistake, Netflix is awesome. There are so many crazy and awesome documentaries on there. Some of my newly recommended:

1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi – An amazing story of someone who dedicated their life to their craft. It is amazing to see someone who is passionate about their work and what they can accomplish. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this lived up to the recommendation from various people (Netflix also thought I would enjoy it).

2. Dumbstruck – This documentary had everything: inspiration, crazy and more crazy! It…. was….. awesome. Whether it was the amazing success of Terry Fator or the former Ms. Mansfield (and future Mrs. Ohio) explaining what ventriloquism meant to her or the crazy chick who had a wedding for two of her puppets. Like a wonderful train-wreck, I could not stop watching.

3. Make Believe – Who knew there were so many teenagers trying to follow their dream and become professional magicians…. also, who knew they were that good (minus the Africans, they were horrible compared to everyone else). This was a great movie that followed 6 of the world’s best young magicians as they tried out for the Teen World Championship.

Ohio State University – I’m taking an intro to Java Programming at The Ohio State University (My alma mater). When I was a bright eyed 18 year old freshman, I had dreams of becoming a CIS major. Unfortunately, that faded fairly quickly in my first programming class (Turbo Pascal (whatever that is)) when I had a socially awkward graduate student as an instructor. He insisted on naming every variable either foo or bar, which confused me beyond belief. I managed to pull a ‘B-‘, but the damage had been done.

Fast forward to now. My employer sent an email that they were offering an Intro to Java course through Ohio State that would be taught onsite. I was in. It’s been a lot harder and more time consuming that I thought it would be, but it validated that I made the right choice in majoring in Business. At this point, I’ve got a passing grade wrapped up, but since it’s an introductory course, I have to pass the final in order to pass the class. The goal is to avenge the ‘B-‘ I received my freshman year and pull down a solid ‘B’. 🙂

Other things taking up my time I didn’t write about, but hope to in the future: Pandora, Whatifsports Hardball Dynasty, OSU football, getting married, Google Nexus 7.

As always, I encourage you to leave a comment with your thoughts and any documentaries or movies I should check out.

Netflix Recommendations (Top 5 Documentaries)

With the summer of no cable television well underway (Yay day 2!!), I thought it would fun to compile a list of some of my favorite documentaries on Netflix.  So, without further delay, here are my top 5 favorites in no particular order.

  1. The King of Kong – In terms of a documentary, this one has everything. It has a villain (Billy Mitchell), someone to root for (Steve Wiebe) and plenty of crazy to go around (Twin Galaxies) in a riveting documentary following the pursuit of the world Donkey Kong record.  Any description of this documentary cannot do justice to how awesome it is!
    http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/The_King_of_Kong/70068647?trkid=496715
  2. Food Inc. – A must see documentary for anyone who eats food (most of us). This documentary provides an eye opening look into the processes and practices of how our food gets from the farm to the supermarket to the table.http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Food_Inc./70108783?trkid=496715 
  3. Anything by Morgan Spurlock – From Supersize Me to Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden, anything by Morgan Spurlock is tremendously entertaining and well worth your time.Where in the World is Osama Bin Ladenhttp://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Where_in_the_World_Is_Osama_Bin_Laden/70084234?trkid=496715

    (Editors Note: Apparently Netflix wants to crap on my point and only had one Morgan Spurlock movie available)
  4. Confessions of a Superhero – I love crazy and this documentary does not disappoint as director Matt Ogens takes a detailed look at some of the individuals who parade around Hollywood Boulevard dressed as superheroes or fictional characters and pose for pictures with tourists.http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Confessions_of_a_Superhero/70076092?trkid=496715
  5. Spirit of the Marathon – When I was training for my half marathon a few years ago, this documentary was really inspiring showing how marathons affect various individuals.  I think I may end up watching this one again in the future.http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Spirit_of_the_Marathon/70104240?trkid=496715

The Summer of My Content or Cutting the Cord

This post is about an experiment to cut cable. The main reason I cut cable was money. I make no uncertainties about that. Throughout the past few years, my bill has been steadily climbing. It started out under $100 for cable, internet and one DVR. Throughout the next few years it kept inching up to $102… then $108… then $116.

Usually, I would follow the pattern of getting an increase in my bill then calling Time Warner and mentioning to them that AT&T was in my neighborhood offering discounts. Time Warner would then try to move my bill down slightly above what it was, but close enough where I wouldn’t complain or switch companies.

After the last bill increase, I began to question why I’m exerting so many calories to give my business to Time Warner. Were they offering an exclusive service that I can’t get anywhere else? Shouldn’t they be working to keep me satisfied (perhaps an a la carte option). I’m sick of paying for Women’s Entertainment or Lifetime. Realistically, I watch the following cable channels:

• History (Pawn Stars, American Restoration)
• A&E (Intervention)
• ESPN
• ESPN2
• Discovery
• Animal Planet (Whale Wars)
• MLB Network
• Bravo (Whatever the Better Half wants)
• HGTV
• FX (It’s Always Sunny)
• Comedy Central (Southpark)
• AMC (Breaking Bad)

I’m sure there are others that I watch occasionally, but those are the majority of the channels I watch. After evaluating this, I asked myself the following question: Do I get $65 dollars a month or $780 dollars a year of value from those channels? The answer was a resounding ‘no’. I do enjoy watching television and I still would like to keep up with some of the shows I watch so I’m giving Hulu+ a 30 day trial. I hope to have an update on that in July.

While I had cable, I also subscribed to Netflix and Mlb.tv so I plan to increase my usage in those services on my Xbox 360 or Roku box. All-in-all, I’m calling this the Summer of My Content. After the first evening of no cable, I’m excited for the future.