Tag Archives: Up for Grabs

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.

kingof kong

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 – February Recommendations

I haven’t posted an update in a while, but I’m still living without Cable Television. My grand experiment continues to go better than I ever could have hoped. Since I left Time Warner in July, I anticipate I’ve saved close to $400 (minimum savings of $55 a month).

Periodically on this blog, I post an update with how I’m doing without cable, so… without any further delay, here is what’s keeping me busy lately….

Work

Traditionally, December and January are supposed to be slow months in information technology as budgets run out in early December, then take a few weeks to trickle down in January. This was definitely not the case for me. If my project was going to succeed, my portion would need to be completed in early February. This meant an aggressive timetable of November, December and January. My project team did an amazing job and we finished a calendar week ahead of our estimates. This meant a lot of working from home in the evenings so it was probably a good thing I had one less thing to distract me.

Xbox

Game companies try to release their marquee games in the 4th Quarter of the year so they can maximize sales over the Holiday season. This year was no exception…. combine the amazing games with my Amazon addition, I was able to get some great deals on some great games. The games that I play the most are:

Borderlands 2 – This game is so fun it could get its own entry in the future.

NBA2k13 – This has quietly become the gold standard in sports video games. I attribute that mostly due to Electronic Arts having an exclusive licensing agreement with the NFL so they are the only company who can release a professional football game…. ever since they signed that agreement, the Madden series has gone so far downhill, I don’t even bother with it anymore.

XCom Enemy Unknown – I had reservations about this game, but I was able to buy it as part of an Amazon Gold Box deal. It is made by the same studio that created the Civilization series (The greatest games ever created) so I felt cautiously optimistic. After playing for a while, I highly recommend this game. It’s a fun and challenging turn-based strategy game. I’m looking forward to trying to beat the game on harder difficulties in the future.

Netflix

As in the past, I’m using Netflix as my cable replacement. Below are some recommendations.

Archer – This cartoon is simply awesome and the cast is amazing. I’ve always loved Aisha Tyler and I’m a huge Jessica Walter fan from Arrested Development. As an added bonus, the show even has the actor who played Dr. Spaceman on 30 Rock (Chris Parnell).

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Archer/70171942?locale=en-US

Arrested Development – Without question, the greatest show ever. I am on a continuous loop of watching the entire series and each time I watch, I always pick up on something I never noticed before. I’m thankful that Netflix has renewed the series and I’m more thankful they are releasing all episodes at one time on a Saturday. If it were on a weekday, I’m pretty sure there would be a vacation day from work being used.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Arrested_Development/70140358?trkid=2361637

Ballplayer: Pelotero – A fascinating look at the signing process and the entire baseball machine in the Dominican Republic. If you are a baseball fan, I highly recommend.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Ballplayer_Pelotero/70246406?trkid=2361637

Up For Grabs – Admittedly, I’ve had this movie in my queue forever. I was intrigued, but not enough to watch. It is a documentary about what happened to Barry Bonds 73rd home run ball. After watching, this documentary was both appealing and scary because of how horrible people are. Similar to the 30 for 30 on Steve Bartman, this documentary will keep the watcher riveted for the entire 88 minutes.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Up_for_Grabs/70028941?trkid=2361637

Other things that keep me busy and probably should be listed in more detail…. Running, The Ricky Gervais Show (Thanks HBO App on XBOX), OSU Basketball (Thanks BTN App and ESPN App), Pandora, and finally, Weimaraner stuff.

If you have any recommendations or want to weigh in on anything from above, please feel free to drop a note in the comments section.