Cinephile Files is my daily journal of every film, short film, TV episode, and web video I watched the previous day, along with my brief thoughts on each title that I watched. I love a wide variety of media including almost every genre, medium, and type of story including a lot of niche and lesser known content so expect the unexpected in these daily journals. If you enjoy these review journals and you are interested in watching a title I reviewed, buying or renting it via the included Amazon links is a great way to support this blog. It costs you nothing extra and a small portion of the proceeds goes to us to keep this blog running.
Have or know of a title you think I would enjoy watching (especially something similar to the titles I enjoyed today)? Feel free to leave a comment on this post or contact me. As I always have a lot of titles I’m planning on watching soon, I can’t guarantee it’s inclusion in these daily journals but as long as it intrigues me I will likely get around to reviewing it at some point (or will at least add it to my list of titles to get to eventually).
The Board Game Boom (2017 Short Documentary, Directed by Erin Dean, 10 Minutes):
As you may know, we here at Geeky Hobbies are a little addicted to board games (we’ve reviewed over 600 games on the blog as of this post’s publication date). You may also know that I am a huge fan of documentaries as well. The Board Game Boom is a combination of two of my favorite things, board games and documentaries. While there are a few board and card game documentaries here and there, most of them are about specific games (especially chess and poker) or the competitive scene. This one takes a (brief) look at the history of designer board games and, fitting for the title, why the board game industry is booming right now. The documentary includes interviews with board game YouTubers Tom Vasel (The Dice Tower) and Dan King (Game Boy Geek), as well as board game designers John Coveyou (Genius Games) and Jamey Stegmaier (Stonemaier Games).
Even though I already knew most of the information provided in The Board Game Boom (not surprising as I have been gaming for quite some time), I did still enjoy my time. None of the interview subjects get more than a clip or two in the documentary but they are all interesting to listen to. I also want to give some major props to the cinematography. Even though today’s board games look really good, this obviously isn’t the sexiest subject for a cinematographer to film. However, there are some pretty nice shots included in this short documentary. The video quality is very good other than the interviews with Tom Vasel and Dan King, which were clearly conducted online (but there’s nothing wrong with that other than it hurting the video quality a bit). The only real problem with The Board Game Boom is that it’s way too short. Obviously it wasn’t going to cover the entire history of gaming (even just designer board games) but ten minutes is too brief. However, The Board Game Boom is good for those looking to learn a bit about the board game industry (especially those who don’t have a lot of time to devote to the subject). It’s also solid for gamers who already know all of this stuff because the cinematography and interviews with people passionate about board games should inspire you to go play some more games.
Rating: 3.5/5 (Recommended)
Watch The Board Game Boom: YouTube
Who Is PlayerUnknown?: Noclip Profiles (2017 Short Documentary, Directed by Danny O’Dwyer, 32 Minutes):
I’m going to start this mini-review off with a disclaimer, I have never played PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and I don’t have any plans to ever try it. The concept of a battle royale game is great but other than Rocket League, I’m not really a big fan of multiplayer online games. Even though I have no interest in the game itself, I love video game documentaries and the ones that Noclip produces are always very solid. Who Is PlayerUnknown? is part of the Noclip Profiles series, which instead of focusing on specific games like most documentaries on the channel, are more about the people who create them. In this case, Danny O’Dwyer sits down with PlayerUnknown, known in real-life as Brendan Greene. The documentary tells Greene’s story, particularly his quick rise from DayZ modder to best-selling game developer. The interview also goes a bit into the games PlayerUnknown loved as he was growing up (especially America’s Army and DayZ) and how they would inspire Battlgrounds. In the manner of just a few short years, PlayerUnknown went from unemployed to creative director on his own game which wound up making a million dollars in five or six hours and sold a million copies in just 16 days.
While I never plan on playing this game, PlayerUnknown’s story is pretty interesting and certainly very inspiring. There aren’t a lot of game devs out there that go from modder to millionaire and especially in such a short time frame. I will say that this documentary is not quite as interesting as the previous Noclip Profile on John Romero but that isn’t particularly surprising as Romero’s game development career is much longer than Greene’s (and thus there was a lot more to talk about). However, it’s certainly still worth watching especially if you love PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Rating: 3/5 (Average)
Watch Who Is PlayerUnknown?: Noclip Profiles: YouTube
Breathe (2017 Film, Directed by Andy Serkis, 118 Minutes):
As you will probably learn quickly if you keep reading this post series, one type of film that I am a huge fan of is the inspirational film. I just love films about people overcoming long odds or deciding to go out and live life to the fullest. I am a huge sucker for those kinds of films and many of them (The Bucket List, Yes Man, and Amelie) are among my favorite films of all-time. I decided to watch Breathe thinking it would be similar to The Bucket List. However, outside of the main character having a life-threatening medical condition, Breathe ended up not having much in common with The Bucket List but I still wound up loving it anyway.
Breathe is a film based on the true story of Robin Cavendish and his family. Robin (Andrew Garfield) was paralyzed by polio in the ’50s when he was just 28 years old. He is stuck in the hospital which makes him long for his death until his wife Diana (Claire Foy) and inventor Teddy (Hugh Bonneville) help him get out of the hospital and live a much fuller life. Thanks to Teddy’s inventions, he thrives at home and even gets to travel the world and eventually becomes an advocate for the disabled.
Based on the concept of the film, you would think this would be a very sad film. However, outside of the first thirty minutes or so (which is also conveniently the least interesting portion of the film) and of course the end, Breathe is actually more of an inspirational film that instead of making you cry, will put a smile on your face. That’s because the film mainly focuses on the positive things Robin was able to do with his life. Some critics complained that Breathe didn’t show Robin’s struggles and pain more. I completely disagree with them and am very glad that they decided to go with a more heartwarming approach to his story. Maybe it’s because I’m a glass half full kind of guy but I would prefer to focus on the positives than seeing a person suffer in misery. Breathe does a great job of that and once I got past the downer that was the first third or so of the film, I pretty much had a permanent smile attached to my face. This is also the type of film that makes you want to change the world for the better, just like Robin did. Most of my smiles came from seeing Robin enjoying life as best as he could but Breathe is also a bit funnier and more lighthearted than I thought it would be. There are plenty of little things to laugh at sprinkled throughout the film.
Breathe is a true-to-life story and unlike a lot of based on a true story films, it seems like it was very factual. This isn’t very surprising since Robin’s real-life son was a producer on the film (and was the one to commission the script). The film even includes home videos of the actual Cavendish family at the end and the footage looks very similar to some of the scenes in the film. I really only have one negative to write about with Breathe. The only minor problem is that the film is a bit long (by about 10-15 minutes). The film is almost two hours long and there are a few scenes that could have been cut to knock the run time down to a hundred minutes or so. Other than that, everything else is positive. The two main actors are wonderful in their roles. While there isn’t a lot of travel footage, there are some gorgeous scenes as well.
Overall, Breathe wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but I wound up loving it anyway. It is a powerful, inspirational story that I’m pretty sure I’m going to be thinking about for awhile.
Rating: 4/5 (Highly Recommended)
- Watch Time: 2:40
- Total Titles Watched: 3
- Films Watched: 1
- Short Films Watched: 2
- TV Episodes Watched: 0
- Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched: 0
- Total Stars: 10.5
- Average Rating of Titles: 3.5
- April 2018 Watch Time: 0:02:40 (+02:40)
- April 2018 Total Titles Watched: 3 (+3)
- April 2018 Films Watched: 1 (+1)
- April 2018 Short Films Watched: 2 (+2)
- April 2018 TV Episodes Watched: 0 (+0)
- April 2018 TV Seasons Completed: 0 (+0)
- April 2018 Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched: 0 (+0)
- April 2018 Total Stars: 10.5 (+10.5)
- April 2018 Average Rating of Titles: 3.5 (+0.00)
- 2018 Watch Time: 0:02:40 (+02:40)
- 2018 Total Titles Watched: 3 (+3)
- 2018 Films Watched: 1 (+1)
- 2018 Short Films Watched: 2 (+2)
- 2018 TV Episodes Watched: 0 (+0)
- 2018 TV Seasons Completed: 0 (+0)
- 2018 Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched: 0 (+0)
- 2018 Total Stars: 10.5 (+10.5)
- 2018 Average Rating of Titles: 3.5 (+0.00)
- Total Days Recorded: 1 (Logging started on April 6, 2018)
- Total Posts in This Series: 1
- Total Watch Time: 0:02:40 (+02:40)
- Average Watch Time Per Day: 02:40 (+00:00)
- Total Titles Watched: 3 (+3)
- Average Titles Watched Per Day: 3 (+0.00)
- Total Films Watched: 1 (+1)
- Average Films Watched Per Day: 1 (+0.00)
- Total Short Films Watched: 2 (+2)
- Average Short Films Watched Per Day: 2 (+0.00)
- Total TV Episodes Watched: 0 (+0)
- Average TV Episodes Watched Per Day: 0 (+0.00)
- Total Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched: 0 (+0)
- Average Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched Per Day: 0 (+0.00)
- Total Stars: 10.5 (+10.5)
- Total Average Rating of Titles: 3.5 (+0.00)
- Highest Watch Time in a Day: 02:40 (April 6, 2018)
- Most Total Titles Watched in a Day: 3 (April 6, 2018)
- Most Films Watched in a Day: 1 (April 6, 2018)
- Most Short Films Watched in a Day: 2 (April 6, 2018)
- Most TV Episodes Watched in a Day: 0 (TBA)
- Most Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched in a Day: 0 (TBA)
- Most Total Stars Given Out in a Day: 10.5 (April 6, 2018)
- Highest Average Rating in a Day (Minimum of 3+ Titles): 3.5 (April 6, 2018)
- Lowest Average Rating in a Day (Minimum of 3+ Titles): 3.5 (April 6, 2018)
- Highest Watch Time in a Month: 0:02:40 (April 2018)
- Most Total Titles Watched in a Month: 3 (April 2018)
- Most Films Watched in a Month: 1 (April 2018)
- Most Short Films Watched in a Month: 2 (April 2018)
- Most TV Episodes Watched in a Month: 0 (TBA)
- Most TV Seasons Completed in a Month: 0 (TBA)
- Most Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched in a Month: 0 (TBA)
- Most Total Stars Given Out in a Month: 10.5 (April 2018)
- Highest Average Rating in a Month: 3.5 (April 2018)
- Lowest Average Rating in a Month: 3.5 (April 2018)
- Highest Watch Time in a Year: 0:02:40 (2018)
- Most Total Titles Watched in a Year: 3 (2018)
- Most Films Watched in a Year: 1 (2018)
- Most Short Films Watched in a Year: 2 (2018)
- Most TV Episodes Watched in a Year: 0 (2018)
- Most TV Seasons Completed in a Year: 0 (2018)
- Most Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched in a Year: 0 (2018)
- Most Total Stars Given Out in a Year: 10.5 (2018)
- Longest Film Ever Watched: Breathe (2017) (1:58, April 6, 2018)
- Longest TV Episode Ever Watched: TBA “TBA” (00:00, TBA)