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Point and Shoot (2014)

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10/10: Other reviews were so bad...
Sunday, July 19, 2015

Other reviews were so bad I had to write this Ostensibly, the film shows the self-documented experiences of Matthew VanDyck, an American who goes on a motorcycle adventure through the "Arab" countries of Africa and the Middle East and then finds himself fighting in a Libyan War as a rebel soldier. On a deeper level the film explores the personal growth of a man leading a sheltered, coddled, and lonely life with obsessive compulsive disorder that discovers the joys of friendship, understands the value of moral obligation to those friends, and experiences severely challenging and life-changing events from the rare perspective of an American fighting among Muslims.The general arc of the film is that VanDyck went to Africa and the Middle East because he was inspired to create an adventure documentary that would depict his transformation into a "real man" through travels on his motorcycle. The reality was that his transformation into a real man occurred through...

8/10: Point Out of My Mind...
Saturday, February 7, 2015

Point Out of My Mind Marshall Curry's Point and Shoot is a documentary detailing the story of Matthew VanDyke, a man from the states, who on a motorbike set out to find his own adventure and his own manhood. His journey took him through various places, such as Africa, Arab, Afghanistan, and eventually, what turns out to be what the bulk of the film, leads to his involvement with the Libyan revolution of 2011. Point and Shoot is a very well made documentary, about a very unusual character, Matthew VanDyke. Like most good documentaries, it works because the main character is fascinating to learn about. Matthew VanDyke suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and often washes his hands because he has an obsession with being clean. He also has a fear of really harming people. When we first meet him at the beginning of the film, he's talking about the equipment he brought on his journey. Afterwards, we...

6/10: "Crash course in manhood" "Point...
Saturday, December 13, 2014

"Crash course in manhood" "Point and Shoot" (2014 release; 83 min.) is a documentary about Matthew Vandyke, a 20-something guy who, having lived a sheltered life (only child of a well to do family), decides to do something about it and goes on a 3 year bike journey across much of Southern Europe and Northern Africa. Along the way he meets and befriends a guy from Libya, and the two develop a strong bond. At the end of 2010, Matt returns home to Baltimore, much to the relief of his girlfriend Lauren, who cannot believe how much Matt has matured (for the better). Then, just 2 months later, the Arab Spring explodes, including in Libya. Matt decides that he cannot stand idle so he returns to Libya to take up the fight alongside his friends against Omar Gaddafi. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see how it all plays out.Couple...

8/10: Narcissus' Pool is Now a...
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Narcissus' Pool is Now a Digital Camera "Point and shoot" can describe what you do with a camera in order to capture life. "Point and shoot" can also describe what you do with a weapon in order to take a life. These two concepts collide in filmmaker Marshall Curry's latest documentary, which just happens to be entitled "Point and Shoot".Curry's film consists mostly of footage shot by its subject, one Matt Van Dyke. Mr. Van Dyke is an excellent representative of the current generation and its incessant need to digitally record each and everything about their lives and then foist it upon the public to provide validation for their existence. Van Dyke, a sheltered (some would say spoiled) individual with mental health issues (he admits to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but this film leaves you with the feeling there may be a whole lot more at play) decides that he wants to undertake a "crash course in manhood...

4/10: Fantastic footage, but fails as...
Monday, December 1, 2014

Fantastic footage, but fails as a documentary This movie contains two different stories, jammed together in a tight 83-minute runtime. The one story, showing remarkable footage of the Libyan civil war, is an unusually privileged window into the Arab Spring.The other story, the story of Matt Van Dyke himself, is a tendentious and even tedious tale of a privileged American thrill-seeker.You can sum up Van Dyke's story in three sentences. A bored 27-year-old, with no job and few friends, decides to go on a motorcycle trip across the Middle East and record his adventures. Eventually he joins his new Libyan motorcycle buddies in their war against Qaddafi, although he doesn't accomplish very much other than getting thrown in prison. After he miraculously survives, Van Dyke takes his footage back to America and begins his new egotistical adventure: trying to become the man he always dreamed of being.The film is a mix...

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