My 3 Monsters: Something to Do for New Yea'rs Eve:Favorite Netflix Documentaries

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Something to Do for New Yea'rs Eve:
Favorite Netflix Documentaries

It's New Year's eve, and from the looks of things on Pinterest, everyone in the world is going to be partying down tonight with sparkly clothes, delicious food and games galore.  I plan to ring in the New Year tonight {and most of the day tomorrow while my husband and boys watch football and play NBA on the PS3} by watching a marathon of documentaries.  I know they're not for everybody, but I love documentaries more than any other film genre.  Something about listening to people talk about themselves is very soothing to me.  Is that weird?  I can't possibly be the ONLY ONE who loves a good documentary . . . or ten. Whether you're already a fan like me, or you just want to give one a try, here are several of my favorites {for any mood you might be in} I've watched on Netflix this year.

If you need a wake-up call about your health:


Synopsis:  "Focusing on two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, this documentary chronicles the rigorous healing path -- including a two-month diet of fruits and vegetables -- that both attempt in a bid to rescue their health."

This is the reason we got a juicer for Christmas and will be drinking green drinks every single day!!

If you need a wake-up call about finances:

Synopsis: "With sobering facts, this thought-provoking documentary unveils the consequences of Americans' collective addiction to plastic debt -- including its contribution to the vanishing of a once-robust middle class. Investigating personal debt, the U.S. government's out-of-control national debt and those who prey on the poor, this film explores the staggering financial burden people live with every day, which has driven some to extreme action."

If you wanted to be a ballerina when you were a kid:

Synopsis:  "Follow dancers training for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world's most prestigious ballet competitions. The stakes are high: their performances will determine the success or failure of their dreams."

If you loved the TV show Fame:

Synopsis:  "This coming-of-age chronicle captures a year in the life of students at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, also known as "Fame High" -- the alma mater of well-known alums like Josh Groban, Corbin Bleu, Anthony Anderson and Jenna Elfman."

If you want to restore your faith in humanity:

Synopsis:  "Setting out to explore whether America still has a sense of community where people help each other through hard times, 29-year-old Joseph Garner spends a month depending on the goodness of Craigslist posters for his survival."

If you think your life is hard and you need some perspective:

Synopsis:  "Happy takes viewers on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real-life stories and scientific interviews, the film explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion."

Favorite quote from the movie:  "I like to think of my life as a loan from God that I will pay back with interest."  Mmmmmm.  Good stuff!

If you want to teach your children compassion and/or don't mind having a good cry:

Synopsis:  "Exploring the subject of school bullying from a personal angle, this eye-opening documentary tracks the stories of five different families whose children are struggling to defend themselves on a near-daily basis."

Hard to watch, especially when your baby is having a hard time in school, but so necessary.

If you want to see life from a different viewpoint: 

Synopsis:  "Documentarian Alexandra Codina explores the nuances of love and commitment in this cinematic portrait of a soon-to-be married couple with Down syndrome, and the proud but protective mothers who have long shielded them from life's cruel realities."

I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!  All couples should be as purely and innocently in love as these two are!

If you have ever run {or think you would like to run} a long distance race:

Synopsis:  "Filmmaker John Dunham follows six runners from vastly different backgrounds as they train for the Chicago Marathon, exploring the history of marathons and the appeal of such an arduous challenge."

If you want to see how "the other half" live {for better or worse}:

Synopsis:  "Meet the Siegels, glitterati who made a fortune in the time-share business, only to see it crumble in the 2008 financial collapse. The site of their rise and almost-fall is their home (America's largest), a gaudy replica of the Palace of Versailles."

Spoiler alert:  Things are not necessarily better or easier for people who have a lot.  I wouldn't trade lives with that woman for all the tea in China!

If you're fascinated by killer whales and/or need a reason to not go to Sea World: 

Synopsis:  "This fascinating documentary examines the life of performing killer whale Tilikum -- who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity -- and questions the safety and humaneness of confining these intelligent creatures."

I know this was pretty one-sided, but I was SHOCKED by the misinformation Sea World has taught their trainers and tour guides to share with the public about these creatures, and how an Orca that has killed THREE people is still being used in shows.  SHOCKED!!  

If you have ever wanted to meet people who share your name:

Synopsis:  "In this humorous and touching documentary, award-winning independent filmmaker Alan Berliner tracks the lives of several other men who share his name and deftly explores the relationship between one's moniker and the way it shapes identity."

There was another Amy {no middle name} Hughes at BYU when I was going there.  I always wished I had the courage to give her a call and meet up.

If you want to watch adorable Chinese children experience democracy for the first time: 

Synopsis:  "Though China's government is Communist, the third grade election for the prestigious position of Class Monitor at the Evergreen Primary School in Wuhan is being decided by a democratic vote. In this enlightening documentary, filmmaker Weijun Chen captures all the action as the three candidates -- two boys and a girl -- go all out to win: performing in a talent show, debating each other and delivering speeches to their classmates."
 If you just want to be entertained and you like Jason Bateman: 

Synopsis:  "This raucous but thoughtful documentary examines what defines masculinity in our modern culture of male grooming products and suave celebrities."

Never knew what "bat wing" was until I watched this.  Will be buying my husband a case of Fresh Balls at my earliest convenience.  Sick!

If you just want to be entertained and you like senior citizens doing hip hop: 

Synopsis:  "Dori Berinstein's inspiring documentary chronicles the adventures of the first-ever senior citizen hip-hop dance team for the New Jersey Nets basketball team, from auditions to center-court stardom."

If you just want to be entertained and you like ventriloquism:

Synopsis:  "What may seem to be an obsolete art -- stage ventriloquism -- is found to be alive and well in the United States in this affectionately wacky documentary that follows five ventriloquists, starting with their annual gathering at Kentucky's Vent Haven."

These last three are a few of my favorite documentaries of all time, but they're not available on Netflix at this time.  They are, however, all available to stream from Amazon last time I checked.
If you just want to be entertained and you like synchronized swimming:

Synopsis:  "A humorous and poignant film about a group of middle-aged men who find unlikely success as members of Sweden's all-male synchronized swim team."

If you just want to be entertained and you like crossword puzzles:

Synopsis:  "Witness the inner workings of Will Shortz, NY Times Editor and NPR Puzzle Master, and his brilliant, entertaining and often hilarious contributors as well as surprising celebrity fans. Wordplay takes us through the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament where almost five hundred competitors battled it out for the title "Crossword Champ"."

Brent and I spent every evening doing the NY Times crossword puzzle while we were dating so this was right up our alley!

If you just want to be entertained and you like video games and/or underdogs:

Synopsis:  "A humble novice goes head-to-head against the reigning Donkey Kong champ in a confrontation that rocks the gaming world to its processors!"

You will want to kick Billy Mitchell in the teeth by the time this is over.  Does he not know what a dork he is? Really?!

There you have it!  If you have a favorite documentary, share it in the comments.  I am always looking for a new one to watch.  What will you be doing to ring in the New Year tonight?  Whatever it is, I hope that you are safe and happy that 2014 brings us all a lot of luck and happiness.  

Happy New Year, friends!!

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