As If Life Isn’t Challenging Enough

by Paul Astin | Dec 14, 2016

Unbranded (2015)
With some Kickstarter funds, four young men from Texas train 16 wild mustangs and take them on the Lonesome Dove journey of 3000 miles from Mexico to Canada. Their parents think they’re crazy, but are willing to support the adventure. Wired for sound and with one cameraman along for the ride, we have the opportunity to see parts of Arizona, Utah, Wyoming and Montana that are never seen from the freeway and hear the ups and downs of life on the trail, bad food, loose horses, and arguments over directions.  
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WinningWinning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman (2015)
Being a movie star just wasn’t enough for Paul Newman. At the age of forty-seven, he began a racing career that would last thirty-five years. It wasn’t a hobby. His commitment to learning car racing from the ground-up was so intense, that it almost ended his movie career. For a young man, race car driving is a dangerous business. No one expected the actor to win four national championships as a driver and finish his acting career in the Pixar movie Cars as a Hudson.
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TracksTracks (2014)
After seeing this film based on the true story of Robyn Davidson, one is left wondering, why? Robyn’s dream was to train four feral wild camels and take them across the Australian Desert, a 2000 mile trek. In order to finance the trip she contacts the National Geographic Society. They respond by sending Rick Smolan, a photographer to document her progress and provide some financial support. Anyone with a Man from Snowy River view of Australia needs to watch this film. Be sure to watch the extra features. The DVD includes interviews with Robyn and Rick and provides some insight into how people manage to live in such a hostile environment.
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Tim’s Vermeer (2014)
Tim Jenison spent a lot of time wondering how art technique changed, especially the work of Vermeer. It is so photo-realistic. Tim commits his money, energy and ten years of his life to creating an exact replica of one of Vermeer’s paintings. It’s not just about art, it’s also about science and history.
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Knuckleball (2013)
Baseball has its fast pitches and curve balls, but the knuckleball is the most difficult pitch to master. The documentary follows the 2011 season of R.A. Dickey (New York Mets) and Tim Wakefield (Boston Red Sox). They are the only two national baseball pitchers that have the knuckleball in their repertoire. There are only five retired pitchers alive who were knuckleballers. Making it to the big leagues is almost impossible, so what is making it to the big leagues and throwing a knuckleball?
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