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VINE VOICEon January 20, 2013
I didn't particularly have much sympathy for celebrities chased by photographers before watching this - after all, they chase fame, get paid millions and then whine about being recognized in public. But the documentary clearly shows the much darker side of celebrity worship, and how they are literally hounded every hour of the day in a way that simply breaks any measure of privacy, civility or reasonableness.

Thousands of photographers are simply feeding an online library of celebrities looking happy, sad, drunk, angry and crazy, and these images are then resorted by media outlets to tell a soap opera version of their lives. Between the editing and Photoshop work, it's pretty clear that what is being sold as reality is just simply another fictional story running rampantly out of control.

There are some excellent interviews with high profile figures and an interesting backstory into the original paparazzi. There's also some viewpoints from PR and media analysts and various media professors that ultimately leave you with an odd, sick sense that this is really the bottom of so-called journalism and surely it just can't get any worse. But when CNN is racing to quote TMZ, can it really recover?

The documentary doesn't try to sympathize with celebrities or blame anyone in particular but rather explain the strange cycle that has developed between producers and consumers where they have to eat each other's tails to survive. It's very revealing and certainly makes you want to never even glance at a tabloid the next time you're waiting at the supermarket.
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on December 19, 2013
This should be mandatory viewing. We consumers contribute to the money mill and suffering caused by the massive invasion of privacy for those entertainment stars. Yes, a lot of the circus act is a carefully planned conundrum of appearances and need for self-promotion, but just as much of it is the greediness and harassment of the photographers, magazines and tabloid news websites. Due to language I would not recommend this for younger children, yet this could be a valuable tool for our young people to understand what really happens in this industry.
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on June 19, 2014
This is the best film I have seen in a long time. It opens a world up to the viewer that previously they weren't privy to. As many reviews have said, it is a well done film by a director who knows what he's doing.

The reason the reviews aren't better for this film is because this world is not pretty; it shines a light on the misbehavior of us the consumer. We are partially to blame for this part of our society. When a person is criticized (in this case us the consumer - of course we don't shoulder the entire blame but definitely some blame), usually their reaction is defensive. These reviews are defensive. But I challenge the viewer to set their ego aside, and see their part in this situation. And what a sad situation it is.

If you were in the background of a movie, you would expect the movie to ask whether or not they could use your image in the movie. Try to image a situation whether the director not only did not ask your permission, but you were also fiercely picking your nose. Then, the film comes out and there is an arrow pointed at you saying your name and address. That's an invasion of privacy ... you were just out on your lunch break minding your own business. Paparazzi invade the privacy of people constantly .. even to the point of causing accidents and in the case of Princess Diana - killing other people.

Next time you pick up your US Weekly, don't. Perhaps, write to the magazine and voice your concern. One person can make a difference because if you contact them, then your neighbor might too.
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on January 21, 2013
Highly reccomend! An excellent look at life in the bubble and the complete intrustion of privacy that consumers disregard each time they buy a tabloid....yet with the full knowledge that it is the price to pay for fame.
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on August 15, 2013
This documentary offered a twist from the perspective the general public has about celebrities and media madness. Several of the commentators were very thorough and clear in their explanation, no mumbo jumbo. Overall, it offered an interesting perspective and gives you a reason NOT to buy those awful magazines st the check out lines. Interesting documentary, but not riveting or life changing.
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on June 7, 2015
I agree there should be laws against the paparazzi getting to code with out permission, especially when it comes to children.respect ones privacy. The public should also be more aware of how much this is an invasion of privacy. I know I wouldn't like walking down the road, feeling like a deer in head lights. The poor children that have to go through that and bag for them to stop......
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on December 27, 2013
On the plus side, this is a very tightly and professionally put together film. It's well edited, reasonably well structured, and contains a lot of footage from Hollywood A-listers (and some I would consider B-listers) telling their stories and giving their perspectives. Another plus is that the paparazzi too are given a chance to tell their side of the story.

But on the down side, unless you've been living under a rock for the last 15 years or so, it contains little if anything that you won't have heard before. And yes, I really do mean many, many times before.

Paparazzi, high price of fame, invasion of privacy, telephoto lenses, people's homes, Princess Dianna, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, it didn't used to be like this back when the studios ran things, sometimes the celebs or their agents set these things up themselves, the people buying the gossip mags or visiting the gossip websites bear ultimate responsibility...

Won't somebody please think of the children...

You know the drill.

I originally titled this review "Nothing You Haven't Heard Many, Many Times Before". But then I realized that wasn't entirely true. It did tell the story of how back when the studios ran things, one magazine got info on Rock Hudson's homosexuality. It then went to his studio and basically said "give us something better or we'll run this". The studio then offered up another, far less prominent (and less profitable) homosexual actor on a platter, who was subsequently outed in the magazine and had his career ruined. Why the magazine went with this instead of doing the Rock Hudson piece isn't entirely clear, but anyway, that's the story. It takes up about a minute of screen time, and is literally the only thing in this film you might not have heard about before.

As for the rest... It's not that I really disagree with anything this film has to say. It's just that like I keep saying, we've heard it all SO many times before.

Given the almost total absence anything we're not all already completely familiar with (if not to say positively drenched in), I'd have to describe this work as what William Gibson prophetically called a "meta-tabloid" in his novel Virtual Light, published way back in 1994.

Great book, by the way. Time spent reading that would be far better used than the time it takes to watch this.

Theo.
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on August 5, 2013
BUT, it tells it's story well, it is just quite dated and perhaps I did not realize that whe I rented it, as I remember wanted to watch it last year and had not noticed it before that. I suppose I am not as up to dae as I thought I was, or I would have noticed that some of the interviews were years old. Although, still effective!
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on August 2, 2013
This movie documentary is flat out great! No one wants to believe they contribute to the hysteria of a celebrity. For Parents, this is a must educational movie to let their kids know how the media brain washed them. If everyone saw this movie, maybe just maybe we all would think twice about buying any tabloid.
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on November 1, 2015
I don't feel sorry for these celebs. I'm guessing that the goal here was to create empathy for extremely wealthy jerks that pursued this lifestyle to begin with. Get over it, if you hate it so much than change careers and move to Ohio. There are are plenty more needy egomaniacs willing to take your place.
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