4/10 In honor of the recent release of the underrated “Blonde”, it made sense to take a look at this Netflix original documentary which unearths some unheard tapes from years ago with Monroe’s inner circle. The biggest problem with the entire documentary is that it barely reveals any new information that we didn’t already know. Someone as famous (and infamous) as Monroe has had countless books, essays, films, documentaries, TV shows, etc. made about examining every aspect of her life. It wasn’t until the very end of this movie that I actually learned something I didn’t already know. There were some shady elements involving Monroe’s death at age 36, but that was due to her close involvement with both Robert and John F. Kennedy and therefore, the FBI’s involvement. Monroe’s death, despite an investigation reopening 20 years after the fact, still found the same results that Monroe killed herself either accidentally or purposely with an overdose of sleeping pills. Another problem is that director Emma Cooper has actors doing re-enactments via lip synching of the material on these tapes and it doesn’t entirely work. They hold phones up to block their mouths as a way of doing less lip syncing and it would have been far more impressive if they did more lip syncing and matched up the timing of their mouths to the recordings. It seems like it would have been more effective to not even have actors lip sync if you are going to obscure their mouths for most of the time and instead could have shown more archival footage. The documentary seems more like an excuse to ride the recent wave of Monroe related content coming out (how long before the MCU means the Monroe Cinematic Universe?) as this came out only five months apart from “Blonde”. The lack of new reveals ensures that this didn’t really need to get made and if so, would have been much better suited as a podcast, not a documentary. As for what worked, the movie comes in at just over an hour and a half, so the pacing works well and doesn’t take up too much of your time. If you are someone who is obsessed with the life of Monroe, I am sure you will find moments worth appreciating. There is some solid archival footage and as I stated earlier, the ending does have a couple of reveals regarding information concerning her death that I was unaware of before viewing this. I wasn’t even aware that they reopened an investigation into her death, although I believe LA’s resources would have been better used on every day citizens as opposed to a famous celebrity who had been dead for decades. Despite some strong aspects, I’d recommend watching “Blonde” over this unless you wanted to do a back to back double feature, in which case you should start with this movie so you can end on a high note with something like “Blonde” or even “My Week with Marilyn”.

#MusicByTheDeadKennedys / #ParaNormaActivity / #WilderTimes / #RevoltinJoe / #HowToBuryAMillionaire / #DontBotherToGawk

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