Right… Okay, here’s the OP Part II… (with hindsight, kicking off a thread without immediate comment was a classic noob boob – apologies, I’ll still getting into the ATS swing!)
My verdict, then…
For anybody with the luxury of not having read the 2005 book by Colm Kelleher and Goerge Knapp, and with NO expectations or preconceived notions whatsoever, then Corbell’s film will have them hooked almost immediately. It’s as accomplished a documentary of the ranch as could be hoped for, if using the book as a focal point. 9/10, no question. Bravo to all concerned.
For anybody who is a die-hard veteran of the topic ever since Bigelow purchased the ranch in 1996, or who has been grinding their teeth, sweating in anticipation of unseen footage and some form of ‘smoking gun’, their hearts will have flumped by the halfway mark (about an hour in), the realisation kicking in that this is basically a history lesson rather than drawing back the curtain to reveal an alleged Trickster’s fresh bag of tricks. No footage since 2004/2005 is unveiled, and no meat is added to the bones of NIDS’ original video footage which, aside from dead cattle, comprises what is already available for free in the trailer. For expectant veterans, then, 5/10 or much lower dependent on a frustration levels, even if they can easily respect the film-making PROCESS.
Personally, yeah, on the one hand I’ll go with 5/10 for foolishly over-hyping myself (I’m still learning, remember?) and a big fat 9/10 as ‘Art’ – ie another worthy addition to Corbell’s impressive, somewhat unique library of HS work, even if there are no goldfish tanks in this one (which I once assumed was a visual metaphor for “Woah, this guy’s wayyy out there!”‘)
All the major events experienced by the Shermans and NIDS are touched upon, mainly via a documentary within a documentary as we are treated to the undisclosed one that Knapp worked on over 15 years ago – a few scenes of which have been seen online during Knapp’s various ufologist ‘dinner’ presentations since 2005. Corbell splits Knapp’s film into various segments that permeate the main feature, Corbell’s own sections mainly focusing on new, rather elongated witness testimonies that soon chipped away at my patience, but that’s likely a symptom of my excess expectations. But boy, do some go onnnnn and onnnnn as clock-watching began to creep in.
I giggled loudly at a couple of points. First, George describing a photo of a bull still looking “surly” after being released from a trailer it had magically been squeezed into with others. Do bulls look anything other than surly? Secondly, the way in which the ranch’s new owner is introduced – deep electronic voice included – almost casts him as a villainous refugee from an Austin Powers movie. He knows his HS stuff, though, I’ll give him that, and he confirms that scientific surveillance is ongoing, even if we’re seeing diddly-squat in terms of results.
The most hair-pulling moment was the inclusion of the two buildings materialising on CCTV – George confirms NIDS thought them reminiscent of 9/11… and… and… annnnnnnnnnd…. and NOTHING. No follow-up analysis. Zip. Nada. We’re left dangling after a few seconds of already-available footage that we’ve previously muttered about on ATS, Perhaps Corbell and Knapp’s AMA here will shed some light.
As for Springer, the lad done well. 10/10. He said his campfire piece with confidence and passion. And a decent plug for the site!