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Grizzly Man

Werner Herzog's 2005 documentary about the life and death of Timothy Treadwell.

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Timothy Treadwell = Tragedy waiting to happen

  • Jun 1, 2006
  • by
Rating:
+1
Pros: Beautiful Alaskan Frontier, bizzare and unforgettable story line

Cons: amateur filming, disturbing

The Bottom Line: Interesting but troubled account of Timothy Treadwell and his sad but predictable demise.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

What a sad documentary this was. Of course, knowing what happened to Tim and his "grizzly" death makes this film hard to watch. His repeated folly shows remarkable foolishness and the only real question is how he survived so long.

To back track, Grizzly Man is a modest documentary of a documentary in the making of an amateur grizzly bear enthusiast named Timothy Treadwell. Tim believes that he is "saving" the bears by filming them. That claim is hard to swallow as Tim and the bears are in an Alaskan State Park, protected from harm. Tim also repeatedly states that he can't handle the real world and only in the wild does he feel like he belongs. He longs for the "harmony" of the wild.

It is obvious that Tim has mental problems and confessed to being an alcoholic, drug addict, homeless and a drifter before he became fixated on bears.

A would be actor, it appears that he invents his own show which is a cross between Mister Rogers neighborhood and the Alaskan Wilderness focusing on massive grizzly bears. An improbable and bizarre combination.

Financed by donations, Tim makes repeated trip to the Alaskan wilderness with camera equipment and films his "shows". These are the meat of the documentary and provide the thrust of the movie. Of the over hundred hours of film, the director cuts it to 103 minutes.

Tim is childish, foolish and just plain crazy as he frolics with the bears and preens for his audience. Treadwell uses the most basic of equipment such as a camera. No mikes, no lights, no settings, no script, no cast members except for the bears. Most of the screen shots are of the camera mounted and Timothy reciting his thoughts in a stream of consciousness fashion. He is aware of the camera and will often retake his lines and/or play with his hair. Several of the least effective moments are when Timothy is holding the camera and runs after bears or foxes which makes for a very jerky and unwatchable sequence. This ultra low budget film is a unfinished work.

Director and voice of the movie is Werner Herzog who sounds very similar to Arnold Schwarznegger. Herzog tries to paint Treadwell as a sympathetic child like character but I simply did not agree with his analysis.

Mildly enjoyable, very unusual, but made me cringe just waiting for the predictable and sad end.

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More Grizzly Man reviews
review by . February 21, 2010
Grizzly Man - yes the title of the movie is exactly what it is about - a man who went to live with grizzly bears each summer: living among them, talking to them, and starting to believe he was one of them.      Only in death did he learn that he was still human, and no match for a hungry bear desperate for food in advance of hibernation.      I found the story to be quite controversial - was the protagonist, Timothy Treadwell, a hero for "protecting" …
review by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Fascinating documentary
 For thirteen summers, Timothy Treadwell lived among the wild grizzly bears of Alaska. An untrained but fervent bear-lover, he took his videos and message of bear preservation to schools during his off-season. This documentary alternates Treadwell's footage with interviews of his friends, family, and co-workers.      The result is a portrait of a man with a childlike enthusiasm and certainty that he could live with the bears as one of them. He also comes across as a …
Quick Tip by . February 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Intriguing documentary by Werner Herzog about a man whose fascination with grizzly bears borders on psycotic and leads to tragedy
Quick Tip by . February 23, 2010
This documentary is a riveting portrait of an outdoorsman who pushed the boundaries too far with tragic results. Intense and captivating.
review by . August 14, 2008
Pros: interesting study     Cons: ..     The Bottom Line: “They call me Grizzly Bear they say I'm kooky and square   They can say anything they want about me I don't care I don't care”   ~ Shel Silverstein           This movie reminded me a lot of Into The Wild; perhaps because they were both based in Alaska and both dealt with solitary humans seeking to breech the gap between civilization and wilderness. …
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A working professional, partner and mother.      I am a tech gadget loving person who enjoys saving time and money in my daily life.      I review computer products, … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Grizzly Man is a 2005 American documentary film by German director Werner Herzog. It chronicles the life and death of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. The film consists of Treadwell's own footage of his interactions with grizzly bears before he and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by a bear in 2003, and of interviews with people who knew or were involved with Treadwell. The footage he shot was later found, and the final film was co-produced by Discovery Docs, the Discovery Channel's theatrical documentary unit, and Lions Gate Entertainment. The film's soundtrack is by British singer songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson.
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Details

Director: Werner Herzog
Genre: Documentary, Biographical Films
Release Date: August 12, 2005
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Werner Herzog
Runtime: 1hr 40min
Studio: Lions Gate Films, Discovery Docs
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