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My Date with Drew (2004)
Charming and entertaining
Brian Herzlinger's quest for a date with childhood crush Drew Barrymore is, appropriately enough, a great date movie. It's funny, inspiring and very sweet. The fact that this was shot on a miniscule budget is part of its charm, but it doesn't play as cheaply made. In fact, it's more polished and fast-paced than many other modern documentaries. And Herzlinger is a winning presence. He knows how outrageous his mission is, but he attacks it with an admirable can-do zeal. This movie will have special resonance with movie geeks, especially those who grew up around the same time as Herzlinger. But dreamers from all walks of life are certain to enjoy it. You'll understand why it's won audience-favorite awards at film festivals. Highly recommended.
Ian Fleming: 007's Creator (2000)
Excellent portrait of the legendary Fleming
John Cork and his compatriots from the Ian Fleming Foundation, who have created outstanding documentaries for most of MGM's 007 DVDs, provide a fine overview of the life and times of James Bond's creator (found on the LIVING DAYLIGHTS DVD). Rather than using voice-over narrative, Cork and company tell this story entirely through the recollections of Fleming's family, friends and colleagues, combining new interviews with archival footage (including conversations with Fleming himself). As one who has long been fascinated with Fleming and his famous creation, I find this collection of anecdotes, photos and film quite fulfilling; it's marvelous to be able to see and hear so many of the people about whom I've been reading for the past twenty years. No fan of Fleming will want to miss this.