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— Michelle Yeoh, Tomorrow Never Dies

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Almost Famous

Director Cameron Crowe extends his autobiographical homage to 70s rock —Risë Keller (DVD review...)

Patrick Fugit is Almost Famous

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Homeland: Four Potraits of Native Action is just what you’d expect from the title. It’s a four-part documentary on ecological problems faced by Native American tribes, and the political actions they are taking to preserve or restore their lands.

Although the production quality varies between segments (for example, the remote village in northern Alaska seems like it was shot on a cheaper camera), in general, the movie looks very good. It takes us to four corners of the United States and looks at the people and the land.

Ultimately, the movie proves not to be worth the time because too often the documentary resorts to sloppy reasoning and appeals to historical victimhood. Granted, there are strong moments dense with information, such as when Homeland shows us the source of saltwater dumped in a river, or the back-and-forth between opposing sides on the extraction of uranium dissolved in water. But these stand out in contrast to the emotional appeals and slice-of-life portraits that occupy most of the screen time.

The movie gets better as it goes. The weakest segment is first, and the strongest is last. By the end, you may find yourself satisfied with Homeland. But with 180 movies to choose from, every minute counts, and Homeland, at 118 minutes, is just not worth the time.