Category Archives: Amazon Prime

Bisping: Documentary of the UFC Fighter

Bisping: The Michael Bisping Story is a documentary about a popular mixed martial arts fighter who became the UFC Middleweight champion. It’s an exciting look at a fast growing sport as well an engaging biography of an athlete who was determined to overcome all obstacles to achieve his dream.

I started out as a boxing fan and am only a rather casual and recent fan of mixed martial arts and the UFC (if you read comments on YouTube or forums, “casual” is one of the worst insults anyone can deliver), so I never knew about Michael Bisping until fairly recently when I discovered his YouTube channel.

Bisping looks at the fighter’s origins growing up in a working class area in England, where he frequently got into fights in the street and at pubs. He also started training in martial arts at an early age and began competing in tournaments. After a brief period in jail following a fight, Bisping resolved to turn his life around and began pursuing a martial arts career in earnest.

This documentary provides some great footage, not only of Bisping’s notable fights but also many other UFC stars with whom he fought or otherwise crossed paths. Featured in the film are his arch rival Luke Rockhold, Dana White, Joe Rogan, Micky Rourke, Rashad Evans, and even actor Vin Diesel, who was in a movie with Bisping.

The trajectory of Bisping’s career, which had many ups and downs, has the dramatic feel of a fictional movie. Some of the exciting matches covered in the film include Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold (twice), Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson, and George St. Pierre. One dramatic plot is how Bisping was injured and ended up losing an eye following a brutal knockout at the hands of Vitor Belfort, who, it turned out, was using steroids. Bisping continued to compete, hiding the fact that he was blind in one eye, and still managed to win the Middleweight championship.

Bisping is an inspiring story of one man’s journey to excel and overcome challenges. It’s a must see for UFC/MMA fans. It will also appeal to anyone who appreciates a real life “Rocky” story.

Bisping is currently available on Amazon and other streaming services. For more information see:

https://www.bispingdoc.com

Who You Think I Am: Catfishing French Style

Who You Think I Am (2019) is a French film directed by Safy Nebbou and starring Juliette Binoche, currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The simple description of Who You Think I Am is that it’s a modern internet tale of catfishing. Binoche plays Claire, a professor in her 50s who takes on a new identity on social media, pretending to be much younger and romancing a young man. Claire already has a much younger boyfriend Ludovic (Guillaume Gouix) at the start of Who You Think I Am. However, he is extremely casual about their relationship and doesn’t even return her messages. This motivates her to create a fake profile. Claire isn’t simply trolling social media randomly. She targets Ludovic’s roommate Alex (Fran├žois Civil) and the two quickly begin chatting and talking on the phone. Claire is doing full-on catfishing here as she uses a photo of a young woman and tells Alex that she’s 24.

The film is told largely in flashbacks as Claire recounts (not always reliably, as it turns out) her actions to her therapist Dr. Bormans (Nicole Garcia). Anyone who has seen the Catfish movie or TV show heard about (or perhaps even experienced) online deception knows that the biggest red flag is when the other person can never meet in person for complicated reasons. Alex does become frustrated and even suspicious as Claire (calling herself Clara) is never able to meet. She finally agrees to a meeting but only watches Alex from a distance; he, of course, doesn’t recognize her as he’s going by a fake photo. She then makes up a fake excuse, saying she lives with someone.

Who You Think I Am has several twists that I won’t reveal. Unlike the contrived twists that often occur in mysteries and thrillers, where the whole point is to fool the audience, the twists in this psychological drama are actually plausible. In any case, the film is more of a character study than a commentary on contemporary social media or even catfishing. Juliette Binoche, who has been an iconic presence in French cinema since the 1980s, does a brilliant job portraying a woman who is, at once, troubled, confused, and yet confident enough to pull off a grand deception.

Later in the film, things get a bit confusing as scenes not only move back and forth in time but also include bits of Claire’s imagination. Yet, for a character who is constructing an imaginary identity, it’s actually fitting that she moves seamlessly between fact and fantasy.

If this topic was covered in a typical American film, it would be either a cringe rom-com or a suspense thriller where someone was an obsessed stalker and at least one brutal murder. Fortunately, Who You Think I Am is a more complex and nuanced look at modern relationships as influenced by social media culture.