About Jeremy Harmon

He is Jeremy Harmon aka Spirit of the Thing aka Harmonov. Once a Van Damme/action movie devotee, he now prefers to delve into small budget, independent and foreign films. Jeremy maintains that Slap Shot is the best movie ever. Follow him on Twitter @harmonov or read his new blog @ http://spiritofthething.wordpress.com/

Review: Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts

Here I am back it after a brief hiatus and I’m happy that this year I am fortunate enough to bring you coverage of this year’s Oscar-nominated short films. Over the next few days, I will roll out reviews in each of the categories – documentary, animation and live action. Since I’m the resident documentary cat around here at Reel Read More →

First Run Features’ “The New Rijksmuseum” Is Out Now on DVD

Just in time for holiday shopping for those documentary lovers in your life, First Run Features have released their incredible documentary, The New Rijksmuseum. Feel free to re-read my review below to refresh your memory as to why this is worthy of adding to your collection. And for the next four days, all films are 50% off on First Run’s Read More →

Review: Amy Berg’s “Janis: Little Girl Blue” Is a Well-Honed Tribute to Rock Legend Janis Joplin

This year has been an incredibly interesting year for documentaries about women in music. First came Asif Kapadia‘s electric doc Amy about Amy Winehouse now we have Amy Berg‘s equally incredible doc Janis: Little Girl Blue. There is more in common between these two women than might meet the eye and they are really good companion pieces. Berg‘s cinematic territory Read More →

Review: Alice Rohrwacher’s ‘The Wonders’ Is an Intriguing and Sometimes Bizarre Deep Dive into Family Dynamics

It’s been a while since I rapped at you all, so it’s nice to get back on the horse with a really interesting film. Alice Rohrwacher‘s The Wonders is as unique a film as I’ve seen this year, one in which we have all been overloaded with superheroes and super spies. It’s little films like these that occupy the nether Read More →

Review: Peter Anthony’s ‘The Man Who Saved the World” Is an Incredible Tribute to a Largely Unknown Hero

Most people think that the 80s were a carefree time where synthesizer infused music, really terrible clothes and fast food reigned. What many forget is that we were still well entrenched in the death rattles of the Cold War. There was a lot of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. Between Ronald Reagan‘s ridiculous sabre-rattling and reckless Read More →

Retro Review: Savage Steve Holland’s Better Off Dead Turns 30 and Is Still Every Bit As Good (and Weird) as It Was Back in 1985

Better Off Dead recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary. The characters in this film have my co-pilots for so long, it’s hard to remember what it was like before Savage Steve Holland pulled them from the depths of his demented brain. This film is still a treat after 30 years and I don’t doubt that it will continue to be for Read More →

Review: Nichols and Walker’s ‘Welcome to Leith’ Is an Incredibly Stunning and Rattling Film Capturing the Scariness of White Supremacists in All Their Ignorant and Gross Glory

The reason I like documentaries so much is that you can’t shy away from what is depicted on the screen, you can’t suspend your disbelief because it is happening or has really happened. Some docs are whimsical and can delight you with the beauties of life. Others, the exact opposite. Welcome to Leith happens to fall in the latter crowd, Read More →

Review: Neil Labute’s ‘Dirty Weekend’ Is Less of a Gut Punch Than His Early Films to Its Detriment Yet Is Still Enjoyable

If you have ever seen Neil LaBute‘s first few films (In the Company of Men, Yours Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty and The Shape of Things), you will have learned to expect certain things from him – tons of flashy, quick dialogue, despicable characters and at least one crushing gut punch to set you spinning for hours after the film Read More →

September Movie Preview – 61 movies opening including 12 documentaries & 13 also on demand

There are an insane amount of movies releasing this September. There are 12 that are on the top of my watchlist. Which are on yours? 99 Homes About Ray Ashby Cooties Dragon Blade Finders Keepers Mississippi Grind Prophet’s Prey Sicario Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine Stonewall The Keeping Room September 2nd The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Read More →

Mark Your Calendars: Less Than One Week Until the Directed by Women Celebration Kicks Off

Next Tuesday, September 1, the Directed by Women worldwide viewing party will commence running until September 15. The focus of this event, from founder Barbara O’Leary, is to have “film lovers will gather together in their communities around the world for film screenings & guest filmmaker visits designed to focus attention on and offer appreciation for women film directors and their Read More →

Review: Sara Newens & Mina Son’s Documentary ‘Top Spin’ Is an Engaging Look Into the World of Competitive Table Tennis

Last year, I reviewed the documentary Touch the Wall about Olympian swimmers Kara Lynn Joyce and superstar Missy Franklin and really enjoyed it. I loved the journeys that were shown for both women as one tried to make a fourth Olympic team while the other tried to make her first. Swimming is a well recognized sport and those depicted in Read More →

Review: Andrew Hinton & Johnny Burke’s Doc ‘Tashi and the Monk’ Pulls the Heartstrings in All the Right Ways

HBO has been in the documentary game for as long as I can remember. They’ve been bringing quality stories about a wide spectrum of subjects and people and tonight it premieres the new documentary short Tashi and the Monk, which is no less interesting than the great bulk of what they show. After deciding to end his tenure as a Read More →

Retro Review: Martha Coolidge’s ‘Real Genius’ Was Released 30 Years Ago Today and Remains one of the Great 80s Comedic Cinematic Treasures

When most people think of Val Kilmer‘s greatest performance, they usually default to his portrayal of of Doc Holliday in the uneven Tombstone. Don’t get me wrong, his performance as the gunslinger is impressive, but to me he has never been and never will be finer than he was as Chris Knight in Martha Coolidge‘s incredibly humorous and wonderful Real Genius. Read More →

Retro Review: Weird Science Joins the 30-Year Old Club and It’s Still as Funny as Ever

Fewer films have ever made me laugh as hard as John Hughes‘ Weird Science. This film is a sign post of my childhood, one that carries tremendous meaning and nostalgia. While this one may not register on many folks’ radar as a top notch Hughes example, I happily rated it my favorite of his oeuvre back in 2013. That it Read More →

Jeremy’s Review: Kim Seong-Hun’s ‘A Hard Day’ Is an Adrenaline-Fueled Thrill Ride Worthy of Your Attention

Let’s just say this – Korean film is on a roll. From the works of Chan Wook Park to Bong Joon Ho, South Korean is churning out some of the most inventive and interesting films since the turn of the millennium. Kim Seong-Hun‘s A Hard Day is definitely welcome in this same group. A white-knuckler for sure, A Hard Day Read More →

Interview: Producer Kevin McCann of the Upcoming Film ‘The Rising’ about Ireland’s Easter Rebellion of 1916

As I’ve just come back from a two-week trip to Ireland, it only seems fitting that I was able to have a conversation with Kevin McCann, producer of the upcoming film The Rising about the 1916 Easter Rising. Fed up with British rule and 800+ years of oppression, a valiant group of patriots started a rebellion which lasted 6 days Read More →

Jeremy’s Review: Oeke Hoogendijk’s “The New Rijskmuseum” Is a Unique Documentary Capturing the Spirit of Rebirth of Holland’s Premiere Cultural Institution

Just when I thought films about the inner workings of an art museum couldn’t get much better than Frederick Wiseman‘s National Gallery, along comes Oeke Hoogendijk‘s The New Rijskmuseum. Capturing the tumultuous journey of renovating the Rijskmuseum starting in 2003, I doubt the filmmakers, much less the administration of the venue knew that it would take 10 full years to Read More →

Jeremy’s Review: Spike Lee’s “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” a Nod to Indie Roots, But Ultimately Falls Short on Execution

Spike Lee is a lot like Stanley Kubrick to me in that they are both hit or miss directors that can wow me with one film and completely lose me with another. I can’t think of two directors that can make my opinion of their work swing from liking to disliking as quickly. It’s been since Lee‘s 2002 film 25th Read More →

Jeremy’s Review: Marah Strauch’s ‘Sunshine Superman’ Is a Stunning and Defining Portrait of Base-Jumping Pioneer Carl Boenish

Some people have no fear and that has always amazed me. I guess I’ve been a fairly cautious fellow in my life so it’s easy to be in awe of someone like Carl Boenish, who threw caution literally to the wind for the bulk of his life. Who is Carl Boenish you ask? Well, he is the father of BASE Read More →

Jeremy’s Review: Hernán Guerschuny’s ‘The Film Critic’ Is a Satisfying Meta French New Wave Tribute

Much in the same way that the last film I reviewed, Justin Reardon‘s Playing It Cool (read review here), took on its subject in a manner that can only be described as meta, Hernán Guerschuny takes a similar concept and flips it.It seems that the film world is now fertile ground for movies (frankly none of them hold a candle Read More →