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This is really one of the worst documentaries I have seen in a while. It has the feel of a 30-minute reality TV show about four guys who have to take a test, but stretched out to two hours.
Generally speaking, a documentary should do one of two things (or both): (1) expand a person's knowledge of a subject; and/or (2) create a bond between the viewer and the subject so as to convey some sort of overriding message.
This film does none of that. It's four guys studying a lot, and then interviews with their wives and S/O's.
The film does not even begin to educate viewers about wine, wine provenance, or wine tasting. Despite devoting what seems like endless periods of time showing the four guys studying up on wine geography, for example, the film does not provide the viewer a brief explanation of the major areas in world where wine grapes are grown.
Similarly, we are exposed to dozens of shots of tasting sessions where the somm's use all kinds of technical jargon to describe wine -- and not once does the film attempt to convey to the watcher what any of it means.
Being a bit of a wine enthusiast, I picked up some of the meaning. But as a documentary? This thing is terrible. It's four guys who work in the wine industry and love wine who study for a big test. If they fail the test? They take it again next year.
By the end of the film, the viewer does not care about the guys, the test, or anything else. When I studied for the bar exam, I did not video record myself doing so because it lacked any sort of entertainment value. One wonders why the same restraint was not exhibited by the filmmakers here.
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