Side by Side - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Side by Side Reviews

Page 1 of 19
½ July 17, 2016
Worthwhile for those interested in a little technical film history.
May 6, 2016
Passably diverting doco about the transition from celluloid to digital. Most interesting is that in the 4 years since release it's already become a historical piece.
½ April 15, 2016
Good insights into the advancements of film making.
March 2, 2016
Elegiac love letter to celluloid, the disappearing means of producing cinema for the last century. Keanu Reeves interviews scores of famous directors and cinematographers, each of whom celebrates or critiques celluloid and the new kid on the block, digital. At the end of the day, of course, it's story and art that matter - the bigger picture.
February 17, 2016
Solid documentary with well articulated arguments for both film and digital. If you like movie making, watch this documentary. :)
February 13, 2016
In the documentary "Side by Side," Keanu Reeves sets out to chronicle the history of film production and gather opinions from Hollywood's greatest directors regarding film's conversion to digital production. I have no clue why Reeves was the one to do this but the final product is very compelling. The documentary combines a historic look at the evolution of filmmaking technology with strong (and contrasting) opinions on each phase of that evolution. Reeves used all of his Hollywood connections to assemble a wide array of famous directors, cinematographers, and film editors including Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, David Fincher, Richard Linklater, Danny Boyle, David Lynch, and The Wachowski Brothers. One of my favorite segments of the documentary explores the optical printer and the old school way of creating visual effects in films like "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." I don't know how anybody ever figured out how to create film. It is remarkable. I have such an appreciation for the complexity of photochemical color timing and the new possibilities that came with digital color manipulation. You would think that every director would be in favor of the potential created by new technology but it is actual rather polarizing. Each time a director offers insight into a technical aspect of filmmaking, their comments are supported with a clip from one of their movies that demonstrates the topic. In addition to learning so much about film production, we get to revisit many amazing movies. It even digs in to the rise of 3D films. I love Joel Schumacher's commentary on the 3D fad and why it is can enhance a film but isn't always appropriate: "With Avatar, there's a reason that film is in 3D. Because it is taking you on an experience. It isn't something that was added on for money or a joke or a gimmick. It's there because it was created that way." James Cameron also has an interesting response to the criticism that movies aren't "real" anymore because of digital backgrounds and effects. Even though they are are adding things that aren't physically filmed, is it any less real than filming an evening outdoor scene in the middle of the day inside of a Hollywood soundstage with fake rain and boom mics out of the view of the camera? So much of this film is about comparison, whether it is comparing the opinions of the directors or the physical appearance of the films. It talks about the different cameras available today and shows examples of films shot with each camera. It also shows examples of recent movies that were shot on film. The content may be a little dry for those who aren't interested in film or digital technology but it creates an interesting story. It's a shame that the few swear words (including four f-words) were included in the final cut. They don't add anything to the commentary but prevent this documentary from being appropriate for all ages. "Side by Side" is worth a watch due to the amount of information that it reveals through the opinions of the people who make the movies.
½ December 13, 2015
A useful wee documentary about Hollywood's (and the film industry's) transition from 35 mm film to digital, a continuing and incomplete process. Lots of talking heads skillfully edited.
½ November 28, 2015
Famous people being ineloquent and redundant. Messily put together: cuts from any part could could be transferred anywhere else with no noticeable difference. Can't take Keanu seriously. Little context given.
½ November 1, 2015
A great inspiring documentary, a must watch for all film makers!

Huge well done Keanu Reeves
October 27, 2015
Fascinating stuff for any up-and-coming filmmakers.
½ October 14, 2015
Very educational and informative documentary but probably only of interest to film, cinematography, photography, etc. geeks.
½ October 1, 2015
A bunch of workers sit around and talk about their tools.

A very laid back Keanu Reeves ably demonstrates the key fundamental of an important documentary film : access ! He moves effortlessly among some of the greatest creative minds of the International film-making stratosphere, exploring the technical evolution of the movie-making axis. Fascinating !
August 28, 2015
I was pleasantly surprised by this independent film that sheds light on the transition of film making from analog to digital. Using interviews with famous directors, Keanu Reeves probes in a charming way to explore their use of technology and we get to decide which is better. Only time will tell, but as most media advances film making follows.
August 16, 2015
a solid documentary.
½ July 7, 2015
I did not watch all of it, but it gives a basic survey of the "Film vs. digital" debate and the history of digital movie makings explosion, over the past several decades.
June 4, 2015
"Cinema is like going to church for some people".

Side by Side is a documentary about film - specifically explores the history and implementation of digital and photochemical film creation.

Side By Side is a documentary focusing on the evolution of film and it shows all different film directors, cinematographers and writers and they share their own thoughts on the film and if it's getting better or worse. There's loads of big name directors in this documentary that tell you all about the art of film and the different type of camera work they used and how it made they film much better.

What really got my interested in this documentary is well, it's about movies and I love movies so I thought I would check it out to see what it's like and I picked a good one here, because in this documentary you get to see how there make the movies and how movies should be made according to these film makers. The whole thing is pretty much a opinion base and they give some interesting and quite unique answers that makes you look at some movies in a different way.

I was interested from start to finish. I was never bored while watching it and I never know that Keanu Reeves was a good interviewer, I mean he's such a cool guy and at times when he met these director's he had that happy child face on him, full of joy and was interest on what they were going to say.

Now for problems: During the documentary James Cameron talked about 3D and CGI and he pretty much talk about how it was part of a art form and how it worked in he's film, but after he said all that the documentary cut to 2 or 3 directors who said that it's the worse thing to happen to movies, and how it becomes the highlight of the movie and not the story or character's, I found it a bit funny how Jame Cameron really went on for what seems to be like a speech about 3D and CG and how it's a groundbreaking master class, and then it get's shit on by other directors and it's really funny. I think I would call that bad timing.

I wouldn't really call this re-watchable. It's a one watch kind of documentary that I probably won't see again any time soon.

If you haven't seen Side By Side then I say check it out. It's got some interesting facts and hearing the directors talk about what's wrong with movies today and how they did it better is spot on enjoyable.
June 4, 2015
Perfect! Love this documentary especially when you see these brilliant filmmakers on thier opinion about the future of the film industry. Reeves is doing a very great job elaborating the difference about the impact of digital film making from the standard camera film. Well made, well interviewed, and thinking all these filmmakers are very interested on Reeve's questions.
May 21, 2015
On the surface probably not a documentary for the masses as it is a exploration into digital filmmaking narrated by Keanu Reeves, given the opportunity though it is a fascinating thesis on cinematography and the art of film featuring some of the giants of the industry which should entertain people with even the smallest interest in the topic.
Page 1 of 19