TV Junkie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

TV Junkie Reviews

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½ July 27, 2014
This movie was a brutally raw depiction of the perils of drug and alcohol addiction. It certainly has that going for it if it has nothing else. There was a mesmerizing quality about watching this reality television-esque descent into madness. You are sort of held in place by this uneasy certainty that death is virtually right around the corner for Kirkham the whole time.

As you go on this journey with Kirkham it might dawn on you that he is one of the more unlikable characters you've encountered in a biographical documentary. I gotta admit it was a little hard to root for him. Here is where my problems with this film begins. It isn't so much the nasty reality of his addiction or his virtually overflowing well of victimhood that makes him so hard to watch. You expect these things from an addict. It is the fact that you never at any time get the sense that you're watching a real human being. That is also expected for an addict. But the camera itself is where the rub lies.

It seems that one of the deeper stories in this film is the elephant in the room that the movie never touches. That's the story of this man's insatiable and somewhat narcissistic appetite for filming HIMSELF. While it is both ugly and fascinating to watch on some level you almost have to suspend disbelief to really buy the premise here which is that you are watching and listening to a real person instead of watching a persona reporting about a real person. The more I watched and listened the more I began to believe that this man was a TV junkie not just for his constant need to film, but for his constant need to be the guy ON TV.

In fact it all started to seem like this was just another Inside Edition adventure piece for Kirkham. His greatest adventure yet- The one where he train wrecks his life and reports about it in real time. At times I found myself wondering which addiction was more psychologically deadly- The camera or the crack? It seems that Kirkham was not only pushing a button on that camera, but also pushing a magic button that turned him in to reporter Rick Kirkham doing the story of his life, instead of just being Rick Kirkham living his life while being filmed. That's the difference in this movie and a show like A&E's Intervention for instance. This is not a show about a guy with an addiction. This is a guy (a REPORTER) with a crack addiction making a TV show about his life. He's the crack reporter on the scene (pun intended) chronicling every harrowing incident in riveting detail no matter how horrible it might make him appear. And why is that?

The film's end explanation for that "why" requires a suspension of disbelief that I simply don't have. I won't spoil it for you, but I'm not convinced that I am being told the truth. If this film's ending scenes are to be believed I'm not convinced that Rick Kirkham is telling himself the truth yet either. I do hope he's pushing the record button a lot less these days because this is a documentary with a sequel that no one would want to see.
½ July 16, 2014
This is a Frank look at a narcissistic junkie who films every moment of his life. We see the good, but especially the heart wrenching lows.
½ February 6, 2013
Tragic, yet frustrating watching him throw his life away for drugs.
February 15, 2011
Ubehagelig nærgående om nedrig adferd! Modig gjort av mannen å stille seg selv i så hinsides dårlig lys. Makalaust om dopbruk og all tulle adferd som følger med det! Smertelig film!
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2010
Starts off interesting - then heads into harrowing. Seriously, I thought this guy was going to end up dead by the end of it. Very brave of him to tell a story that puts him in such an unflattering light to help others avoid drug addiction.
I felt so sorry for everyone in this - everything his wife and kids went through, and for him himself, as obviously a lot of it was the drugs talking.
Really good documentary, but not always easy watching.
January 5, 2010
i keept on askimg myself why am i still here why am i watching this thats how drugs probibly feel wen they go bad ...this movie has put me the f*** ofv docos for a while now! this movie was defenetly a ...rotten tomato!! terrible , i hate my self for waching it , if i see thwe guy who madew it he cwill get a big loadof disrespect for his utter stupidity one word RE -F***ing-hab ---sooner! duhh me go to partie duhhh me do crack duuuh me destroy family ....
November 1, 2009
It was certainly an interesting and unique concept showing the video diaries from a junkie, but the problem was that in the end I did not really feel anything about it
May 7, 2009
My heart broke as I watched this movie, and I saw the poor children. What stayed with me was when the police came to the house after Rick and his wife had had an argument. No one cared about the, then, young son who obviously did not know what to do with himself. He cried and was left to take care of himself, and to comfort himself too, as his parents were too busy arguing. I really hope the boys are well today and live in a loving environment.
December 15, 2008
no thanks not my thing
July 5, 2008
Fucked up, but worth watching
June 22, 2008
A painfully intimate documentary about star TV reporter Rick Kirkham's crack-assisted self-destruction. From the age of 14, Kirkham filmed everything - well, 3000 hours of everything - and from that abundance of material we get the births of his two sons, Kirkham's lone nights with the crack pipe, harrowing fights between husband and wife with cameo appearances by the police, and Kirkham's video diary postmortems on rehab stints, getting fired, getting hired, getting fired again, going bankrupt, losing his family, and drowning in tears.

Kirkham is a complex and sympathetic character, with the raw honesty of his video diaries counterpointing his self-serving dissembling in his arguments with his wife and exchanges with police. TV Junkie is a fascinating reconstruction and deconstruction of a life, in the spirit of Video Fool For Love, Capturing the Friedmans and Tarnation.
½ June 21, 2008
Sad. It's a tragic, real story but except for some fotage of the young children I wasn't really moved. I didn't feel anything really.
June 19, 2008
Real life will always be scarier than the fiction. Some scenes in this movie is highly disturbing and you will feel a lot of emotions. It really take the glamour out of drugs that movies usually portraits. I'm quite amazed how someone could get so much footage of themselves in really true and dark moments.
½ April 28, 2008
Tragic, yet frustrating watching him throw his life away for drugs.
March 23, 2008
I didn't know exactly what I was getting into with this movie. It was very tough to watch Kirkham's 'unedited' self-destructive descent.
March 22, 2008
A doco hasnt made me feel that eerie since Tarnation. Like Tarnation its completely compiled of home video never intended for an audience, wich gives it truth that most movies cant offer.
½ March 3, 2008
This is an interesting movie. Obviously being a documentary of sorts it doesn't glamourise drug use or bore you with overstated opinions, instead giving you the hard facts of what happens to happiness and success when you turn to drugs to escape your problems. Good stuff.
January 23, 2008
This 2006 Sundance Film Festival winner is a striking video diary of Rick Kirkham, a 48-year old television journalist who at first appears to be living a charmed life. After rising quickly through the ranks from local TV news to a gig as a national correspondent for Inside Edition, Kirkham spends weekdays in New York and weekends in Dallas with his wife and their two sons. But all is not as it seems: While covering drug raids as a TV reporter, Kirkham gets introduced to drugs and later becomes addicted to crack cocaine. Kirkham, who has documented virtually every facet of his life since he got his first video camera at age 14, brings his reporting instincts to bear on both the sunny and tragic aspects of his own life. He is as apt to record the birth of his sons as he is his frequent cocaine binges, painful family arguments and even home visits by police. In one particularly disturbing scene, he sets up the camera and walks us through the preparation of a makeshift aluminum foil pipe before smoking crack cocaine he has just scored on the streets of New York. Assembled from the more than 3,000 hours of footage shot by Kirkham himself, TV Junkie focuses on a seven-year period in which Kirkham says he used drugs about three times a week. Between stints in rehab, Kirkham's life unravels like a slow- motion train wreck: He loses his career, family and almost his life in an attempted suicide before getting clean and speaking publicly about the perils of addiction.
January 20, 2008
A amazing doco seen through the eyes of a drug addict. Shows you the really impact of drugs on a family. Something everyone should see.
January 7, 2008
Narrowing to see this man selfishly destroy his family & torment his poor kids with his drug addiction
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