This is in Alphabetical Order…
See my "Top 25" list to see my Top 10 of All Time in favorite…
Paradise Lost 2: Revelations
The acclaimed HBO documentary film about the Robin Hood Hills Murders.
Paradise Lost 2: Revelations revisits the 1994 Arkansas murder of three 8-year-old boys and the three teenagers convicted of the crime. A follow up to Paradise Lost, Revelations features new interviews with the convicted men, as well as with the original judge and police investigators.
Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, is yet another look by HBO filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky at the case of the West Memphis Three. Despite a plethora of evidence pointing away from the three some people just aren't willing to listen.
This sequel to the 1996 documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robing Hood Hills has a heavy focus on John Mark Byers, stepfather to one of the murder victims Christopher Byers. In my opinion he didn't play a role in the three 8 year olds deaths, but that doesn't mean he's not a crazy son of a bitch. Much like the first film and the recently released documentary West of Memphis this is a must see film. If…
In the first film the documentarians had what seemed to be unlimited access to anyone and everyone in the case of the child murders. For the follow up, "Revelations", there is a definite step down. Not as much access. Not as many mind blowing moments. But it is still an entertaining viewing experience.
John Mark Byers who is a stepfather of one of the victims, steals the show and loves the spotlight. He is irritating and hilarious at the same time. It may seem like the filmmakers are trying to make you hate him, but in my opinion he is bringing that on himself. He is a more than willing participant in the film and is more theatrical of a performer than some broadway stars.
Ended up buying too many Metallica songs as a result of watching these documentaries.
Missed opportunity: John Goodman playing John Mark Buyers in the David Fincher directed adaption.
If the first movie taught me the dangers of inciting a witch hunt, this sequel film actually WAS a witch hunt. How the filmmakers misstepped so drastically is beyond me. Revelations seems like a very similar movie in the way it is paced and shot. It slowly gives out details, but this movie suffers from a lack of revelations to give to the audience. I was left with minimal updates to the case that didn't end up going anywhere. While the first movie remained relatively unbiased, this sequel didn't even bother to hide its bias. The film actively wants me to hate John Mark Byers based on unfounded evidence, despite the fact that the last film taught me to wait…
Revelations succeeds in pretty much disregarding the neutral standpoint from the first film. Taking place about 3-5 years after the original, it presents a dec-at-best followup with couple new pieces of evidence, and shifts the focus almost entirely to the stepfather of one of the victims. Is the evidence important? Of course. But the movie as a whole just didn't have the same feeling as the first one. It basically forces the audience into a corner with who they're supposed to support. Don't corner me, dog! It'll be interesting to see how this quadrilogy pans out with the next installment.
This is the one were nothing gets resolved. It's a bit of a recap for people who missed part one and "where are they now" of sorts with everyone involved in the first documentary. The filmmakers and HBO this time took the opportunity and their soap box to go on the offensive. The first movie was a faithful telling of what was going on in that courtroom. This is a personal attack on everyone involved on the prosecution's side and a plea for help for those three still very young men.
What stands out the most is the bizarre, award-worthy acting job put on by John Mark Byers, the stepfather of one of the young boys who was murdered. He…
The WMT3 case is such an interesting case that this sequel was clearly needed. However, at least I think that the filmmakers went a bit overboard with their insinuations/accusations towards John Mark Byers. The WMT3 will become modern mythology, and its not does not paint a pretty picture of modern day America.
Interesting peek back into this case, although the main focus seems to be on another possible suspect because of his theatrical flair.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
One of the most interesting rewatches I've ever experienced.
The first time I saw Paradise Lost 2 I found Mark Byers to be one of the creepiest and unsettling characters from any film, documentary or narrative. With the additional information in Part 3 that exonerates him, he does a 180 and becomes a highly sympathetic character. While he still comes across as being batshit insane you can't help but feel bad as he lost both his son and his wife and has to fend off accusations of his involvement in both their deaths.
There is a slight element of hypocrisy on the filmmakers behalf as they seem to be doing to Byers exactly what was done to the West Memphis Three. Insinuating his involvement in these crimes based largely on how he looks/behaves opposed to any physical evidence. That being said, this film is still unbelievably compelling and captivating.
It's strange to come to write about Paradise Lost 2: Revelations having watched some (though not all) of the third and final entry from 2011, part 3 Purgatory (which was made the same year the West Memphis 3 - Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Jason Baldwin - were finally released from prison due to an unusual 'plea' deal). I say this because by the time one watches that film, shot some 12/13 years after the second entry which was shot four years after the original Paradise Lost (93/94 in Arkansas), a key character (and I use the word Character I should say with a capital C) with John Mark Byers has changed. Hindsight is always 20/20 as the saying…
"west of memphis" is, by far, the best of the documentaries in that it shares the most comprehensive picture of all that was overlooked or misreported. the trilogy "paradise lost" is also a must-see given its additional focus on the personalities affected by this horrific crime. the film, "devil's knot", is a waste of time.
This is a continuation of the trials and tribulations of the lives touched by the Robinhood Hills Murders in West Memphis. It was an intriguing look at the process Damien is going through as he tries to get a new trial.
The exploration of the media reaction following the first documentary is interesting, but I find the focus on John Mark Byers (a victim's stepfather) troubling. He definitely says some things that are suspicious, but overall I feel the documentarians were just setting him up as a suspect because he was loud and strange. The very core of the backlash against the West Memphis 3 case is that you can't condemn someone just for being strange.
I thought this was better than the first of these documentaries. I'm still not convinced that the jury convicted these lads because 'they wore black'. I think that idea is a red herring, encouraged by the boys' defence.
But Mark Byers. If he is innocent, then I see his treatment as no different here to the treatment of the 3 accused. He is openly accused of this heinous crime and allowed to play-act to the cameras without restraint. Some doubt is raised due to nothing more than his weird behaviour and terrifying appearance.
But if he is guilty, then this is the most chilling insight that I've ever seen of a deranged killer. And the evidence that we're shown is pretty damning.
I still feel uneasy about being allowed to view the terrible images of the murdered children. Whether permission was granted or not, this just feels like shock voyeurism.
A genuinely awesome documentary.
More evidence and this time it's even more shocking and shows the three boys as innocent. Another brilliant crime documentary and one that will anger you because of the pure stupidity of the people that sent these boys to jail.
This is in Alphabetical Order…
No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…
[2-20]: I have seen these and organised them roughly in order of how immediately you must watch them.