Las Vegas film critic Josh Bell is back with a look at 2 documentaries this week.
There's a new Fast & Furious movie in theaters this week, and if that's your thing, best of luck to you. But my top picks are a couple of documentaries available to watch at home. First up is Wolfgang, now streaming on Disney+. Director David Gelb, who made the acclaimed food documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, profiles culinary superstar Wolfgang Puck, who essentially invented the concept of the celebrity chef. The movie gives an overview of Puck's life, from growing up in poverty in Austria to moving to the U.S. to opening legendary restaurant Spago to building an international empire, including multiple restaurants here in Las Vegas. It's a slick and engaging bit of hero worship, with enough of Puck's personal struggles to humanize him and make this more than a simple promotional film. That's Wolfgang, now on Disney+.
Far away from glamour and celebrity is the nature documentary Fathom, now streaming on Apple TV+. Fathom follows two different scientists who are researching whale calls, one who is attempting to recreate those calls to actually communicate with whales, and one who is tracking how whales replicate the same songs over vast distances. The movie balances wonky details about underwater acoustics with a sense of the majestic mystery of nature, and the human subjects are fascinating figures who seem more at home attempting to commune with whales than they are in modern society. That's Fathom, now on Apple TV+.