NOTE: If you want to purchase The Phenomenon with all the bonus features, you must get it directly from Vimeo. I have absolutely no financial stake/interest in this film. release date is Oct. 6th, 2020.
Special thanks to filmmaker and director James Fox and 1091 Media for allowing me access to a review copy.
UFO documentaries can be a hard sell or a let down for many reasons. Most are simple rehashes and that often cannot be helped due to the nature of the subject's history. Some are money grabs, reselling old tales that have been dusted off.
Others are simply awful or used as a publicity vehicle in which certain UFO personalities shamelessly promote themselves at the expense of the topic. Some are based on obvious hoaxes or so cliché they're just embarrassing, or make the mistake of featuring the usual talking heads from the UFO convention circuit. All in all, very few UFO documentaries live up to any of the hype and/or deliver the promised goods...if anything good at all.
The last few years have brought us two of the more well known films about UFOs, both made by Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell. The first was Hunt for the Skinwalker, based on the book by George Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher. A lot promises were made about this film, which ultimately didn't deliver and was an enormous let down. My personal opinion is that you can read the book and simply skip the film. You can also spare yourself the film's horrible audio and music.
The other film was Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers. Narrated by actor Mickey Rourke, his gravel voice and muttering made it pretty much unwatchable, this film was a rehash of the Lazar story culminating with the low-grade theatrical implication that Lazar smuggled a chunk of Element 115 out of Area 51.
These sort of sensationalistic films (and there are many), full of promise and hype while short on actual delivery, do a great disservice to the UFO subject.Good UFO documentaries are simply a rare breed. Enter The Phenomenon, the latest film by James Fox (pictured left) with a trailer that has received millions of views online.
As much as the film is a documentary, it's an invitation to take a serious look at the subject of UFOs without the ridicule that seems to greet those who step into the subject to see what's going on.
The Phenomenon has a cinematic quality and feel to it that leaves me remiss not being able to view it in a theater because of the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Peter Coyote's pacing and measured oration as narrator is spot on. The film's score helps carry the serious tone of the film without being over sensational or too dramatic, something that many other UFO documentaries suffer.
The writing of Fox and Marc Barasch is intricate, slick and at no point boring or dull. The script is clearly a carefully crafted work.
The Phenomenon does not make you believe in UFOs, it leaves you convinced the subject deserves serious consideration. Simply, this is the best UFO documentary I've seen considering all of the ground it covered in 140 minutes.
This film will set the standard higher for any UFO related television show or documentary film. If you want a UFO film made, your first call should be to James Fox.