Reviews for Fyre Fraud ( 2019 ) 1080p

The Law of Attraction in Action: Con Artist Attract Marks!

By: mekjd
Disjointed, lacking in attribution, and essentially providing a docudrama of plaintiffs' claims against the Fyre Festival organizer(s), this picture could have been a lot better, although it is an intriguing watch, packing it tidbit after tidbit of explosions of grandiose plans and promises followed by tsunamis of money flowing in and flowing out just as quickly, culminating in a disastrous 'tent city' fiasco,. Cliche or not, the movie is like watching a slow moving train wreck: you know what's coming but you can't look away, either.

The movie is not big on temporal sequencing or identifying the relationships between people, but that failure of exposition did not stand in the way of the auteur's perception that no documentary would be complete without a virtue signalling reference to the current administration, as if all these people were ripped off and on the right side of history, to boot, poor souls. But this has nothing to do with anything, for it is the millennials who have lived their lives behind screens of lifestyle envy who fall hook line and sinker for the scam. Their total disconnection from reality and inability to comprehend even the most basic economic truths (i.e., if you are hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt perhaps it is not wise to spend tens of thousands more for a music festival) pales, however, in comparison to the complete vacuity of the billionaire investors and venture capitalists who bought into the promise of a music festival, plans to be determined later. No one seems to have paused to perform the teeniest bit of due diligence, as if the notion of a music festival was so magical that nothing could go wrong and any price could be paid to secure a place in music festival history. Right! So the lion's share of the audience's task is to determine who is the greatest fool here.

All of the promoter's associates appear on screen as if they never really noticed anything was amiss with this fellow. Now, where have we heard this before? Bernie Madoff, is that you? But Bernie! They loved you when you got them 20% returns, and never bothered to check to see if they were real.

And that is the point. People buy dreams every day, hook, line and sinker, and this movie shows how easily people are lured into such things, and how much can be accomplished by one who can play the internet like a symphony. For not unrelated phenomenon, check out the HBO special about Brexit for Britain's entry into the world of political action online.

In all, this is a thought-provoking hour or so well spent, reminding one always to heed the admonition of Lord Byron to "read your Bible, and mind your purse."

Fyre Fraud vs Fyre

By: GerryofNorVA
Since the two Fyre Festival investigative documentaries came out within days of each other I'm briefly reviewing both here. Fyre (Netflix) was a decent enough documentary of grand-fraudster Billy McFarland. It presented a fairly chronological accounting of events, ending with the legal consequences of the fraud. Fyre Fraud (Hulu) was less chrono, at least to begin with, and spent much more time describing Billy's childhood, college days, and the genesis of his fraudulent ways. In fact, I found Fyre Fraud to be more informative and entertaining. Fyre (Netflix) showed more of their social marketing photos and videos, but that wasn't as satisfying. Fyre Fraud also did a better job of describing the fraudsters' legal consequences, too, so my recommendation goes to Fyre Fraud (Hulu) if you only want to watch one of them.

Best to watch this after the Netflix doc, but they're both good

By: cherold
Two documentaries about the Fyre Festival debacle came out days apart, Netflix's Fyre and Hulu's Fyre Fraud, and each shines in different ways.

The Netflix documentary approach is a methodical chronology. It describes what happened as it happened and how people saw it at the time. It really puts you into the day-by-day experience.

Fyre Fraud takes a different approach. It actually sketches out the basics of the entire thing in the first 15 minutes, then builds upon the various components to create a whole.

The titles actually hit at the different approaches. Fyre describes the Fyre Festival as a slow-mo disaster, only at the end fully revealing the shadiness of Fyre's charismatic creator, Billy McFarland.

Fyre Fraud, on the other hand, immediately establishes Billy as a sleazy con man, and portrays Fyre as a series of shady transactions. Netflix portrays the festival as a disaster, Fyre Fraud as a crime.

Fyre Fraud spends a lot of time framing the Fyre Fraud hysteria within the current culture. It's the sort of pundit "hot take" that is easy to poke holes in, but it's sometimes persuasive. Fraud also has an interview with Billy, although the guy is to slippery to offer much satisfaction.

If you only wanted to watch one Fyre documentary, go for the Netflix one. But after you've seen it if you want more details and a different angle, Fyre Fraud is well worth your time.

The Culmination of Emptiness

By: plpregent
Interestingly, "Fyre Fraud" was released on Hulu a few days before the Netflix documentary on the same subject, the latter of which is the first one I watched.

I found it so compelling that I rushed to watch "Fyre Fraud", having read that both docs had plenty of interesting footage to offer, with this one including an actual interview with the con artist behind the scam, Billy McFarland.

Clips of the interview are inserted here and there, but to be perfectly honest, do not provide much insight or reveal anything shocking, besides providing somewhat satisfactory cringey moments where McFarland seems to be sweating bullets and is seen stuttering in embarrassment after being asked certain questions that he obviously won't/can't answer due to ongoing lawsuits. The tone is not overly confrontational, but they did not shy away from asking tricky questions.

While the Netflix piece had a well-organized, countdown type of structure that documented the lead-up to this disastrous event in great detail then depicted the event itself, both with plenty of on-site footage, "Fyre Fraud" uses a different approach, instead focusing on everything surrounding the event and the more philosophical questions that this literally empty shell raises: is this, to a greater extent, the result of a culture of emptiness? And while "Fyre Fraud" is certainly inferior as far as narrative structure is concerned, it digs deeper than the Netflix doc in its study of "influencers" and millennial culture. While they do not get that much screen time, there are two interviews with influencers who attended the event (no clue what their names are) who, after being candidly asked what an influencer is and how they would describe their "brand" (which is basically themselves and the "lifestyle" that they document, one heavily filtered picture at a time), both answered "positivity" after hesitating for a moment, struggling to find a meaning to something blatantly meaningless.

There are several other people being interviewed, only a minority of which are also interviewed in the Netflix doc. As such, it was interesting to get different perspectives and, in many aspects, both documentaries are very interesting in their own right and could very well have been merged into one lengthy piece. Anyhow, as I was not familiar with the lead-up to the event and how it all unfolded, I'm happy I got to watch both docs in that order, as "Fyre Fraud" really focuses on the fraudulent aspect of it rather than all the cringe-worthy logistic and administrative failures that led to the disaster. My suggestion would be to watch both docs, starting with Netflix's. That way, with "Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened", you'll get a really satisfactory depiction of the facts, including plenty of on-site footage prior to the event and during the event, and then, with "Fyre Fraud", you'll get a better picture of the aftermath, as well as an interesting, more in-depth sociological analysis of the psychological and behavioral traits of a delusional generation obsessed with flashing pictures of a luxurious lifestyle that a serial con man was able to successfully exploit.

On its own, "Fyre Fraud" might feel a bit incomplete if you're looking for actual footage of this disaster. However, as a complement to "Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened", it is highly satisfactory and completes the Netflix piece's deficiencies in terms of social commentary.

That being said, if you have to choose between the two, I would suggest "Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened".

Adds some additional context, but Netflix's is superior

By: TwinkleLights
I was very interested in the Fire festival fiasco when it broke in the spring of 2017. I watched the Netflix documentary first, and then Hulu's Verizon. Overall, I think the Netflix version has a more linear story progression and I like how it focused on the victim impact more so than the Hulu version. This Hulu doc also simply seems more amateur than the Netflix doc. I'm surprised no other reviews have mentioned it, but in this documentary when they want to relay informtaion from a court filing or statement, they have it read by one of those awful computer reading services which just sounds incredibly hokey and is frankly distracting. I've never seen that "artistic" choice in a film before. However, it you are very interested in all the details of this scandal, I would recommend both documentaries as they both contain distinct information. If you're trying to choose between them, then I would recommend the Netflix one over this.

Your Fyred

By: juliankennedy23
Fyre: 8 out of 10 and Fyre Fraud: 8 out of 10: Two documentaries covering the now infamous Fyre Festival in the Bahamas. Both documentaries consist of plenty of talking heads, promotional footage, behind the scenes footage, and footage from the festival site itself.

On to the questions

So which documentary is better? I gave both documentaries the same score. Both are excellent in their own way and both take a somewhat different look at the events. If I had to choose I would pick the Hulu doc Fyre Fraud.

Why would you pick that documentary? Aren't those are the people that gave money to fraudster Billy McFarland for an interview?: Yes, they are and honestly, they wasted their money. These interview bits are the weakest part of the documentary. What Fyre Fraud does well is it really breaks down Billy's fraud in a way Netflix doesn't. There is a very solid report on his previous business of a "fake" credit card and his ticket broker Ponzi schemes. (Which is, in reality, is why he is in jail along with lying to investors.). It is also more in-depth with the investors to whom he constantly lied to raise more funds for both the Fyre Festival and other ventures.

In addition, the Fyre fraud seems on more solid ground in regards to its expose of influencers and PR firms. It has been noted by others that Billy's PR firm Jerry Media is one of the producers on the Netflix doc. (Though in all fairness it does not escape completely unscathed there either.)

Does the Netflix Doc Fyre do anything better? Yes. The Netflix doc has much better footage particularly of the festival itself. It also focuses more on the outcome for local Bahamian workers that were not paid. Netflix's Fyre also has better behind the scene footage and appears to have more access in regards to both footage and interviews. It also wins on the most outrageous story about the festival. The whole releasing the water from customs sexual favor thing.

Is there really enough material here for one documentary let alone two? Yes. Heck, there is enough for an additional documentary. While both documentaries cover some familiar ground there is plenty of juicy tangents that neither had time to cover. It is actually really neat to watch both documentaries as it gives one a more three-dimensional view of the proceedings. And, let us be honest, there is enough schadenfreude for a tv series.

So everyone in this is either a ripoff artist or a person deserving to get ripped off? Not exactly. First of all, there are some very highly competent people involved. The folks that put out the promotional campaign video and social media blitz did an incredible job. Sure the actual festival itself looked nothing like the video but selling it out in a few days for a first time festival in a foreign country with Blink 182 as a headliner is amazing. That is some Ice selling to Eskimos right there. In addition, the actual application the Fyre festival was meant to promote was, at the very least a good idea. An app that allows private parties to easily search and book available entertainment for the company Christmas party or juniors bar mitzvah certainly is a useful tool. (Many people, including many of the principals of the Fyre company, do forget that the festival was simply supposed to be a marketing event for the app, not a business in and of itself.)

So what is your takeaway? Music festivals are awful. Full stop. There is a reason the music festival scene dies every decade only to be reborn the next. They are awful so you have to wait till a new generation of idiots grows up to learn that hard lesson first hand.

I mean even if they were able to pull this off you still just spent $1500 to sleep in a tent on gravel with no air conditioning to listen to Blink 182.

Heck most music festivals, even the ones that manage to have bands show up, are as bad or worse than the Fyre festival. One of the interviewees has been roundly mocked in comparing the troubles Fyre had to Woodstock. He really isn't that much off. I mean food and water ran out in the first day at Woodstock and the army had to airlift supplies. Plus I don't recall the organizers at Woodstock offering fancy tents with air mattresses. Okay fine Woodstock had great music as well as Sha Na Na and it makes a great film and it defined a generation. The interviewee seemed young maybe he meant Woodstock '99.

Both documentaries are great in their own way and both introduce topics, worlds, and trends that are interesting after the documentary has concluded. I would recommend both so you can take in all the Fyre Festival goodness. Now if I can only figure out why I keep calling it the "fry" festival instead of the "fire" festival we will be all good.

The Netflix Documentary is better, but watch this, too.

By: ejonconrad
When it rains it pours. Both Netflix and Hulu decided to come out with documentaries about the Fyre Festival at almost exactly the same time.

The Netflix film is definitely a superior documentary, with broader coverage of the story, but this is worth watching for the interviews with McFarland himself, which Netflix doesn't have.

Unfortunately, it seems like in exchange for the interviews, they kind of soft pedal what a thoroughly loathsome human being McFarland is. Yes, the make it clear he lied to a lot of people, but you could still walk away from this thinking he's still a basically decent guy who just got in over his head. He's not. He's a pathological liar and a sociopath.

For example, they leave out the fact that he started a new ticket sales scam *while he was out on bail* for the Fyre fraud charges.

The biggest flaw in this documentary is they don't even mention the biggest victims of the scam; namely, all the Bahamians who worked round the clock to try to try to make this happen, and then didn't get paid.

Still, the main takeaway from both documentaries is just how easy it is to separate people from a *lot* of money if you're willing to lie with a straight face, and when i comes to that, there's really no substitute for letting McFarland tell the story in his own words.

Best doc about fyre!

By: saphira_dragon-80270
This is a great documentary! Very interesting and will keep you compelled. Check it out! I actually heard Billy McFarland is selling tickets to it, $1500!

Great footage and story research - UNPROFESSIONAL INTERVIEW

By: nrapny-01694
The documentation of the story was very good but once the interviewer jumped down Billy McFarlane's throat like an interrogator, the whole thing revealed itself. Yes, we get it he is not a good person. But, the way the interview was handled could have made the movie so much better. I was enjoying it up until that moment. It's not that I'm defending the man I just dont feel the person doing the interview had a good grip on the process of an interview.

Frustrating yet Very Entertaining

By: genious-35413
One thing I found endlessly frustrating is that there is a sit-down interview with the Zuckerberg wannabe/Con Artist who gets to trot out his highly fabricated version of what happened but he is repeatedly asked direct questions which he never appears to answer - but it's hard to know because it's a quick cut edit and on to something else. If he doesn't answer 'You lost a box of keys to $2 Million worth of houses? Why didn't you tell that to the guests?' - I want to see him sit there and squirm for as long as he did in the interview. But overall, it's a fascinating spectacle to watch, as was the other Fyre documentary. I don't despise the type of people that are featured in this film: cell-phone zombies that begin every sentence with 'Literally..' and describe everything as 'Amazing'... but I do enjoy watching them actively make themselves a victim of their own narcissism.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned...

By: DjMethod
Netflix Doc:

?? Meet the Fyre team

?? They can do this

?? They can't do this

?? They feel bad, man.

?? (Produced by the Fyre team)

Hulu Doc:

?? Meet Billy

?? Billy's a con artist

?? Millennials are mostly young, naive, and rich

?? Billy understands this...

?? Except Billy is the only narcissist with enough delusions of grandiosity to milk and exploit millennial influencer culture so far that it self-implodes (into the Fyre Festival)

?? Meanwhile Kylie Jenner is the youngest self-made billionaire and Johnny Depp owns his own island.

Amateuristic

By: greghughes-51668
The festival itself is worth a documentary, but I couldn't help but feel like the entire production was vindictive and grasping at cultural straws. Billy is obviously a fraudster and is rightfully critizised. However, I still found a way to dislike the victims/interviewers at the same time. It seemed they tried way too hard to wrap the event up with every pop culture reference and trend they could. In the end, it just felt shallow.

More a study of our society than it is of a fraudster

By: LnineB
Con Artist have been around forever but there are particular times when they thrive and benefit from a societal situation more. For example Con artist ran rampant during America's Great Depression era due to the heartbreaking need to survive at all cost by the public. Most people needed to have faith in something during that time and con artist were more than happy to provide that source in things like fake jobs, get rich quick schemes or even religion. What this documentary exposes is that we are in a new era that appears to be ripe for the same tactics used in previous times but on a larger scale. The big difference is the size and scope of the scam and more importantly the fact that we aren't in a Great Depression. As a matter of fact , these new scams are now in the form of politics, social status and popularity. And often times take advantage of the very wealthy. This particular scam only worked because of the uncanny need of its victims to want to be apart of something exclusive and to , in a way, execute their very own scam of false success through social media. What this documentary does a good job of showing is that the success of cons are as much about the people who fall for them as it is about the con artist. The main culprit in this film looks and acts like every single con artist through out time, he's confident to the point of arrogance, talks a mile a minute and never takes no for an answer. He's narcissistic and greedy but yet really doesn't hide those negative traits. As a matter of fact, like most frauds, the first con is to convince people that those negative traits are actually positives. On the surface, none of this scam should've worked. But like what his developer parents no doubt taught him, it's not about what an item is in the present , it's what it could be in the future. In many ways real estate developers have the same traits as con men because of that ability to sale what isn't there. They are masters at getting people and financial institutions to buy into a speculation. This main character spent a lifetime doing exactly this over and over again. And like most con men they fail, they fail big, but yet they find a way to convince their victims to not focus on their past failures but to focus on the awards of the future. Every single person who was involved with or attended this failure of a festival could've used the same social media to find out that its leader was a con artist. But yet they didn't. They decided to once again put their faith into the speculation. Ja Rule ,for example, who maintains the whole thing wasn't a scam , actually worked with the guy before ,executing a previous scam that was funded by yet another scam artist oil tycoon. How do you ignore all of this and decide to go into business once again with the same person? Well the same reason a bank decides to invest into a development when the developer has filed bankruptcy 3 times, by investing into the dream. Ja Rule , like everyone else desperately wanted to be a part of the dream. Whether it's greed or the need to be wanted, those desires override the logical because being logical is not "exciting". Mark my words, we will hear from the main character again and I guarantee the next con will be bigger than this one and once again it will be successful, because the victims will need for it to be.