Browsing Tag
michael moore

You couldn’t turn on the news the past couple of weeks without hearing something about filmmaker Michael Moore’s latest documentary. Everyone was talking about it. From Hollywood stars who believe their opinion is worth more than everyone else, to local news stations trying to be “cutting edge” even the lowest of the low in journalism have been rumbling over this little film. As little as it may be in the minds of some, the ideas expressed in the film will have hard hitting repercussions on the upcoming election is left-wing liberals have anything to say about it.

Most movie reviews are nothing more than a Joe Somebody, such as me, spouting off about what I liked and disliked about a film. It’s as simple as that. I have no thoughts of grandeur about my work. There are hundreds upon hundreds of film reviewers online, each with their own taste in films and the judgments that they make upon them. So understand where I am coming from with my personal opinions in this review, because, chances are, if you don’t like what I have to say, there is bound to be someone who agrees with you, you just have to look for it.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a film with one purpose and one purpose only, to get President George W. Bush out of the White House come November, and for the swing voters who see the film in the next couple of weekends, the desired outcome could very well happen. Fahrenheit explores the events prior, during, and after the attacks of September 11, 2001 and how the United States Government, lead by Dubya, brought our country into war with two Middle East countries and sent thousands of American troops overseas.

Like Moore’s Oscar winning Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 is factual based opinion piece, and while you may not believe everything that Moore says in the film, you tend to believe some of it with the evidence that he has. Many groups have come against Moore because of the way his information is presented. They believe that most of the information is nothing more than fiction than truth, and without being a first hand witness to these events, it is very hard for the viewer to refute them. Still when you hear facts and figures, such as President Bush being on vacation for a great majority of his first 100 days in office, you tend to wonder if conservatives are afraid of this information getting out, rather than it being false.

Again, like Bowling for Columbine, Moore uses humor to progress his point throughout out the film. His editing techniques can turn even the most heinous subject into a chuckling matter purely because of how quotes are interpreted (or misinterpreted, depending on who you talk to). The first part of the film tries to show the connections between the oil rich Saudis and the Bush family. It also dives into George W. Bush’s background and his penance for driving companies into the ground, as well as his father’s involvement with members of the bin Laden family prior to him taking office. One aspect that Moore seems to shy away from is the 2000 president election, in which Al Gore lost his bid for the White House, and the actual attacks. They are in there, but only a black screen is shown for a good two minutes as audio clips play through the surround sound, creating a very powerful and overwhelming experience that had me close to tears. It isn’t often that such a serious movie, with such a serious topic in the title can both entertain and bring out the most extremes in human emotion.

The film then swiftly ushers us to present day focusing on the troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq and the countries reaction to going to war over evidence that has yet to be found. While the politics behind the decision may never be known, the actions taken by this nation are examined in great detail. Moore’s stunt in Fahrenheit is to hit up Senators on the street and persuade them to sign their children up for the armed forces. One of the most startling facts in the film is that only one lawmaker, in either the Senate or House of Representatives, has children who are serving in the armed forces. Moore seemed reluctant to put the bit in the film as it only lasts for less than five minutes and Moore only talks to a handful of lawmakers before the film moves on. 

Moore’s “bashing” of America’s leaders has spawned a new trend in Hollywood in using documentaries as vital weapons for any point anyone is wanting to make. The most high profile weapon is the upcoming Michael More Hates America which should prove interesting viewing.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a great political weapon and a great film, while it’s standing when compared to Bowling for Columbine is still up in the air for me, the subject matter is hits much more closely to home than gun control. Fahrenheit may face opposition from any number of groups before the November election, but if the film can sway enough swing votes for the democratic party to win by one electoral vote, it would have done its job and there will be a new President in office to face the media, celebrities, and, most importantly, the public. No matter what your beliefs of the issues are, it certainly can’t hurt to see Fahrenheit 9/11, if only to add more material to your argument and throw some leaves on the fire.

This is defiantly one of the hardest movie reviews I have ever had to write. Is it hard because I really wanted to enjoy this movie and I found myself disappointed? No. Hard because I really didn’t want to see it and found myself uplifted in spirit? Wrong, again. This review is hard to write because Bowling for Columbine is such a masterpiece of a documentary, so hard hitting, so very true that words cannot describe just how good it is. This documentary should be viewed by all, it should be a prerequisite in junior high, high school, and college classrooms. Every student, adult, and every American should see this documentary because it really puts things into perspective on just what kind of culture we have going in this country and of the countless people interviewed by Michael Moore over the course of two hours, ever single one had a different reason on why we choose to shoot each other with guns.

Bowling for Columbine, written, produced, and directed by Michael Moore is about as blatant to the gun problem in America as you can get. The movie begins with Michael Moore strolling into a bank and asking for the account that “gives you the free gun.” You read that right. There are banks around the country that have nearly 500 firearms locked in their vault and give you a free gun with the opening of a checking account. In fact, these banks are licenses gun sellers and can run your background check on the premises. What all of this means is you can walk into a bank, open an account, get a background check, and walk out with a gun 60 minutes later.

The movie never lets you go for the 120 minute run time. You are grabbed by Moore’s ease of obtaining a gun in the beginning and are haunted by the ending conversation with Charlton Heston who walks out on the interview when questioned if he would like to apologize to the parents of a six year old school shooting victim. As an added plus you get to see just what kind of a dick Dick Clark actually is. Celebrities need a big reality check.

As the name states, Bowling for Columbine devotes an ample amount of time talking about the mass-murder shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. One of my favorite quotes from the movie comes from Moore when talking to South Park creator Matt Stone. He states that Stone and South Park co-creator Trey Parker turned their hatred “…instead of carnage, into a cartoon.” Again, as the name of the movie implies, the two murderers from Columbine reportedly bowled two games before heading off to school and killing a dozen of their classmates and one teacher. The most chilling part of the movie involves a four-way section of the screen equally divided among four different security camera tapes inside Columbine on the day of the shooting. Moore in no way glorifies the actions of the two teenagers but shows the audience what it must have been like to be inside of that school on April 20, 1999. The tapes themselves aren’t the chilling part, the 911 phone call in the background of a scared teacher under a desk in the library sends shivers down your spine.

Moore could be called anti-gun by his statements throughout the film, but he clearly recognizes the other side of the argument by analyzing just why people need guns in America. Let it be known that people in Canada don’t even lock their doors, and this is best seen when Moore travels through an up-scale Canadian neighborhood and simply walks up to doors and opens them, no knocking, no way in telling the home’s inhabitants that he is coming, he just opens the door. Why is this though? Mainly because, as Moore explains, is the American news media has a majority of the populations scared, scared of what ever is out there, so scared that they feel they need a gun to protect themselves and when demand is high, supply is equally as high and then the gun falls into the wrong hands.

There are so many things that stand out about this movie that it is impossible to name just a single part that really is the best, it is a movie that needs to be seen and enjoyed to fully understand where I am coming from. Interviews with Marilyn Manson and Charlton Heston really provide insight into what these people are actually thinking in an unadulterated, un-planned interview. Both sides of the issue are fully examined by the “gun-nuts” arguments usually shoot themselves in the foot on how ludicrous they are and amazingly stupid they look on film. Notable parts include Moore taking two kids shot at Columbine to K-Mart Headquarters and showing them what the bullets they sold did to these kids (one is paralyzed for life). This single act, and media attention caused K-Mart to discontinue selling handgun ammunition in it’s stores.

Bowling for Columbine is an amazing documentary (or film as you can use either term). Parts will have you at the edge of your seat in horror, other times you are laughing at the arguments by certain “experts” and why they keep loaded guns all around the house. Powerful, informative, and as unbiased as you can be, Bowling for Columbine is one of the best films I have ever seen in my life.