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Sixto Rodrigues, Michael Moore and National Board of Review Awards - Sixto Rodrigues, Michael Moore New York City, United States The 2013 National Board of Review Awards Gala - Arrivals Tuesday 8th January 2013
In case you've been living comfortably in a condo located under a rock, SiCKO takes the world of health-care, HMOs, and the U.S. medical system into the ring for 12 punishing rounds. Jabs are delivered by horror stories of denied claims, uppercuts delivered by an intense study of how awful our medical care is (we place 37th, right above Slovenia). The most fascinating parts deliberate the capital gains of the American medical industry, ostensibly outing the entire shindig as a capitalist enterprise rather than an aid for humanity. Reaching all the way back to Nixon's idea to privatize health care with Edgar Kaiser, Moore's portrait of the medical establishment is coal-black and more clear-eyed than he's been in years.
Continue reading: SiCKO Review
If anyone imagines that the answer to that question is yes, this documentary stands to wipe out that rosy picture. Sadly and profoundly, the tendency in the human race to gather into groups that think themselves superior to others is alive and well in the Mormon community of Utah where, in some places, principles of democracy, inclusion, and concepts like freedom of speech just don't apply.
Continue reading: This Divided State Review
Nerenberg's Stupidity is a frequently fascanating but sometimes wandering work that provides some insight into the nature of dumbness. There's a history lesson here: "Idiot" and "imbecile" have specific IQ levels they correspond to, and "moron" is a whole other thing of its own. Talking heads like Bill Maher and Noam Chomsky describe stupidity in our current culture (with Jackass and George W. Bush taking the brunt of the heat), and some of the intellectual discussion here is fascinating. If nothing less, it makes you think twice when you call someone or something "stupid," because of the loadedness of the term.
Continue reading: Stupidity Review
Few words have the baggage that the word corporate does. It's gone from the economic textbooks, dry and undistinguished, to a near anathema curse. No one, whatever their profession, likes to say they are "corporate." And yet the majority of workers in the United States work for corporations. These days you're most likely to hear the word corporate bandied about as a rallying cry. It's leveled at artists who "sell out," or go "corporate." Thrown like pies at politicians with "corporate" interests. Corporate goons are the lynchpins of countless cuckold and old boy jokes. And yet corporations are stronger now than ever, driven by favorable political winds, fed by a steady stream of willing workers, and nestled deep and safe inside the American psyche.
Continue reading: The Corporation Review
Moore claims his film is not really about politics. And yet, even before Fahrenheit 9/11 is released, there is already more than enough controversy to go around. Moore's film walked away with the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, but Disney backed out of the deal to release it. While Fahrenheit eventually landed with Lions Gate, this early firestorm is just the kind of publicity Moore relishes.
Continue reading: Fahrenheit 9/11 Review
Moore flies from city to city to expose the Hard Times he's become well known for. A Payday factory is shut down. Borders workers in Des Moines are getting wages deducted for a health plan that has no doctor in the city. Moore complains about vegetables on his McDonald's fish sandwich and how life went in the toilet in Flint, Michigan. He goes on a tirade (admittedly, a hysterical tirade) about how Steve Forbes (then running for president) was an alien. He gives a lot of speeches. He shepherds the unemployed (who mysteriously seem to lose their jobs the one day he's in town). And eventually he sets his sights on Phil Knight and Nike, whose outsourced manufacturing has long been rumored to be the product of child labor.
Continue reading: The Big One Review
Roger & Me is the movie that made Moore a sensation. It's a simple experiential documentary about the schlubby Moore as he attempts to get Roger Smith, the CEO of General Motors, to come with him to Flint, Michigan in order to see the social devastation caused by the mass layoffs there of Smith's company. It's tragic, tragic, tragic. From the countless evictions Moore rides along on to one sad moment wherein pet bunnies are revealed to be equally good on the dinner table, Smith's ride is nothing but horror when his camera is pointed on the town of Flint.
Continue reading: Roger & Me Review
In the wake of Fahrenheit 9/11's success, expect to see dozens of movies like this to hit the scene in short order. Orwell doesn't necessarily pillory George W. Bush, though. Pappas is keen on implicating the media as complicit in keeping the two party system alive and well and, by extension, in handing Bush the presidency.
Continue reading: Orwell Rolls In His Grave Review
Moore's disgust for the corporate machine so proudly displayed in Roger & Me rears its head again in Bowling for Columbine, but it's just one piece of an enormously ambitious puzzle that Moore attempts to solve: Why is America such a remarkably gun-violent society?
Continue reading: Bowling For Columbine Review
Point for point, I agree with just about everything mordant muckraker Michael Moore has to say in his gun violence documentary "Bowling for Columbine," but pardon me if I shoot the messenger (ooh, the horrible pun!) for his propagandist approach to the subject that comes close to crippling his credibility.
Inspired in part by the 1999 school shootings in Colorado that lend the film its title (teenage gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went bowling before school the day they killed 12 classmates and a teacher), this film is a potent and sometimes profound bully-pulpit examination of the extent of our nation's propensity for violence, and a quest for the problem's roots. In the tradition of his General Motors-haranguing sardonic-umentary "Roger and Me," Moore travels the U.S. and Canada interviewing city officials, riding along on training missions with the Michigan militia, and opening an account at a small-town bank where free checking also comes with a free firearm (no fooling).
The man has a talent for giving his interviewees just enough rope to hang themselves, like James Nichols -- the borderline-psychotic brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols -- does when he gladly volunteers that "it's an American responsibility to be armed." Soon thereafter he jokingly puts a loaded gun to his head before launching into a conspiracy diatribe that almost has him foaming at the mouth.
Continue reading: Bowling For Columbine Review
In the first 30 minutes of "Fahrenheit 9/11," Michael Moore blows his golden opportunity to make a real difference in America with his bombshell film exposing rampant Bush Administration corruption. He opens with a blitz of such cheeky sarcasm that he may well alienate and discredit himself with the very undecided and right-leaning voters he means to convert.
The theater curtain has barely opened before he's on a tear about the 2000 election being stolen -- a charge well documented elsewhere, but Moore offers only implication (Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, in charge of vote counting, was also Bush's campaign manager in the state) without substantiation. Where are the easily available numbers that so clearly support his claim? If he can't back up the first thing he says in the movie, many skeptics will wonder, why should we believe him about anything else?
The sad thing is, we should believe. The last hour of "Fahrenheit 9/11" is so powerful, so devastating, that anyone whose mind isn't closed by the first two reels of cheap shots at Bush's character will likely leave the theater shaking with anger at the duplicity exposed, the cover-ups unmasked, the wholesale manipulation (in back rooms) and fear-mongering (on the airwaves) in the build-up to the war in Iraq, and the lies, the lies, the lies. All of this Moore documents with the kind of veracity the film needed most in the early going to hook viewers not already on his side.
Continue reading: Fahrenheit 911 Review
Leave it to director Nora Ephron to declaw a black comedy like "Lucky Numbers," turning it into something docile and almost sweet.
Writer and sometimes director of ubiquitous, twinkly Meg Ryan romances in the '90s ("When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless In Seattle," "You've Got Mail"), Ephron just doesn't quite have the incisive sense of humor for this movie about a bankrupt TV weatherman whose Muprhy's Law life leads him to rig the state lottery. But goodness knows she makes a valiant effort.
John Travolta stars in "Numbers" as Russ Richards, the smarmy-charmy meteorologist for a Harrisburg, Penn. television station who milks his semi-celeb status for everything its worth (he has his own table and reserved parking at Denny's).
Continue reading: Lucky Numbers Review
Date of birth
23rd April, 1954
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Have they taken the vote to Impeach yet? I had to run downstairs to throw another load in the dryer and I didn’t want to miss anything!
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