Jim Czarnecki

Jim Czarnecki

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Bigger, Stronger, Faster* Review


Excellent
Drugs are bad, mmmkay? Well, not all of them, argues Chris Bell in his documentary Bigger Stronger Faster. And no, this isn't an argument for pot, but rather a drug that we just don't think much about -- anabolic steroids. With this film, director and bodybuilder Bell breaks the stereotype of the gym-rat meathead by making intelligent, astute observations and revealing some shocking truths about this mysterious and taboo drug.

Bell is what one would call a moralist: He admits that in the beginning, he was against taking anabolic steroids; he considered it "immoral" and cheating. But both his brothers have been taking steroids since they were children, and they've since surpassed Bell in strength. And they both appear to be perfectly healthy. So what gives? Is this drug truly dangerous? It's clear that Bell made this documentary to explore his curiosity about not only the drug but also the difference between his brothers' and his own perceptions of morality.

Continue reading: Bigger, Stronger, Faster* Review

Fahrenheit 9/11 Review


Very Good
During his acceptance speech at the 2002 Oscars, Michael Moore thrust himself into the political fray when he denounced the Bush administration and the war in Iraq. Some found his comments inappropriate, others found them ballsy and brash, just the sort of thing the rotund raconteur would do. Regardless of what you thought of the stunt, that night it became clear that the man who targeted General Motors in Roger & Me and the NRA in Bowling for Columbine would expose a bigger target: the President of the United States.

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.

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Rick Review


Good
An update of Rigoletto as seen through the pen of the author of the Lemony Snicket books, Rick is mean-spirited and cruel, and borderline delicious. Bill Pullman is on target as the title character, a widower who plays a fierce game in the business world but who is really just a lackey for his even-bigger prick of a boss, Buck. But the real revelation here is Agnes Bruckner, turning in a nuanced performance as Buck's undersexed yet amazingly hot daughter, worlds away from her dormouse role in Blue Car, seen just a year earlier.

Bowling For Columbine Review


Extraordinary
No one will ever accuse documentary filmmaker Michael Moore of being even-handed. In his funny, somber, anti-corporate debut, Roger & Me (1989), and his two, eat-the-rich style television series, Moore establishes his stance (the humorous left) and then makes his case, swaying all subject matter toward his ideals, and making the opposition look like idiots. The beauty of this is that Michael Moore doesn't have to be fair: He's not a network journalist; he's a gonzo moviemaker, utilizing gentle, almost lovable, guerilla tactics in an effort to make a statement and entertain. And with Bowling for Columbine, Moore does this with more skill and hard-edged comedic tone than anyone else today.

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

Jim Czarnecki

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Jim Czarnecki Movies

Fahrenheit 9/11 Movie Review

Fahrenheit 9/11 Movie Review

During his acceptance speech at the 2002 Oscars, Michael Moore thrust himself into the political...

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Bowling For Columbine Movie Review

Bowling For Columbine Movie Review

No one will ever accuse documentary filmmaker Michael Moore of being even-handed. In his...

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