Kathleen Glynn

Kathleen Glynn

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Fahrenheit 9/11 Review


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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The Big One Review


Good
For a movie with a title like The Big One, Michael Moore's follow-up to Roger & Me is awfully small. It's a mishmash of corporate butt-kickery, political naysaying, and self-indulgence, courtesy of Moore's random walk across America during a late-'90s book tour.

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.

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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?

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Kathleen Glynn

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