Category Archives: michael moore

When Film Incites

The recent nonsense in the Middle East with the murders, attacks, and protests against American Embassies is not the normal fodder for content here on Welcome to Hell, but it kinda is when it’s caused by a film. The film, and I use the word loosely, is called Innocence of Muslims by filmmaker, once again a term I’m using loosely, Sam Bacile, who we have since learned is an alias for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

Based on what I’ve seen of the man, and the film, he is a hate criminal, and responsible for the deaths so far in our embassies. And that’s not just because it’s a bad movie. It’s more and less than a bad movie. Horrible acting, sets, and writing, and created specifically to incite the Islam world to violence. This is something even Uwe Boll never did.

Notably this is not the first time film has been used as a mind weapon. The gangster films of the 1930s were said to bring about, among other things, juvenile delinquency. Violent movies have always been said to make kids more violent. The trend continues today. I think the documentaries of Michael Moore have fanned the fires, if not lit them initially, of the bipartisanism that threatens to tear our nation apart.

I think this will be a first. We’ve had music and videogames supposedly make people kill, we’ve had books do it, most notably with “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie, now I guess, it’s film’s turn. Still these things bother me.

While I do wonder what Ozzy song was Genghis Khan’s favorite, and what Call of Duty game Hitler played the most, this movie was a deliberate assault on a faith, in my opinion. I hope this furor dies down soon, and people realize that this was just a bad movie…

Advertisements

Game Change

Game Change ~ I always have trepidations when liberals make a movie about conservatives, especially in the vicious and hostile environment the two sides have existed in the last few years. And I’m not taking sides either, I feel the same way about movies made by conservatives about the liberals. The problem of course is that the latter films are never really that good or get that much exposure. An American Carol might be the exception to that rule, but even it is very heavy handed.

I have discussed several times the sheer quality of the programming on HBO, and Game Change is no exception. The story of Governor Sarah Palin’s rise and fall during the 2008 Presidential Election is an amazing rollercoaster ride, and by amazing, I mean it in both the good way and the bad way. The film does well in showing that, we see the good and the bad, but sometimes, just sometimes the humor in the script can be quite cruel. I think that was a bit unnecessary. It’s all about show don’t tell, folks, I think we all know what kind of person Sarah Palin was during the Election.

Other than Woody Harrelson, who I have trouble keeping a straight face whenever he’s in a movie, the cast is first class. Julianne Moore is great as Palin, except when she goes over the top, which is thankfully not often. Ed Harris and the rest of the ensemble cast turn in admirable performances. Well worth watching, just don’t take it, or your own politics that seriously, when you’re watching it.

Bookmark and Share

Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. ~ I am never happy when confronted with propaganda presented by the Health Nazis but I always walk into such situations with an open mind. But I have to say that the hard-to-negotiate DVD menu and the lack of proper subtitles did not put me and Food, Inc. off to a good start. The film was based on two books, “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, both leaders in the Health Nazi movement.

Director Robert Kenner begins by suggesting we have been hoodwinked by the traditional perception of farming, but have we really? Anyone who can read, use the internet or otherwise think and explore for themselves will tell you it’s no secret. There is no conspiracy here, except to the ignorant, otherwise the two books mentioned above would never have been published.

Kenner falls into the Michael Moore school of filmmaking – give your mission statement and then only present facts to back that up and nothing that disproves it. At least Kenner doesn’t set anyone up or make things up, and also unlike Moore, he’s a good filmmaker. His thesis is that fast food is bad. And over an hour and a half goes toward proving that. There is some hard to watch footage here and some rough knowledge but it’s a brutal necessity if we want to continue to eat as we do.

Also, added to the list of things that are bad should be money and technology. It should be noted however, without both of those, this film would not be possible, but they’re still bad. PETA, and the Academy, will love this documentary, and so will Michael Moore, I suspect. I also suspect that Mr. Moore has had his share of fast food as well. And there you go.

Bookmark and Share

Religulous

Religulous ~ Bill Maher seems to be taking a page from the Michael Moore book of filmmaking. His skill at editing and taking stuff out of context is at least tempered by a sense of humor, even if it is disrespectful, dismissive and sometimes downright mean. Of course these days most of Maher’s comedy is mocking and ridicule, not like back in the 1980s when he actually told jokes rather than make fun of religion and the dreaded evil Right. Personally I would rather have a sequel to Cannibal Women of the Avocado Jungle than another Religulous .

Maher has a hard-on for Christianity, I’m not sure why, but he really hates it – to the point of making a video hate crime almost. Sure he gives Scientology five minutes, Mormanism a few minutes and even some time to Judaism and Islam, but for the most part the prime target is Christianity. What did Jesus ever do to you, Bill? And by the way, you need to do a bit more research on Horus, even your ‘facts’ are flawed. Maher is kind of like the guy at the wedding that feels the need to mention he banged the bride. If other folks are happy he has to ruin it for them.

Sicko

Sicko ~ It’s not his political views that make me dislike Michael Moore, it’s the fact that he’s just a bad filmmaker, and he’s an even worse documentarian.

In this one, he can’t even make his setup and manipulated scenes work, which he’s been capable of in the past. At the end of this film he makes a big deal of donating money to a man who needs it for his sick wife – a man who runs an I-hate-Michael-Moore website who has decided he must shut it down because he needs money. I don’t blame Moore for putting this in the movie, heck, I would too if it were me. It’s sweet revenge, as well as being a good human being. What bothers me is that if he has money like that, did he donate to the other folks depicted in Sicko who needed it as well? And if so, why not tell the viewer?

A topic deserving notice and merit, but a bad documentary, even by Moore standards.