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BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE

Michael Moore, George W. Bush, Dick Clark, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, John Nichols, Matt Stone

Director: Michael Moore
Screenwriter: Michael Moore
Distributor: United Artists
Production Company: Dog Eat Dog Films

US: 06/09/02 UK: 15/11/02

Michael Moore tackles America's constitutionally-protected ownership of firearms. Moore has already decided what the problem is - and of course, what the solution is. So he treks across America to pretend to prove his points visiting such places and stories as a bank that he claims gives away a rifle to anyone who opens up an account. A young man who makes homemade napalm using "The Anarchist's Cookbook", a case where a six-year-old killed another six-year-old, South Central Los Angeles, Columbine High School (and its security tapes), the brother of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols. NRA (National Rifle Association) President Charlton Heston's home. He also visits Canada, where he discovers that gun ownership rates are about the same as in the U.S.A., and yet, violent gun attack rates are nearly non-existent. The title comes from the allegations made against musicians that music was to blame for the Columbine murders; Moore posits that since the two boys were also avid bowlers, that sport of ball-hurling should be blamed as well.
BOWLING FOR ASSININE
Michael Moore is a nauseating rich lefty with a bee in his bonnet about anyone with whom he disagrees. That's most people who do not share his simplistic, arrogant socialistic convictions. Which is quite a co-incidence because by many reports from those who've had the misfortune to work for him, he's a rather disagreeable jerk in real life. Not that there's anything wrong with that. However he is a propagandist in the Josef Goebbles mold - which is okay if you agree with his politics. If you don't , like me, then he's a bit tiresome to be polite. Or a total arsehole to be impolite. This flick is of the JFK/Oliver Stone ranting variety in which it turns facts on their heads, links wild ideas and ends up discovering that, amongst others, Charlton Heston is responsible for a child's murder. A truly low and repulsive point in the career of anyone who claims to be a journalist. You'd think. But then he sinks even lower and blames the passengers of the 9/11 airliners for their fate. Right on Mike. He is, of course, feted by braindead Euro kulture and the lefty biased media of whom he is their official spokesperson. But do his assertions really add up to anything more than a sixth form debating society? Someone should do a Michael Moore on Michael Moore - Now you're bowling for assinine

MEDIA BUZZ
16 Jan/World Net Daily: Is filmmaker Michael Moore a bigot?
8 Jan/World Net Daily: Michael Moore ays 9-11 passengers scaredy cats
8 Dec/The Sunday Times-Andrew Sullivan: Mendacity rules
22 Nov/Canadian National Post: Moore fabricated parts of his documentary
19 Nov/Spinsanity.org: Lies, damn lies, and Michael Moore

REVIEWS
Atlanta Journal/Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Trib/LA Times
New York Post/New York Times
USA Today/Washington Post
Daily Telegraph/The Independent

Dave Reviews Out Loud/
Ebert & Roeper

Michael Moore goes a shooting - but as usual he prefers to hit sitting ducks with cheap shots



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Documentarian Moore (Roger & Me, TV Nation) is back with an outrageously strong film about violence in America. He begins with an examination of the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999 and then as he explores issues of gun control and violence, he gets deeper, tapping into the roots of the whole society. The material here is so dense that it's impossible to even outline it here (see the film!), but basically he tries to understand why America is statistically the world's most violent society by digging into the usual reasons and going layer after layer to the root of the problem.

Serious content aside, this is also an exceptionally well-made film, impeccably edited and full of insight and wit. Moore is unafraid to look silly, knowing that we learn when we're laughing. He asks people the most absurd questions, and we're surprised by what they say in response! The result is a film that is absolutely hilarious and deadly serious at the same time, thoroughly entertaining and actually life-changing. There are moments of such overpowering emotion that we can hardly watch, as well as bits featuring pure silliness and farce. And it's not just the USA that's probed here.

Moore finds little links everywhere--for example, between nuclear missiles, Columbine and South Park. There's a gentle chronology of US military aggression abroad, a chilling timeline leading steadily to 11 September 2001. (That we see it coming so clearly is terrifying!) There's also an animated history of the film's central thesis: That white America is gripped by centuries of deep-seated fear, mirrored now in the news media (all those "watch out!" stories) and the government's hard-line international policy. Despite the focus on the NRA and Heston, this is not a pro gun-control film; Moore is just asking the tough questions. And if there's any complaint about the film, it's that he doesn't offer any positive action. What can we do to change this? But then, recognising the real problem is a first step. And as a people we have a long way to go before we even do that. I can't even begin to say how important this film is: Just watch it.

 


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