Mostly a documentary maker (he also has does some pretty good TV stuff as well as one fictional movie), one that manages to be really funny while making very serious observations.
Roger & Me (1989) -- Very funny, mostly because of its perfect irony, but also a sad movie (it's saying a lot to note that watching a woman bash a live rabbit over the head and then skin and gut it for money isn't the hardest thing to watch in the movie). A great documentary that would be the basis for Michael Moore's themes and approach from now on.
Canadian Bacon (1994) -- Funnier than you would think it would be, lots of good Canadian-based jokes. Michael Moore's only non-documentary so far.
The Big One (1997) -- Kind of a version of Roger & Me after Moore became a celebrity, allowing him to do a few more things that he otherwise wouldn't (including congratulating himself on making it big).
Bowling for Columbine (2002) -- I suppose anyone who really needs to see this movie either will not or will ignore it. Anyway, it's still great. There aren't any definite conclusions drawn about guns (and the rest), but the exploration is enough for now.
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) -- Reaffirming that the world in general is run by greedy soulless pieces of shit, and showing how America's leaders are especially evil. Reaffirming that rhetoric is dangerous ("freedom," "evil-doers," "dangerous," etc.), that people can still be controlled by meaningless words. And, unfortunately, reaffirming that there's nothing much we can do about it. The best case scenario after watching this film is that people will vote for John Kerry, another tool. Wow. (Doesn't exactly make the movie very relevant beyond being a historical document, too.) The first fifteen minutes or so is Michael Moore going overboard with his opinions, but then the movie settles in and lets the footage do the talking, which is where it works the best. Even if the movie can't actually hope to do any "good," it's still a good movie-as-movie, though not to be viewed if you're not up for being punched in the stomach with harsh realities over and over. If nothing else, it lets lucky bastards like me who have been afforded a bubble of protection their entire lives (not too many worries about money, shelter, dictators, bombs, etc.) feel very fortunate.
Sicko (2007) -- Like a lot of Michael Moore movies, he relies too much on manipulative tricks (sometimes insulting "emotional" ones, like slow-motion and dramatic music), especially at the beginning. His super-sarcastic sense of humor when talking about serious issues gets old, too. But eventually the movie begins to make the points it wants to make about health care and the movie becomes interesting and -- unlike his previous movie -- demonstrates things that we can change in this country if we really want to.
Copyright (c) Jan 2003 - Feb 2008 by Rusty Likes Movies