October 4, 2009

What movie are we seeing?

Hey, I love that poster, but:
....I am looking forward to Capitalism: A Love Story. But I think he’s sort of an idiot positioning the film as anti-capitalist. Capitalism has its problems, but when a title lack that and posters like this, no one but fans are going to take him seriously, and everyone else will immediately dismiss him as an actual communist, which I don’t believe he is.

Yes, it gives the film a nice visual style with the “propaganda theme,” but I think it could have been better handled and less alienating.
I can deal with the alienation. My big question is: Is it funny? Moore is a funnyman, in my book. The trailer won me over, as I said back here. Come back later for an opinion of the actual movie.


Jason (the commenter) said...

I'm going to watch Zombieland.

El Presidente said...

There are very few millionaire communists. I know several communist billionaires though. The billionaires don't tolerate any millionaires.

chickenlittle said...

I'll wait to see it free somehow.

John Cunningham said...

the hilarious thing is that Moore, great pal of the unions and the workers, refused to use IATSE stagehands and craft employees. he filmed it non-union! this is in keeping with his past practice of stiffing employees and failing to pay workers comp...

chuck b. said...

Is he really a funnyman? He seems intolerable to me (or maybe just unattractive and I am confused about the difference) and I have never felt even remotely drawn to a single one of his movies. I will definitely come back later for your opinion.

AllenS said...

Hopefully, you'll find some hope and change in the movie. Something this other guy can't do.

Bissage said...

While researching this comment I was disappointed to learn that “Steal This Movie” and “Steal This Intellectual Property” are already taken so that pretty much put the kibosh on the whole enterprise.

lucid said...

Actually, Ann, Michael Moore really is a very classical Marxist.

Take a look at The Communist Manifesto again and follow the terms of Moore's political and economic analysis. He is very much on the same page as Marx.

I don't say this to be polemical at all. But I do think it is just the clear case based on what Marx wrote and what Moore does in his films.

Fred4Pres said...

Acutally this film is having a weak opening and is projected to be a disappointment at the box office.

Capitalism! You gotta love it.

Oligonicella said...

Lame and funny are not the same thing. I find him lame, although he is a tad dangerous as well.

Leo said...

I enjoyed Canadian Bacon, particularly the prescient prediction of the zamboni gap.

c3 said...

By saying Micheal Moore is funny did you mean Michael Moore is a joke

wv: preerks Yes, even the previews of the movie bother me.

Drew W said...

Like Jason (the commenter), I'd rather see "Zombieland." I almost did yesterday, but instead (to go off-topic, with apologies) I went with my daughter and girlfriend to Drew Barrymore's roller-derby movie "Whip It." I highly recommend it. It features wonderful performances from Ellen Page, Ali Shawkat, Kristen Wiig and Juliette Lewis. (Marcia Gay Harden's mother character is a little too much a traditionalist caricature but I suppose a few such types still exist, so it didn't ruin the film for me.) And for those who've seen "Whip It": I once had dinner with Stryper.

As for Michael Moore, the only movie of his I'd ever seen is "Roger And Me," which I thought was great at the time. But I remember praising it to a friend, who quite sanely said that Michael Moore's problem with Chrysler (wasn't that the company?) was really a problem with capitalism. So now he's really taking on capitalism. Good luck with that.

My girlfriend thinks his movies are funny. I just think of him more as a kind of smirking leftie who makes all other liberals look bad. And his new movie will be viewed mostly, I assume, by well-off liberals who would never in a million years give up the cushy lifestyles they enjoy under that big bad capitalist system.

(I never saw "Bowling For Columbine," but even some big liberal friends of mine thought his all-so-clever "confrontation" with a senile Charlton Heston was sad and disgusting.)

Beth said...

Moore is the left's Rush Limbaugh. He's an entertainer!

I'm not entertained by either one - I've listened and watched enough to come to that conclusion - and there are so many other things to be entertained by, I don't miss either one of them.

Ann Althouse said...

"Actually, Ann, Michael Moore really is a very classical Marxist."

What did I say that deserved the use of "actually" there?

daubiere said...

I'm not entertained by either one - I've listened and watched enough to come to that conclusion - and there are so many other things to be entertained by, I don't miss either one of them."

thats what I dont get... if what you want is entertainment and not polemical politics, arent there so many better entertainments out there than these tiresome clowns??

the only difference between limbaugh and moore is that a hell of a lot more people want to hear limbaugh's shtick than moore's. moore's beliefs are a dime a dozen in the media; if you want anti-capitalist capitalism you just need to watch the networks or turn on the obama channel or listen to pop music. rush is mining a far more unexploited vein of material.

daubiere said...

moore and his hollywood pals dont ever want to actually get the kind of governance they seem to be advocating. socialism and communism are very bad for comedy. try to think of a funny socialist...

daubiere said...

and dont say yakov smirnoff!

Crimso said...

Well when one considers the slaughter wrought by the ideological opposites of the capitalists, yeah the shtick is hysterical. Maybe he could make a funny movie about Pol Pot next.

Joan said...

What did I say that deserved the use of "actually" there?

LOL. My kids have been warned about using "actually" without thinking. Just as "Duh" means "you're stupid," "actually" means, "You were wrong about that, and here's why." I thought I was the only one who was (perhaps over)sensitive to that.

If you bought the ticket and paid me for my time, I might go see a Michael Moore movie. But ITA with Beth here -- there are far too many other entertainment choices that I enjoy to choose to see one of his movies.

1jpb said...

Althouse should wait until at least next week.

Drudge wants to demonstrate that the movie is unpopular relative to other movies. At the same time, Dkos folks are pushing people to see the thing so that the box office numbers will be stronger.

If Althouse goes she'll be a traitor to most of her readers. Of course the BHO vote probably already maximized the damage there.

Anyway, the important question is: will Meade be dragged along? And: is it safe to assume that a year ago Meade could not fathom attending a Moore movie during the opening weekend (or at any time)?

For the record, IMHO Moore is an obvious, but sometimes entertaining, manipulator much like the professional-conservatives, but w/ a different point of view.

Ronnie Schreiber said...

Moore has made about $50 million off of liberal guilt. Liberals spend money going to see his movies so they can feel secure in their leftist pieties. It's a good business model and Moore has gotten wealthy.

He's been a lefty slacker his entire life. He likes to effect the persona of the common man but he's never worked in a factory, first working for a lefty weekly newspaper and then gravitating to film. His movies are incredibly cheap to film. He works with a tiny crew and he doesn't pay a penny for talent. In fact, he uses people and their likenesses to make money while mocking them. As long as his movies make money, he'll find backers and won't have to put up his own cash. Like I said, a good business model.

The thing is that Capitalism: A Love Story is bombing. Based on Friday's receipts, it looks like it will take less than $4 million in its first weekend of general release. Experts expect that it will generate about $20 million in revenue. As heavily as the film's been advertised, and with the cost of putting it in ~1,000 theaters, even as cheaply as Moore makes his movies, his backers may not make a profit.

Wouldn't it be ironic if Capitalism: A Love Story kills Moore's business model?

Meanwhile, he has a $1.2 million apartment on Park Avenue in NYC and a $650K house on Torch Lake in northern Michigan. Mikey says he hasn't benefited from capitalism.

I've tried to find any record of Moore's philanthropy. He's made tickets available for free to some union members, and had showings and premieres that benefit Democrats and lefty non-profits. He's also apparently underwritten the renovation of a classic movie house in Traverse City. Note how all these things promote Michael Moore.

In terms of feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, or clothing the naked, there's no record of Moore or his wife giving a penny of their millions to any charity.

miller said...

I await his love story about the Gulags

Paddy O. said...

Remember Michael Moore's television show he had a long while back?

I forget what it was called. But I think I watched and enjoyed every episode that aired.

I think he's gifted and has a interesting approach. Like some of those I know in the Christian Left, however, he sacked his lasting influence by making it too one-sided political. Had he been able to hit at both sides, speaking truth to whatever power happens to be in power, he would have been a whole lot better.

Preaching to the same choir gets old. Even the choir pays less and less attention.

WV: worypers

Those whose liturgy consists of worrying.

Chris said...

"Actually, Ann, Michael Moore really is a very classical Marxist."

What did I say that deserved the use of "actually" there?

My guess is he thought you were excerpting this line from the review because you agreed with it "everyone else will immediately dismiss him as an actual communist, which I don’t believe he is."

I also think the reviewer has it wrong. I've never seen any sign that Moore thinks a materially unequal society isn't an immoral one that shouldn't be "corrected". He may not be agitating for the People's Revolution in traditional terms, but he seems completely Marxist to me as far as his view of what the ideal society would be.

BJM said...

@ Beth,

I'm not entertained by either one - I've listened and watched enough to come to that conclusion - and there are so many other things to be entertained by, I don't miss either one of them.

The more choices the better, let the marketplace sort out the losers.

1jpb said...


It was called TV Nation.

And some of it was hillarious. My favorite segment was when Duff (previously on MTV) did a on the scene "report" about North Dakota being ranked 50th among the States as a tourist destination. I, as person with North Dakota roots, thought it was the funniest thing ever on TV.

ricpic said...

I just saw a pretty good film called Surrogates. It was all about how empty life would be if we all could substitute beautiful young things for ourselves as we age, what an awful thing that would be. The only problem is a couldn't help envying the Bruce Willis character his hot surrogate wife.

ricpic said...

Actually, I'm guilty of using actually when a simple you putz would do.

daubiere said...

"I forget what it was called. But I think I watched and enjoyed every episode that aired. "

you mean "tv nation"? yeah that was funny, some of his best work and quickly canceled. that was back before he was a rich and took himself seriously.

al gore used to be tolerable back then too.

Cedarford said...

Ronnie Schreiber said..Moore is a hypocrite!!!

So fucking what!

Remember Marx was really Marx-Engles. One the Jewish scholar, the other the scion of wealthy German factory owners who actually was the more valuable contributor to Das Capital of the direct critiques...while Marx was the purveyor of the more loopy (and lethal) inevitability of history theories and the class warfare dialectic.
Engles provided the facts why 19th Centuray capitalism was so flawed and needed change and fueled the communist and socialist movements, but Marx was more revered by Communists because he supplied the justification to keep Communists in power.

As for Moore's movie...his audience is not the rabble off to see Zombieland for yucks...it is the Elites, the intellectuals, the opinion-makers. For him, it is better to make 50 million and have his film played every year in DC, in NYC financial circles, universities for the next 20 years netting him 40 million more in residuals after production costs are amortized....then make a quick kill up front.

Yes, there are limits to critics. Most are unlike Marx-Engles, devastating how capitalism works then presenting a (very flawed) alternative.
Most critics are content to say "this sucks" and "why it sucks"...but leery of presenting alternatives or solutions.

Few movie critics will go out on a limb and say specifically how THEY would have made a better movie than the one assembled by writers, cast, directors, producers, and crew...

Moore as a critic makes very good points in many instances in his film, but is always famously short on alternatives and solutions proferred. He deflects, from the same moral place so many critics prefer to occupy..that he simply functions to document his own opinion on WHAT IS, add his opinion in support of documentary....but not to become an advocate.

That is the same as the critics of Moores entertaining criticism. They are generally berift of alternatives to the problems Moore displays..and as critics of the guy are content to just talk about how much or how little money the guy makes, or how fat he is.

Hypocrisy abounds.

Reagan was the purveyor of family values...but was so cold and aloof to his children, outside Maureen, that he famously didn't recognize his adopted son at HS graduation until the bewildered son called him Dad. "Dad? Oh yes, dad....why you're Michael!"

bearbee said...

...watch the networks or turn on the obama channel...

Aren't they one and the same?

Meade said...

Anyway, the important question is: will Meade be dragged along?

Softly kicking a quietly screaming.

And: is it safe to assume that a year ago Meade could not fathom attending a Moore movie during the opening weekend (or at any time)?


(wv: "ansiz"
Go ahead, azk me. I got all the ansiz.)

lucid said...


Oops. I take it back (if you'll let me!). I missed the indentation on your original text. Sorry...

jayne_cobb said...

Any time I see a communist who once entertained the idea of becoming a priest I start to get worried.

ricpic said...

Michael Moore has a very heroic jutting jaw in that poster.

Chip Ahoy said...

softly kicking, quietly screaming

The word oxymoron is itself oxymoronic -- oxys "sharp, keen," moros "foolish."


Natural: Does not depend on word play or alternate word meanings. Open secret, standard deviation, elevated subway, old boy, etc.

Punning : Relies on switch to alternate word meanings. Even odds, baby grand, death benefit.

Conversion Puns: Similar to puns but rely on two parts of speech for the same word. White Rose, kickstand, press release.

Crafted: These smell contrived for dramatic effect. Global village, old news, same difference.

Doublespeak. Contrived to confuse, abounds in advertising and in politics. Virtually spotless, terminal living, genuine imitation.

Opinion: Terms not necessarily opposites, tend to be value projections. Peacekeeper missile, educational television, non-working mother, military intelligence, young Republican, funnyman Moore. ← See what I did there?

New or Evolving: Result from technology or word pairs changing from pleonasms to oxymora due to altered meaning. Plastic silverware, paper tablecloths, Soviet Union, criminal lawyer, Old New York, United Nations.

Literary: Devised in literature and adopted. Parting is such sweet sorrow, hateful good, melancholy merriment, searing chill.

Clustered: Fresh frozen jumbo shrimp, permanent guest host.

Logological: Surface reading of letter combinations within a single word. Nook = no + ok


Dead Metaphors: Awful from awe inspiring, fabulous from like a fable, barely clothed, exactly wrong, wicked good.

This concludes oxymora exegesis.

knox said...

Funny, that poster looks more like Obama's propaganda than anything else. oops!

JAL said...

From New York Post review

The movie ends with Moore telling us, “Capitalism is evil, and you cannot regulate evil. You have to eliminate it.” Then he plays the bloodthirsty Soviet national anthem “The Internationale.”

Insty has a link to Classical Values about the movie which has a nifty little clip of people who "eliminated" capitalism -- and the 100 million or so people who might have wanted to practice it.

Revenant said...

Is he really a funnyman? He seems intolerable to me

He has done some funny stuff, but he is too mean-spirited for me to stomach him for long.

Henry said...

I also liked Roger and Me, but that was back when I liked movies.

I had one moment of dissonance: The scene with the woman skinning the rabbit. That scene is supposed to be over-the-top, a burp in the face, yet another comic example of the desperation descended upon Flint, Michigan.

But my response was admiration. What a sharp, no-nonsense business woman. Rabbit is good.

If Moore didn't fall in love with capitalism then, then he's not much of a lover.

blake said...

Actually Moore had two shows. "TV Nation", which I watched faithfully up to one point, and "The Awful Truth" which I didn't at all.

It was "TV Nation" that turned me against him. He compared a great little system a hospital had developed to let people (voluntarily) work off their debt to slavery.

That in itself is ugly, but he had cozied up to all the hospital people who were happily showing him their system, quite proud of what they had accomplished—and then how betrayed and hurt they were by this stunt.

A lot of people who advocate Marxist-style equality are pretty sure it'll either never happen, or they'll be part of the elite when it does.

wv: moonitin

Moonitin: Take two tablets twice a day for severe moonbattery.