Thursday, March 11, 2010

Capitalism and other DVDs

Directed by Michael Moore.


Like most of Moore's movies, it's hilarious, maddening, simplistic, one-sided, and most effective when Moore is off-screen and quiet. It's also of full of interesting anecdotes and heart-breaking interviews with victims of the system. How can you not get mad at seeing neighborhoods destroyed and people thrown out of their homes?

Naturally, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are the embodiments of evil, while Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama get free passes.

Moore has a point here. A giant freaking point. Why is it so many mortgage people were slimy with their deals to get people upside-down in their houses? Why do the top 1% of America have more wealth than the bottom 95%? Why do multimillionaires keep giving each other bonuses while laying off thousands and borrowing more money from taxpayers? How do guys like Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Hank Paulsen, Timothy Geitner, Lloyd Blankfein, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, etc, keep getting away with it?

But then Michael can't help himself. Stunts like him harrassing entry-level people whose job it is to keep his camera out of lobbies are old, like him trying to make a citizen's arrest of the Board of Directors of AIG. And his conclusion is strange. He calls capitalism evil and wants to replace it with democracy. Um... huh?

But he does have a cool quote in the closing credits from Thomas Jefferson, 1816: "I sincerely believe... that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."


Starring Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, Jimmy Fallon, Alia Shawkat, Andrew Wilson, Eve, Zoe Bell, Ari Graynor, and Daniel Stern.
Directed by Drew Barrymore.


I liked the cast. I just wish the story had had any originality to it. It follows the three-act structure of every teen comedy-drama where they're secretly doing something their parents wouldn't approve of. What made it still an okay rental was the fact that there aren't a lot of movies about roller derby.


Starring Josh Stewart, Andrea Roth, Madeline Zima, Robert Wisdom and Juan Fernandez.
Directed by Marcus Dunston.


Joyless, unscary horror flick. Marcus Dunston & Patrick Melton, the writing team behind Feast, seem to have lost their sense of humor after working on some Saw sequels. This is about a small-time thief who goes to rob a house, only to find the whole thing boobie-trapped by a second, scarier thief, one who enjoys torturing people. Deserves to be forgotten.

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