In one of the only documentaries that I respect of Michael Moore’s, Moore investigates the gun culture that takes America by storm. Looking at it from the angle of the Columbine High School Shooting, Moore suggests that the gun nuts of America and the way in which we perceive the 2nd Amendment is basically bonkers. Anyone can get a gun and they’re not always used for self defense or hunting. From the get go, you know where Michael Moore is coming from, and pretty much this whole documentary ain’t pretty.
Named after the fact that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went out bowling the morning before they tragically went wrong, Bowling for Columbine takes us to the ten pins. After some frightening images here and there, Michael Moore can never seem to help
A frightening image of a man.
attacking the administrations in power (more often Republican than Democrat) and the wrong things they always do (never the right). With a documentary such as this that tackles everything related to and around guns, Michael Moore correctly attempts to narrow down the cause for all the gun violence in America.
He compares the U.S. to other countries, examines what other people have blamed for gun violence, and brings it all crashing down on Charlton Heston, head of the NRA. In what I thought was his best
Let me just scare Charlton Heston into saying he’s sorry. Will that help?
segment of the documentary, Michael Moore allowed Marilyn Manson to defend himself with a wider audience than he may get otherwise. (Not to say he doesn’t, he’s an amazingly talented and magnetic performer.) Manson proves himself to be an intelligent and understanding person (contrary to the images and rants against him) and shows that compassion and listening may have helped the shooting and others around the world.
But I stop here for a moment to acknowledge information that has come to my attention. Thanks Wikipedia, although you may be wrong some of the times, you bring things to light I never knew. In the
Marilyn Manson, a wonderfully talented man and artist.
criticisms of Michael Moore’s documentary, he is annihilated. Some of it may have been by conservatives who believe in the right to bear arms, but a lot of it is coming from those he wronged in the film and otherwise. He was wrong about Lockheed and the particular plant he went to. He was wrong about the violence rates and some of the causes. And he ambushed Charlton Heston (as I felt he did) and inaccurately portrayed Trey Parker by associating him with the cartoon he showed minutes after.
Here’s where most people should come up against a brick wall with Michael Moore. He’s fat. He’s gross. These two aspects of his outer appearance would frighten most people he would talk to or try to approach. (I can understand that police officer wandering off when Michael Moore complained about the Hollywood sign. He had better things to do.) When listening to him talk and seeing the way he presents himself, it almost appears that he has a mental disorder. No joke. The way he holds himself in his documentaries gives a lot of people pissed off impressions of him. And sometimes rightly so.
One of the more well done parts with Moore helping out victims of Columbine.
Because it didn’t just stop here. He goes on to make 4 MORE DOCUMENTARIES ATTACKING THE REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION. At this point, he has turned into a huge gargantuan baby who is fed up with the system. He whines and puts up his yellow police tape and carries his bag around crying for money for the people. His head got bigger than it should have after the success of his first few documentaries and he thought that was a green light for as much more as he wanted to make. For shame.
So although I liked the idea and parts of this documentary, when Michale Moore puts his name on something, expect the huge range of bias he’s bringing to the table. Don’t take everything at face value. Because although in this very documentary, Michael Moore says that America has a state of fear going on, he is
Well deserved? You be the judge.
perpetuating it and stirring things up more by showing us why we should be afraid and not other things like invigorated to fight or do something. Damn it, Michael Moore, show some class. And that’s my rant. Bowling for Columbine, 6.1 out of 10. Michael Moore as of today, a whiny baby 0 out of 10.
In a different approach that I’ve never done in my blog, I’m going to debate the documentary created by Kirby Dick, This Film is Not Yet Rated. While watching this, a lot of questions and refutes came to mind that I wanted to deal with rather than just reviewing the movie. I gave this film my full attention and open mind, so I’m going to talk back.
This Film is Not Yet Rated deals with the issue of the warped way in which independent and Hollywood films are treated and rated according to the MPAA (Motion Picture Assoc. of America). With the issues of homosexual vs heterosexual relations, male vs female sexuality, and violence, vs sexual content, Kirby Dick handles this and the board behind which these issues are debated and rated on. It is quite controversial and sexual in nature, with interviews from people all across the movie making business and their thoughts behind why this secretive establishment was ever put into place. And a lot of attacking of Jack Valenti, the man that started it all.
I have to concede a lot of points to Kirby Dick and the creators of this documentary. It is rather disturbing that an organization is given this much power and allowed to be kept secret and confidential on its workings. To not be allowed to know the peers who judge you (as you are in the court of law), is downright un-Democratic. The board that represents “average American parents” is warped and not accurate in the slightest. And any sort of appeals board that is put into place is just ludicrous.
But I think where a lot of the confrontation comes from is the business world. Hollywood and the movie making machine is a business. A lot of business (especially big businesses that make billions of dollars) are run by the elite “conservatives” that wouldn’t look kindly on the liberal views of sexuality and experimentation. With the movie makers butting heads with the owners who rate the films and distribute them, documentaries like this are going to arise that fight the backwards system they’re involved in.
What I didn’t understand is why there’s such a conflict. If the MPAA rates movies as R or NC-17, that restricts the amount of people who can see the film. And by restricting a demographic from seeing a film that may not be so restricted content heavy, that loses money to a particular age group. Why would the big businesses who run the showing of films do such a thing? It seems backward, and could only be because they feel it is necessary to keep the status quo morals. I applauded this film for fighting “the man” and the “big machine”, but there were things I had problems with.
Coming from someone who loves a lot of different films, I have to be honest. I don’t think that, in 90 out of 100 cases, that sex scenes are necessary in film. What do sex scenes do? They reaffirm a “loving” relationship between two people, be it straight, gay, or whatever. It’s for lust, for some form of artistic representation. But how often does it actually move a plot along? Not often. Sexual scenes of any sense that actually further plot are usually scenes of rape or procreation. If someone’s having a baby or having their lives changed by a terrible experience, those are depicted harshly or beautifully. Sex scenes to “seal the deal” come across as eating up screen time to me.
Let me give an example so I just don’t seem prude. I tried to watch a film recently titled, A Room in Rome. I thought, hmmm, I’ll expand my knowledge in films with this liberating and artistic foreign film about lesbians. It started off okay. They had some thought provoking conversations. Then they hit the showers and I was exposed to sex scene after sex scene. At that point, I realized what sex scenes are to me. They are invasions of privacy, voyeuristic looks into someone else’s private time, be it onscreen or not. They, for the most part, bore me and make me feel uncomfortable. And for a film to claim it’s an arthouse film and just show 90 minutes of nonstop sex scenes? That’s a total load of bullshit. Don’t tell me that. That’s not some form of art that I would never understand. “It’s symbolic.” Are you f$%^&ing kidding me? Hell no.
I’m not ashamed to exasperatedly voice my opinion, and it’s about to get worse. Call me a typical dumb male, but I would rather have a scene of violence in a film than a sex scene. It’s more entertaining and adrenaline pumping than two people doin’ it in front of my eyes. And it furthers plot. Steve Carrell as Michael Scott on The Office said it best when he said that what’s more exciting than a gun? What is more exciting and threatening to a character than a gun onscreen? There’s a point to be had there. Martial arts films that depict the grace, discipline, and brutality of fighting really inspire me to be better than myself and protect and defend others. It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess.
There was one point in the film that made me pretty mad in particular. It was quite a leap and a wrong one. To say that violent films and video games inspire more kids to shoot up schools than anything else is not the truth. It is an access to firearms at a young age. It’s those kids who are mentally unstable, picked on, not listened to, those kids who feel the pressures of the world before they even get out of college. The outcasts, the rejects, those kids nobody would ever dream of talking to or hanging out with. In some particular cases, I’m sure violent acts have been done because of what someone saw on T.V. or in movies. But not a majority or a large portion of the time at all. Marilyn Manson said it best in Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine documentary. When asked what he would have said to the two young male shooters to try to dissuade them, he said, “I wouldn’t say a single word to them, I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.”
This film makes valid points about a world I am not a part of, but would one day like to be a part of. The movie world scares me now after seeing this documentary. How much freedom is taken away when you want people to see what you’ve made and how a movie can be banned or censored is against our rights. But the way that sex is seen as something that should be above anything else (drugs weren’t talked about in this film), I falter in my support. I find that to be assuming too much of an “open-minded” America. For parents to have to talk to children about sex, who wants that conversation? (Daniel Tosh paraphrase from a telling joke about Mormons and gay rights.) As a whole, America is a prude machine that doesn’t want to move from where its standing. I stand among those in the action film/horror movie/all around whatever the hell genre it is community and say, “I don’t need sex in my films.” I know it is backwards to say violence above sex, but aren’t movies fake? Don’t they depict things that, for the most part, are an interpretation/exaggeration of the real world? Sex scenes hit too close to home and come from a person to person basis on what is acceptable sex.
So coming away from this with one thing, you should remember I said this. I don’t find sex to be entertaining or necessary in movies. That’s just me, my opinion. You could think I am absolutely stupid and ignorant for thinking that. That’s your choice to think that. But if my voice has any say in the matter, this is what I think. Plain and simple. Let me know what you think, and, as always, I’ll be writing from The Abyss.
Let me first start off by saying that this show isn’t for everyone. If you don’t find dark, off the wall, probably funny if you were high or on large doses of acid, absurd humor funny without the addition of narcotics, this show is probably not for you. After I had spent time ritually watching Tom Goes to the Mayor (This is a blueprint stop motion animated short show in which Tom/Tim Heidecker goes to the Mayor/Eric Wareheim.) I found out about this show. I had only seen one segment prior, and my friends at school would laugh about the new episodes every Friday in school. But yes, my first and only image of Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! was Chippy, the baby with a mustache that screams when spotted. I knew I had to check out this entire show.
And so I did. 5 nights, 5 seasons. Series 1 through Cinco. There was many a time I was frightened, and many a time I pooped my pants in laughter. My roommate Ian and I (he’s my movie/T.V. show buddy, we watch everything together) spent a week straight laughing for the hour and 40 minutes that was Tim and Eric. Frankly, this show has great actors, great characters, and great, absurd humor. I greatly applaud Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim for their work.
Great Job!, Tim and Eric
Every season consists of 10 episodes that are 10 minutes each. Eric and Tim play themselves, they play stock characters, they bust out the outrageous character or two. There’s really not anything to ruin as far as spoilers go in this show. Nobody dies (or stays dead for long) not really any continuous plot from episode to episode. It’s all about the absurdity and low quality/college campus acting and effects.
Best stock characters. Yes. We have James Quall, the horrific, dull, doll-like impressionist who loves Cosby and spaghetti and meatballs. David Leibe Hart, the man picked right off the streets for his work with ventriloquism assisted by the most frightening dummies known to man. Richard Dunn, the cantankerous old man who is always on the verge of kicking the bucket. Pierre (Ron Austar), the dad obsessed funk dancer who loves meat, but not
There's my Chippy
when it’s spoiled. And of course Chippy, the hirsute baby with the greatest scream on the face of the planet.
And it’s not just these drifters off the street that make up the show. We also have character/T.V. show/movie actors and other celebrities that make special appearances based on the episode. Of course there’s Dr. Steve Brule (John C. Reilly) with
For Your Health!
Brule’s rules and the varying segment where he drinks some wine or makes a panini. Tairy Greene (Zach Galifianakis. I feel like this is what made him popular.) the actor/director who shouts at children and dances as he flies through the air. Will Grello (Will Forte), the man who is haunted by his childhood and occasionally lets us into his brain to view his nightmares. Also of notable interest, David Cross who shows up as a pizza boy in a porno, a celeb exec, and a crazed old man who attaches paintbrushes to cats. There’s Josh Groban, singing the best of Casey Tatum and his brother, Marilyn Manson without makeup as the dark man, Rainn Wilson, always as some creepy character, and Paul Rudd, dancing it out on his computer to himself. There’s also a little scene you may discover interesting when Tim and Eric battle in tennis and they have stunt doubles. Check it out for yourself.
And if that doesn’t catch your interest with that laundry list of great actors and celebrities, there are the stock characters that Tim and Eric perform. There’s Jan and Wayne Skylar, Channel 5’s best married news team, although they don’t show up as much as I’d like them to. (Tim Heidecker always plays really good soccer mom looking women and such.)
Spagett, one of the greatest characters that Tim portrays, a balding, pony-tailed man who jumps out and spooks people with a “Spagett!” The Beaver Boys who can’t resist a good shrimp and white wine. Casey Tatum and his brother, always performing on Uncle Muscles’s (Weird Al Yankovic) Hour. This is consistently my favorite sketch and it’s great when they literally have Josh Groban on to do his own renditions of Casey’s songs. And I could go on. Every sketch is great along with every episode. The only part I would recommend skipping is the Women’s Afternoon Review.” Those sections disturb me, and I don’t mind 99% of the things I see on T.V. and movies.
What more is there to say about Tim and Eric. They take things far beyond any other show I’ve ever witnessed. (Man milk, puberty, eating their own boogers, etc…) They practice their scenes, I’m sure, to such a great degree that every action and gesture is done is such a way that it’s absurd, awkward, too long, and yet hilarious nonetheless. Their humor destroys. The have good guest stars. The premises of their episodes make no sense. And I would consider this among the top 10 funniest shows that have ever been on television. 9.7 out of 10. Check it out. Great Job!