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Gavin Grades The Movies

Capitalism: A Love Story

It's difficult to review a Michael Moore movie because it's hard to separate the film from the message.  Most people who write a review on his movies end up dissecting what they agree or disagree with what he's trying to say.  But that's not what a movie reviewer should do.  What we should do is judge the movie based on how well it was executed as a piece of cinema, as a documentary.  That's what I plan on doing.  It is interesting to me that one of the harshest criticisms of Moore is that his movies are biased.  Well, of course they are...they're documentaries.  ALL documentaries are biased.  They all start with a thesis or a opinion and then the movie sets out to prove it true.  In "Capitalism," Moore's thesis is that Capitalism is a corrupt and evil system that has replaced Democracy in our country and devastate many for the gains of a few.  I happen to agree with that, but as a reviewer I'll refrain on diving into my thoughts and how they differ from his on the matter.  Moore is one of the best documentary filmmakers of all time.  His movies are refreshing, edgy, revolutionary, funny, heartbreaking but above all...entertaining.  He uses archival footage from How To films, propaganda movies, news reels and more to create this fast-moving, brightly colored world of examples of how things were (for the good or bad).  As in all his films, he has his sarcastic at times, somber at others and always monotonous voice to narrate us through it.  He does however cast himself as a more visible player in "Capitalism" than he has in past, such as "Fahrenheit 9/11."  But it moves too slow and it's too long.  At over 2 hours, it's exhausting after a while trying to keep up on such a complex and confusing subject.  Most of us, including me and HIM, don't understand the concepts of what made Wall Street collapse or why financial de-regulation happened or even what the hell a derivative is!!!!  So to try and cram all that into a movie is really a jagged pill to swallow.  But besides that aspect, it's still very good.  Moore is great at telling stories; he lets things get really sad but then is sure to pick you up with something funny.  He makes sure you get angry over what he claims is wrongdoing, but then inspires you to do something about it.  In fact the last 15 minutes of the movie, which is nothing but a Call to Arms, will give anyone goosebumps on the arms and inspirational tears in the eyes, unless you're rich.  The only problem is that I hope you're brain isn't fried by the time you get there.  I do have to say that it bothers me that most people who hate Michael Moore just because they've been told too by radio pundits, cable blowhards or politicians.  Most of these people have never and will never see one of his films.  I do firmly believe that if they did form an educated opinion about him by doing that, they'd change their tune once they find out that his movies are not only entertaining, but they're made for us little people...well, and for him so he can make money too. Capitalism: A Love Story Gavin Grade: B

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10/02/2009 7:45PM
Capitalism: A Love Story
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