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Farenheit 9/11
Entered on: June 28, 2004 8:11 AM by The Bone
I just saw it so here is my review:  
Despite my intense dislike for Bush, I thought the movie was only ok. Moore is a good filmaker and even better propagandist but I didn't think he did as good a job this time around. He shows the Bush family and friends' ties to the Bin Ladens, House of Saud, and their financial interest in the region. He portrays Bush as a dimwit and his administration as crafty manipulators. Ok, maybe some of this is true. If even a little bit is true, its rotten.  
The problem with the film is that it is so one-sided and the cutting room tricks so obvious, it discredits the film to intelligent movie goers. Fortunately for Moore, the general audience are simple minded rubes who are unable to realize when they are being manipulated. The audience I was company to were buying Farenheit hook, line, and sinker.  
Is it worth seeing? Sure. There is a decent amount of the film that shows the suffering caused by war and how the rich tend to profit while the poor shoulder the burden and get their asses shot off. Is there value in this film? Not much for me, but if the ignorants who are easily influenced by this type of manipultion vote against Bush because of the film, then I think Moore has accomplished his objective. To our benefit.  
Incidently, Rottontomatoes has Farenheit rated at 85 percent. With this information, Ross should be able to use his pattern recognition to help him predict roughly how much he will like this movie. :)

NEWS 202 - 21 Comments
From: John Entered on: June 28, 2004 11:38 AM
Melissa and I were just talking last night about seeing this film. Your review combined with the tomatoe meter should help us decide if we want to spend our money on this movie. ;)
From: Ross Entered on: June 28, 2004 11:58 AM
These things don't hold up for movies I already have an opinion about, as I have already said. Spider-Man 2 - no need to check the reviews - although it is cool to see that it's at 100% right now on Rotten Tomatoes. Passion of the Christ got good reviews too, I might add. Didn't make me want to rush out and see it.  
Regardless, I have a feeling I'll be in the same camp as you with this film. What you describe is exactly what I've seen with other Moore films, which has a tendency to drive me batty. But I'm still interested in seeing it if for no other reason than to be able to speak without ignorance about it.
From: Swerb Entered on: June 28, 2004 1:31 PM
I agree, it's not Moore's best. In fact, it seems kind of hastily put together. And a lot of it is stuff I've already read (the 2000 election was rigged, the Bush links with the Saudis, etc.). And I'm on The Bone's wavelength about the reflections on the war - those were probably the best scenes in the movie. There seems to be a fair amount of circumstantial evidence and cheap shots, although there are plenty of examples of politicians hanging themselves with their own words. I did laugh a few times (Moore does have an infectious sense of humor, even if it is manipulative), and a few scenes should set off your bullshit detector. But I do think everyone should see it, if only to spark some intelligent discussion... and sway any simpletons away from voting Republican in November.  
I did, however, see Moore interviewed on The Daily Show, and he admitted that he doesn't play fair. He said he has a point of view, and he's doing everything he can to convey that. I give him credit for saying that, but it still doesn't do anything to repair his credibility, which was damaged by his "clever editing" in Bowling for Columbine.
From: BigFatty Entered on: June 29, 2004 6:38 AM
The Frenchies love them some Moore. I have never seen B for C, but it is a movie most Europeans seemed to have seen. The ones I have met are anti-gun, so they loved the movie. I never really cared to see it because of Moore's unfair handling of subjects. I think I saw part of the same interview that Swerb saw - I give Moore props for admitting and knownly manipulating viewers.  
But, I guess I need to see both movies now, in order to talk about the films with the Frenchies. Lord knows they'll flock to see it - They love some Moore and hate some Bush!
From: Jackzilla Entered on: June 29, 2004 9:07 AM
The thing with Moore is he basically feels that the ends justifies the means: He can play unfair to make Bush look even worse if it gains more anti-Bush support. I like to see all the facts and make up my own mind, thankyouverymuch. Besides, do you really NEED to play unfair to make Bush look bad?  
Also, I love how in the TV ads for the movie they mention how it's the first movie to get a 20-minute standing ovation at the Cannes. I wonder how successful the commercial would be if they proudly prolaimed: "The French Love It!"  
It's all in the spin, folks!
From: Ross Entered on: June 29, 2004 9:19 AM
That's a very valid point, Jack - what I've heard about this movie is that there's plenty of REAL content to bash Bush for - yet Moore focuses on some of the least tenable, theoretically for entertainment value. But I'm not drinking that Kool-Aid. He could focus on ties to the religious right, and opposition to stem-cell research, and I'd be first in line for a ticket because those are actual solid reasons for wanting him out of office - not his reaction to the initial news on 9/11 or some lunatic conspiracy theory about his ties to the house of Saud.
From: Swerb Entered on: June 29, 2004 12:45 PM
I think Moore's suave, on-the-town gear immediately characterizes him as someone trying a bit too hard not to look like a greedy capitalist.  
By the way, did anybody notice the Onion headline from a couple weeks ago? "Michael Moore Kicking Self For Not Filming Last 600 Trips To McDonald's."
From: Ross Entered on: June 29, 2004 1:11 PM
Hahahahahaha!!! That's PERFECT!
From: Jackzilla Entered on: June 29, 2004 2:08 PM
HAHA! I love it!
From: Ross Entered on: July 2, 2004 9:40 AM
God I'm so fucking right it hurts:

From: Ross Entered on: July 6, 2004 10:25 AM
I finally watched Fahrenheit 9/11. I expected it to be worse in terms of propoganda, to be honest, so I'm glad I watched it - clearly my bias of MM got the better of me. That's not to say that some of it wasn't ridiculous. I think he spent too much time with the whole flying of the bin Ladens out of the country - I mean, the bin Ladens have publicly disowned Osama repeatedly, but MM's only evidence of evil here is that they hadn't entirely lost contact with him over the past few years. So what? That's hardly tantamount to involvement in 9/11.  
Anyway, the best part of the movie was talking to the mother with the kids in the war. At first she's all proud, saying she's "the backbone of America," feeling very righteous about her family's military involvement. But then her son gets killed and she realizes that he died for absolutely no good reason whatsoever. This was something that required no spin at all and worked perfectly all on its own.  
So overall, I actually give the movie thumbs up. It should not in any way be a substitute for actual education on current events (as it will be for many Americans) but it's not worthless either.  
Isn't someone coming out with a movie all about Michael Moore soon? I thought I heard about something like that - now THAT would be funny.
From: John Entered on: July 6, 2004 11:46 AM
Ebert and Roper mentioned that there was a movie coming out about MM. I believe it's supposed to be disparaging. Both Ebert and Roper seemed eager to see it.
From: Swerb Entered on: July 6, 2004 1:16 PM
The thing I question about Fahrenheit is whether Moore was lucky enough to have talked to the mother both before and after her son was killed. I smell fish there. But I agree that the Iraq war segments were the best, because any idiot can edit together footage to make politicians look stupid... not to mention that some of Moore's arguments are far from airtight, and a lot of it is circumstantial. Although I firmly believe Bush needs to go, I'm not thrilled that someone with the same feeling, i.e., Moore, feels the need to fight dirty. Plus, it infuriates me that this movie is getting standing ovations from idiots. Sure, I agree it's a pretty good movie, but it doesn't deserve such a response.  
And Roche, yeah, Ebert and Roeper are eager to see the anti-Moore movie, and I'm glad, because it's the exact opposite of people who have formulated an opinion about Michael Moore's movie before they even see it. On that topic, right-wingers hate it without seeing it, and liberals love it without seeing it. My two cents? They're all morons. Anyone who would willfully label one's political affiliation with such broad terms lacks the capacity for objectivity and logic.
From: Ross Entered on: July 6, 2004 2:24 PM
I wondered if that was somehow staged, but I have to believe that even Michael Moore isn't that slimy. I could be wrong, though.  
By the way, you are dead on about them all being morons.  
One thing, though Swerb: Much of the world regards circumstantial evidence as somehow inferior to other forms of evidence (in the judicial world, eyewitness testimony, for example). Just to be clear, I want to state that this is not the case. Contrary to what a lawyer would have us believe, the most reliable types of evidence are often circumstantial. DNA evidence for example is circumstantial - in fact the entire case against OJ Simpson was circumstantial and some believe that's why he got off - but it was actually completely airtight. It's just a misconception that circumstantial evidence is not as good as an eyewitness - when in fact eyewitness accounts are notoriously fallible.  
An interesting example is on this page:  
and go to the "Inattentional Blindness Examples", and then under "selective looking". The last one (the Java applet) is the most famous one, where you count the number of passes.  

From: Jackzilla Entered on: July 7, 2004 2:52 PM
I'm sure Moore will cost Bush some votes, but I bet there'll be folk (even if a smaller percentage) that will support Bush just because they hate Moore. My enemy's enemy is NOT necessarily my friend -- But people are stupid and think like that sometimes.
From: Swerb Entered on: July 7, 2004 1:34 PM
Well, Bert, Michael Moore is interviewed in depth in the new Entertainment Weekly, and he said he only interviewed the woman after she found out about her son's death, but edited it so the viewer didn't find out he was dead until near the end of the movie. But I think the film implies that he does talk to her before (I can't remember now), which is a bit shady. Still, the interview is quite informative, and they do take him to task on some of his arguments, which he defends somewhat well. He also claims to have used a fact-checker from the New Yorker to "tear the movie apart," and says the facts in his films and TV shows are always airtight, evidenced by the lack of libel lawsuits filed against him. Interesting.  
As for the circumstantial evidence thing - I stand corrected. But I'd argue that there are degrees of circumstantiality (is that a word?); a DNA test is technically circumstantial, but far more damning than, say, being in the same building where a theft took place.
From: Ross Entered on: July 7, 2004 1:46 PM
That's SUPER shady! It definitely gives you the impression that she found out partway through. That's quite low.  
However, the basic message still stands. But MM really is a weasel, I tell you...  
As for the circumstantial thing, you're right. My only objection is using the word as a substitute for "weak".
From: The Bone Entered on: July 7, 2004 4:06 PM
I don't know where you got the impression that MM was pulling shady shenagians will the lady. You might be right because I don't recall the specifics but it seems to me that he was interviewing her because she had a personal interest in the war (her son) and that he was showing how she rose from poverty through hard work and that they were a very patriotic family with several members in the armed forces. I was under the impression that she probably lost a child and that Moore was setting the background before he droped the news. Again, I could be wrong.
From: Ross Entered on: July 7, 2004 5:55 PM
Well, here's the thing: the first set of interviews, she was all about being proud and the backbone, yadda yadda. Didn't seem unhappy to me at all. Then later we get the news, she's crying and wondering what the fuck did he die for? Then when she's at the Mall in DC and has some kind of confrontation with some demonstrator (not exactly sure what happened there, the audio on my copy was pretty bad), she goes off and talks to MM some more and says something like "you think you know, but you don't. I thought I knew, but I was wrong." Whatever she thinks she was wrong about, she certainly didn't seem like she didn't have it all figured out when we first met her.
From: Swerb Entered on: July 7, 2004 10:55 PM
Bert, I totally agree that Moore is a weasel, and I admit I go from really admiring the guy to disliking him. One of the reasons I admire him is for taking mainstream American media to the task for being lazy and sensational... and I think he has a point. Does anybody here actually rely on mainstream papers or TV outlets for their reporting of world events? I hope not, because there's so much bullshit out there, it's infuriating.  
Actually, here's a link to the MM interview on Entertainment Weekly's website. You may have to register to read it:,6115,659914_7||660314

From: Ross Entered on: July 8, 2004 9:54 AM
But isn't MM just as sensational as the mainstream media? I certainly think he is.  
As for using the mainstream media to get my news, I do - but I read many different sources. After all, in many cases, only mainstream outlets have access to certain venues where news breaks (such as white house press briefings). Also, Google News does a good job of aggregating many different news services. Sure, the Matt Drudges and his ilk can break the gossipy scandal-type stories first, but they account for a small fraction of real news.  
I also read many opinion/editorial pieces, both by people I like (Turnspit, Church of Critical Thinking, Atheism) and by those I don't (Ann Coulter, Worldnet Daily). Between all these sources, after a while, I think (hope) the real picture gets a little less fuzzy.

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