“Is Dan getting political on us?!?!”

The Couch Potato Report – October 5th, 2004
In The Couch Potato Report this week there is the film that wants to topple a President and Aladdin.
Michael Moore is a regular American from Flint, Michigan. He is also a documentary filmmaker. In his early films he attempted to find out why companies like General Motors and Nike deserted and destroyed American cities just to make greater profits.
If nothing else, his films ROGER & ME and THE BIG ONE and his television show TV NATION made you think about how companies do business. Specifically, how much money do they need to make if it comes at the expense of an entire city, and thousands of people?
In 2002 Moore released the documentary BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE.
It was an examination of the American gun culture of fear, and included Moore’s trip to a bank where he received a free gun just for opening an account
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. During his acceptance speech Moore was booed off of the stage for saying:
“We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it’s the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you.”
It then came as no surprise when it was announced that Moore’s next film was going to be about George W. Bush
That film is FAHRENHEIT 9/11. It won the Palme d’Or earlier this year as the best film at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and it is now available on video and DVD.
In FAHRENHEIT 9/11 Moore blames the Bush government for corporate corruption, senseless death, an unnecessary war, and political favoritism toward Osama Bin Laden’s family and Saudi oil partners following the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
Now, before I go on, let me remind you that I live in Canada and I am a very proud Canadian. I passionately follow Canadian politics and can converse with you at any time about our country and what I feel is politically right and wrong.
I can also give you my opinions on American politics, trust me, don’t ever get me started on John F. Kennedy, but since I am not an American, and have never lived in America, they are just opinions.
I have many opinions about George W. Bush that I won’t get into in this forum, but let me suffice to say that he is the worst thing to happen to American politics since Lee Harvey Oswald.
That said, I was really looking forward to seeing FAHRENHEIT 9/11. I wasn’t disappointed one bit.
Since I knew going in that the film’s singular intention is to topple the administration of President George W. Bush I admit that even though I might have agreed with it, I still watched it with some skepticism.
In the end your own personal politics will determine whether you think FAHRENHEIT 9/11 is a good or bad movie. If you can, I suggest that you try and put all of that aside and just watch what is a very riveting and interesting film.
For the record, Michael Moore’s next documentary is called SICKO and it will focus on the American healthcare system. Moore got the idea for the movie while he was shooting in Canada for BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE and heard that we Canadians don’t have to pay for healthcare.
Not yet anyway.
Oops, there is that political opinion cropping up again. Let me put it away and focus on this week’s other new DVD release instead.
That release is the classic animated Disney film ALADDIN. It is finally debuting on DVD.
Disney’s 1992 animated feature is a triumph of wit and skill that holds up surprisingly well twelve years after the fact.
The high-tech artwork and graphics look great, the characters are strong, the familiar story is still enjoyable to watch.
Truth be told, it is Robin Williams’ frantically hilarious vocal performance as ALADDIN’s genie that continues to keep the movie fresh.
Even if you don’t get caught up in the love story between the title character and his girlfriend Jasmine, there is still Williams’s improvisational energy.
Plus, since this is the first movie that my nephew Brendan ever quoted to me, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Now I can’t wait for him to get older so I can show him FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and talk politics with him.
FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and ALADDIN are both available at your favourite local video store.
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW is this past summer’s ecological disaster film. Up to a certain point it is actually very good.
The always charming Kate Hudson stars in RAISING HELEN as a young woman who suddenly finds herself the mother of three.
I’m Dan Reynish and I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!