003797Reviews & Counting
Bowling for Columbine
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: Indiana Sev
Bowling for Columbine order
Michael Moore

Michael Moore
Charlton Heston
Marilyn Manson


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Academy award-winning documentary, which examines the United States’ obsession with violence and guns. Michael Moore brazenly interviews people as widely diverse as victims of the shootings at Columbine to NRA supporter and ham actor Chuck Heston.
Michael Moore is a shit-disturber. That is not to say that it’s necessarily a bad thing...especially in this film. The man goes to any means to get a story, an interview and a point across and that always makes for great filmmaking. There are many factoids that are present (and many of them disturbing) in BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, many moments that will send a shiver down your spine and countless “one-liners” by unsuspecting (and for the most part, “dim”) people that will make you holler with laughter. This is definitely a must-see for anyone who wonders why violence (in particular, death by firearms) in the U.S. is so much more prevalent than in any other country on our planet. Moore offers a fistful of possible answers and lets the images and opinions in his film attempt to answer that question. As hard as it is to watch at times, it’s well worth its while because it provides plenty of insight as to the origins of the fear, hate and paranoia so abundant in America today.

Having said that, the film is obscenely one-sided and that turned me off at times. I would’ve been more impressed had it shown all sides of the subject matter, the good, the bad and the ugly and let me soak in the information on that level. I was often turned off by Moore’s methods, schemes and subjective string-pulling and although it got the results needed (a very entertaining, informative and provocative film) it left me wondering if there were many other factoids that the filmmaker left out just to make his argument stronger. In any case, I agree on the most part with his views in the film, so it doesn’t really irk me all that much, but I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there irate at Moore’s aggressive and extremely bias behavior. So, I’ll be bias too (in tribute to Moore) and give the film a good mark for painting my country (Canada) in such a good light. Hehehe, you see, I can be a shit-disturber too. Seriously though, pick it up...it’s a must-see.
There are a ton of extras on this one, no skimping here.

Side one:

First off, there is an introduction by Michael Moore that has the hefty man providing his thoughts and opinions on the film, the country, etc. A short and simple intro with no controversy…wow!!! An audio commentary follows. The receptionists, production assistants and interns on the film are the commentators. This is pretty original. Moore’s idea is to have the people on the lowest rungs of the filmmaking team give their 2 cents on the film. It works well, goes from silly to serious, but on the whole, works and isn't too boring. A BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE trailer rounds out the extras on side one.

Side two:

Exclusive Michael Moore interview on his Oscar win & acceptance speech: Moore gives a rather long-winded account of his controversial speech and everything that led up to it. He wasn’t allowed to show the actual footage from that night (Oscar folks didn't provide him with the rights), but he does repeat pretty much what he said. Sort of interesting, but at 15 minutes+ it gets tiresome .

“Return to Denver/Littleton” featurette: Moore rants and raves at a gathering in front of an impressive crowd at Denver U. He slams Bush big-time, takes some shots at the election fiasco in 2000 and then offers his thoughts on the Columbine shootings. He gets soft, sentimental and downright passionate near the end of this feature. This is gold for Moore fans.

Film festival scrapbook: 15 minutes of Moore acceptance speeches and interviews in Toronto, Cannes and London. By the end of all these features you will know Moore like the back of your hand.

Marilyn Manson’s “Fight Song” music video: Not my kind of music, but very appropriate considering the man is in the film and he and Michael share a lot of the same views.

Teacher’s Guide: Moore does yet another good deed for the day by including “lessons and activities in conjunction with the film that will help students enhance basic skills and acquire tools for active citizenship in a democracy”. For PC users that have Windows 98 or higher. I didn’t check this out because A) I’m not a teacher and B) I’m lazy. Anyway, it seems Moore really does want to make the world a better place. Once I get tired of surfing porn, I’ll do the same.

Interview with Michael Moore by former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart: Just what the header says; more of Moore’s thoughts, ideas and philosophies on the state of the country. This is like a Moore overdose, fasten your seatbelts and grab a hoagie or two (one for him too) this is another twenty minutes with the man.

Segment from “The Awful Truth II: Corporate Cops”: A 7-minute sequence from Moore’s popular TV show in which Michael embarrasses and exposes more corporate scumbags. I love this shit!!!

“The Charlie Rose Show” with Michael Moore (~ 24 min.): Charlie Rose is one of the best interviewers around, so it goes without saying that I found this feature to be very entertaining and informative. Check it out...the best of the lot!!

Mike’s action guide: A website address where Moore will give you more info and helpful tidbits on how to fight the power!

Photo gallery: Same old photo gallery shit.
I highly recommend this DVD for purchase. The film is powerful and the disc, loaded with extras. It’s a movie that everyone should see at least once and whether you agree with it or not, you have to admire a man who calls “bullshit” when he sees it. If it can make a lazy, hedonistic scumbucket like myself get off my ass and try to make a difference, then it’s bound to make others do “actual” great things. P.S. I lock my doors...
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