Michael Moore is back after a few years out of the spotlight. Known for his politically charged documentaries, the director’s next feature will fit in nicely with his previous work. Capitalism: A Love Story is his latest film that focuses on the financial crisis that the U.S. has been dealing with for the past few years. It opens in theaters nationwide on October 2nd, but several early reviews have already been released due to its run at a few major film festivals.
On the suffering economy.
- Moore has assembled a collection of nearly unbelievable horror stories to illustrate why capitalism and democracy do not go hand in hand, like a privately owned juvenile correctional facility, which paid the local judge to jail teens for misdemeanors. Even the Catholic Church is marshaled in support of his argument, and Moore finds several priests and a bishop who condemn capitalism as an immoral and incompatible with Jesus and the Bible. [Canada.com]
On corporate Greed.
- There’s a lot to infuriate you, even without the classic Moore antics. We’ve got Wal Mart buying life insurance policies on their workers, who get large payouts while the families of these employees struggle to pay the bills. And this bubbles out into a larger big corporation mentality where these policies are called “dead peasant” insurance. There are privatized juvenile detention centers where detaining youths becomes the primary goal, no matter what their crime. And how about pilots who fly the planes we take across country … They only make 17-20k per year – less than a Taco Bell manager. [Collider]
Is this a typical Michael Moore documentary?
- The film is also frustratingly one-sided and ignores factual and tonal inconsistencies in favor of creating an entertaining whole. It’s a shamelessly manipulative movie, but it’s hard to criticize Moore for that because that’s simply his style of filmmaker. You go to a Michael Moore movie to hear his side of an issue, much like you go to a Michael Bay movie to see candy-colored cinematography and things blowing up in slow motion. [Martiniboys]
What does the film really expose?
- There are heartbreaking vignettes of foreclosed families, one after another across the country. And then there’s the interview with a guy whose company is called “Condo Vultures,” and is happily in the business of buying up and reselling foreclosed properties. As he explains it, the only thing that separates him from a real vulture is that he doesn’t vomit on himself (his idea of a joke). [LATimes]
Does he bring up President Obama?
- The film also maintains a delicate ambivalence about President Obama, casting him as a change agent and depicting joyous images of his victory last November, but also implying that Wall Street had showered money on Obama’s campaign in an effort to buy him out. The question of whether it had succeeded in doing so are left more or less unanswered. [WashingtonPost]
He mixes sensationalism with facts.
- Moore walks us through the so-called “dead peasants” life insurance policies that companies take out on their employees — not for the families, but to enrich corporate coffers. There are charts and graphs and news clips explaining how Wall Street took over Washington, how the disparity between rich and poor grew so wide. And there is the trademark Moore guerrilla-warfare stunts: the filmmaker wrapping Citibank, Chase, et al in yellow crime scene tape, trying to make a citizen’s arrest of their boards of directors. [LATimes]
- Capitalism: A Love Story delivers exactly what you’d expect from a Michael Moore movie about the current economic crisis. It’s unclear how much longer the now quite wealthy Moore will be able to position himself as the voice of the working man, but no one else was more qualified to make a movie on this subject matter than him. Love it or hate it, this is vital viewing. [Martiniboys]
Do you get what you pay for?
- The value of Capitalism, A Love Story is not in the moviemaking, it’s in the message, and the release that it gives to those struggling right now. In the future, the movie probably won’t hold as a piece of classic filmmaking, but right now it will hit you in the gut, make you angry, and make you laugh. [Collider]
There you have it. The early reviews are in, and they’re not far off from what I expected. It sounds like good old-fashioned Michael Moore fun to me.
What do you think of the reviews for Michael Moore’s latest film? Will you go see Capitalism: A Love Story?