Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the kid-friendly Halloween flick “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the politics of “Fahrenheit 11/9” and the faux tear-jerkery of “Life Itself.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, Jack Black in “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the birth of Trump in “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the tear-inducing (but not for the reason you think) “Life Itself.”
Richard has a look at Jack “o’-lantern” Black in “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the birth of Trump in “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the tear-inducing (but not for the reason you think) “Life Itself” and the fist-in-your-face stylings of “Assassination Nation” with the CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the kid-friendly Halloween flick “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the politics of “Fahrenheit 11/9” and the faux tear-jerkery of “Life Itself.”
Millions of words have been written about how and why Donald Trump became the forty-fifth President of the United States. In “Fahrenheit 11/9,” his new documentary, Michael Moore has a new theory. He boils it down to three words: Blame Gwen Stefani.
Moore suggests that when Trump found out that Stefani was making more money as a judge on “The Voice” than he was as host of “The Apprentice” he cooked up a false run-for-president announcement to show the bosses at NBC how popular he was. The plan backfired. NBC fired him but Trump’s sons encouraged him to go ahead with two rallies he already had planned. The turnout at the gatherings convinced the real estate tycoon he could be “king of the world” and the race for the White House was on. The media bought in lock, stock and barrel. Especially NBC who didn’t think Trump would win, but at least they could now put him on TV for free.
“It may not be good for America,” says now disgraced CBS executive Les Moonves, “but it is great for CBS.”
From there the film takes the expected jabs at Trump, complete with the usual Moore flourishes. There’s a thumb-wagging montage of Ivanka sitting on her father’s lap—“If Ivanka wasn’t my daughter,” says Trump, “I’d be dating her.”—and archival footage of Hitler dubbed with Trump’s voice, but here the left-wing filmmaker does an equal opportunity smear job.
Moore is a singular voice, unapologetically on the left but here he criticizes sacred left-wing icons like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama (“The worst thing Obama did was pave the way for Donald Trump.”) and paints the Democrats as an out of touch group of elites who may only be saved by young, insurgent candidates like Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
He even takes a job or two at himself. He admits he has been in the enemy camp. Jared Kushner once threw him a party. Steve Bannon released the “Sicko” movie on DVD and Kellyanne Conway snuggles him in some cell phone footage.
Mostly Moore sews together a patchwork quilt of political woes. He dives deep into the case Michigan governor Rick Snyder, the man he says is responsible for the poison water in Flint, Michigan. He goes as far as to say Snyder has bested the terrorists. “No terrorist organization has ever figured out how to poison an entire American city.” He uses the Flint water supply crisis as a microcosm of what is wrong with the system.
He makes a case against the Electoral College, “the last vestige of the constitution written to appease the slave states 200 years ago,“ and details how Bernie Sanders was swindled out of a nomination in state after state by the use of super delegates.
Frankly he hasn’t uncovered much that is new, he just presents it differently than everybody else. His brilliance is in creating pop-culture pastiches with a flood of news clips, archival print material and voiceovers that drives his points home. It’s not all style and eye candy, however. “Fahrenheit 11/9” is a look at why men like Trump and Snyder thrive on power; about how corporations have infiltrated politics and how the future is based in the kind of resistance championed by Parkland shooting survivors Emma González. “It doesn’t need to be like this,” Moore says in voiceover during a montage of modern misery, “and it still doesn’t. We don’t need comfort. We need action.”
Is heavy-handed? Yes. Of course it is; it’s Michael Moore. Is it effective? Yes. It’s a dissertation on where we are and where we are headed, for better and for worse.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the PG-scares of “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the politics of “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the tear-jerking of “Life Itself.”
Richard and CP24 host Arda Zarkarian have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the dirty-cop actioner “Triple 9,” the inspirational uplift of “Eddie the Eagle” and Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next” and make some early Oscar predictions.
Richard and “Canada AM” host Beverly Thomson have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the dirty-cop actioner “Triple 9,” the inspirational uplift of “Eddie the Eagle” and Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next.”
It’s been quiet on the Michael Moore front of late. The Oscar winning documentary filmmaker has been keeping a low profile but keeping busy making a movie he describes as “epic.” Shot quietly in several continents “Where to Invade Next” is his look at how and why the United States keeps the military industrial complex alive. It’s a documentary but it plays like a follow-up to his lone narrative film, “Canadian Bacon.”
The concept of “Where to Invade Next” is pretty simple. Moore “invades” Italy, France, Finland, Germany, Tunisia and Norway to basically illustrate how much better the citizens of those countries have it compared to his fellow Americans. He learns Italians get a month paid leave, a “thirteenth month” set aside for enjoyment. Also, France has great food and an unsurprisingly open attitude about sex education, Finland has the best food and Norway’s legalization of drugs and saw a drop in addiction.
The tone of “Where to Invade Next” is a little different. No, he hasn’t suddenly joined the Republican party. This time out he says he’ll be “picking flowers, not weeds.” In other words, he’s looking at the bright side for once.
The material is presented with Moore’s usual amiable everyman persona. His fans will expect his brand of awe-shucks amazement, but for the first time in one of his documentaries it feels like a performance. It seems as though the movie, while entertaining, had its thesis firmly in place before the individual invasions. Moore’s idea is to illustrate how progressive ideas can lead to happier populaces and it appears he has tailored the material to fit his premise. It is a message perfectly tailored for Moore’s audience—he’s preaching to the choir on this one—but it appears to be more a treatise than a documentary. As treatises go it’s an entertaining one but the information feels too cherry picked to have the impact I’m sure Moore intended.