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a decidedly minor work, too episodic, but makes it points well with Moore as commanding presence
I'm glad this was free to download or made about as cheap as a film from a major filmmaker (and say what you will, like him or hate him, it's your right either way, he is a major filmmaker now in America), because it is a lessor effort. Since I am a Michael Moore fan and admire his "big" movies greatly (Roger & Me, Sicko, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine) it was easy for me to decide to want to watch this. But this does also fall, even for fans, into that category akin to The Big One, which was, as this is, a travelogue of Moore going around on a tour to promote something with him as the focus really instead of something else like guns or GM in Flynt. The only little difference is that Moore is on the road to promote voting- for Kerry in 04 of course- and tries his best to rally up support, even in Utah where a businessman pays 25 grand to *not* have him speak at a school- which is, any way you look at it, commendable.
Now, it goes without saying that people hate Michael Moore. And when I mean hate I mean that he has to have at least one bodyguard, or more depending on the city, in the hopefully unlikely event that he could be attacked or shot or whatever. He is such a strong target for the right and even moderates and a handful of liberals that he still remains a potent poster child for spreading lies and propaganda. This can be argued this way and that, but Moore makes a point more than once during his time traveling around and giving the occasional press conference that he is just one guy making films, and the media has/had a responsibility during the lead up to the Iraq war. He is a target, but not one to stand down. It's hard to at least not respect that. And as for the other side, he gives them some screen time in Slacker Uprising: at least 15 minutes of the film shows how many republicans (obviously the majority but with some vocal power) and bible-thumpers came to protest outside and inside during Moore's speeches. He gives them their just do to speak. And also makes sure to offer them military enrollment forms as they are Bush supporters. He may be many things, but Moore's got balls.
So watching some of these ups and downs throughout the 62 city tour, of both the highs of speaking to tens of thousands of people in venues that are swing states, and some of the controversy stirred due to Moore's polarizing nature, are interesting. The only problem really comes with the fact that, stylistically, Moore goes simple for this one. The musical choices, the actual score, is repetitive and doesn't do much to add to the picture, which is a shame since Moore is usually creative and inspired with his choice in music, and only some moments of his brand of "gotcha" humor creeps in. The actual musical performances from guests Eddie Vedder and Tom Morello and Steve Earle are fantastic though, with Roseane Barr and the other musician in Tennessee just OK (Viggo Mortensen is a nice surprise).
It's not any triumph of film-making, wont win any awards, and it certainly shouldn't be paid much for. It's the right choice to offer it up online for free or as cheap as possible on DVD, since those who want it can get it and those who definitely don't can pass on by... unless their curiosity is peaked somehow. It's good for one watch, even for those who want it right away, and then to move on along as it's now four plus years gone anyway. For what it's worth, on its own basic and unpretentious terms, it's not too bad at all.
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