Capitalism: A Love Story (2009/Overture/Anchor Bay Blu-ray + DVD)
B-/C+ Sound: B-/C+ Extras: B Film: B+
afraid of Michael Moore? Since he
released Roger & Me in 1989, he
has been a controversial figure. His
humor has allowed his opponents in Corporate America and Neo-Conservatives to
more easily attack him and his own financial success has made it hard to argue
against financial success. Moore has not
always been good at rectifying what seems contradictory, yet his films are more
accurate about what they cover than not, but Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) is his boldest film yet and that is
why you may not have heard of it.
thing, the election of President Obama hurt its box office a bit, but what is
different about it from his previous works is that he is less comical and more
personal than ever. There is a more
serious message here than even in his past works and on a personal side, he not
only reconfirms he was Catholic, but places himself explicitly with the Religious
Left in a way he never did before.
been conned not to even begin to listen to him, in part so they do not have to
be challenged on anything or even have to think, but ignorance is bliss. It is also amazing how confident people are
in what they know when they don’t know as much as they think. Moore
cannot be blamed for this, as this was a preexisting condition that made the
Reagan Presidency and Era possible.
offers as much censored material as anything Moore has ever made, which is reason enough
to see it, even if you can’t stand the man.
However, the film continues his point that no matter what the system,
raping and pillaging the wealth of a nation is immoral and totally
unacceptable. All his films are about
this, but he goes further than ever talking about this aspect and in some
cases, I wondered what he was waiting for and why some of these points were not
in his previous films.
satirical prologue comparing the rotten side of America to the fall of Rome, he
covers home foreclosures that have become reinforced in near-military fashion
in ways they never were before, which leads to his discussion of the housing
scandal, which leads to some ugly cases of injustice in the name of high
profits (a private detention scandal, air pilots being shafted with the rest of
the nation, blue chip companies buying life insurance policies on employees
secretly so they can make money on them if they die!) and leads us down to a
few weeks before the 2008 Election where Wall Street got $70 Billion whether
there was really a crisis or not.
argument the film makes is that Capitalism is like Child Labor, an evil that
can never be regulated and should not exist; one that allows people with money
to do anything (even when people get hurt or killed as a result) they want and
suffer no penalty whatsoever. Instead of
calling such Corporatism Fascism (the former name is the original version of
the latter, as defined by Mussolini) or suggesting the U.S. should be a
Communist country, he instead argues that the reason Capitalism has been so
destructive since the 1980s is in corporations via the Reagan Era and
Reaganomics have been annihilating our manufacturing infrastructure to kill the
middle class, kill living wages and kill democracy.
what his labels, there is no doubt democracy has been slowly rotted and
fractured since the 1980s, but that conditions are so bad that the recent
financial collapse means “the end of Capitalism as we know it” as he has
said. That the abuses are in the absence
of true representation of the voting people, too few of whom have voted until
recently. I will not give away any more
and some of this you have to see to believe in must-see ways.
know I was being manipulated at times (choices of music, editing
juxtapositions), that does not change how accurate he is about history or what
has happened. Best of all is a film of
one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speeches, which seems to have been
conveniently ignored and censored for decades, uncovered here in what is the
most important moment in the film. It
epitomizes the one dichotomy that the film inarguably offers: a healthy
democratic by the people/of the people/for the people democracy ala FDR vs. an
unhealthy anti-democratic big money version of America that is not the America
that made the country great to begin with and will not help it in the long
In that, Capitalism: A Love Story is a bold and
challenging enough work that everyone should see above just about anything else
Moore has ever
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image has some motion blur, but also some very
solid shots, though Moore has to use various sources and some of them are
either analog video or low-def digital video, but it is masterfully edited and
looks better overall than the still-decent, anamorphically enhanced DVD. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless mix is a mix on
the Blu-ray has its moments of audio dropout and monophonic archival materials,
but is in pretty good shape considering the nature of documentary sound. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is a little weaker
on the DVD and not as warm, but is still good considering old Dolby’s limits.
include Digital Copy for PC & PC portable devices and Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren on how Wall Street Got Away With
Murder, while both editions feature a teaser and trailer for the film, plus
10 featurettes that cover co-op business thriving, people standing up for the
vulnerable, scholars explaining how bad things are and how they got that way
and the full 1979 speech President Carter gave that likely threw Oil Companies
and Conservatives nuts all running over 80 minutes total.
- Nicholas Sheffo