I don’t tend to discuss politics here, so I’ll leave it out of this review, aside from a small, personal message at the bottom which you’re free to skip over if that sort of thing doesn’t interest you.
Slacker Uprising is the new movie by Michael Moore, and if you want to see it for free – you can. Just CLICK HERE to do so. You have to confirm that you’re a US or Canadian resident to download it, but I don’t think Mike’s going to hunt you down and take your firstborn from you if you aren’t.
Moore documented his 2004 tour with stops in 60 cities to accomplish one thing that Moore makes very clear at the beginning of the movie: “To save John Kerry from himself” and to get people to essentially vote against Bush.
Mainly, his targets are college students, and the film follows the trials and tribulations of Moore as he goes across the country trying to urge kids to kick the president out of office. We see appearances from celebrities and songs from well-known artists, as well as the struggles of the tour to appear on some college campuses that really don’t want Moore speaking there at all.
By now we all know Michael Moore really, really well. If you don’t like his movies, chances are you’re not going to like this one. I do notice that he’s not marketing this one as a “documentary” but more of a “film”, which is a good step, considering none of his films are truly objective. I’ve noticed that there’s always one thing in each Moore movie that sets me just a tad on edge about him. In this one, it was the fact that Moore seems to style himself as the anti-propagandist, the counter to the media’s “sucking up” to the Bush administration. There’s a fine line that Moore is straddling where he can easily become no different than a talking head on Fox News, just skewed in a different political direction, and Moore’s lack of awareness about this makes you take pause for a moment, and kind of look at him a little oddly when he berates journalists for not doing their job and, to paraphrase, forcing Americans to pay $10 to see his films to find out the “truth”.
More than anything, Slacker Uprising screams of wasted potential. If Moore had stuck himself out just a little farther and mentally reached for something a little deeper, he could’ve done a lot for this one. I would liken this voting drive to slapping a Band-Aid on a hemorrhaging wound until you can sew it up properly, when really, there’s a lot more work that needs to be done. Mike’s whole mission is to sign people up to vote; but no one stops to ask: why are Americans so apathetic about voting? Why are all these people unregistered? There’s a lot more questions he could’ve gone after, as well, but it tends to just look like Michael Moore, the anti-Bush, coming to a voter registration drive near you. Granted, Moore’s proud of that fact, but the chance to make something uniquely special during a time when Moore was poised to reach out and grasp it makes me rue the fact that he let it all slip through his fingers. Then again, I suppose the documentary filmmaker you want making that movie is most definitely not Michael Moore.
There are some points where the film feels like it’s veering into frothy, Five Minute Hate territory, but rights itself quickly, hitting all the highlights: War in Iraq, the celebrities, Moore himself, censorship, etc.
And if you like Moore? You won’t be disappointed. Hate him? It’ll make you foam at the mouth.
Regarding that personal note:
If you are an American, over the age of 18, and you are not registered to vote: Go now, go get registered for this year if you can. I’m not asking any vote for any specific candidate, only that asking that if you can vote, you should vote.
Informed voting is even cooler. That’s pretty rockin’ – when you understand who and what, precisely, you’re voting for.
Your vote really does count and every election is important. I swear on my copy of Lethal Weapon, both those statements are true.