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Michael Moore’s Top 20 Films of 2009

Posted by LiveFor on March 8, 2010

Here’s a letter Michael Moore wrote just before last nights Oscars:


The best movie I saw this year won’t be winning any awards tonight at the Oscars. It wasn’t even nominated for anything. In fact, it wasn’t even shown in the United States. Yet, I’m confident that, if you had had a chance to see it, you would likely agree with me that this is a brilliant film, a rare gem.

It’s called “Troubled Water” (not to be confused with last year’s superb Katrina doc, “Trouble the Water”). “Troubled Water” is from Norway and it is a work of art and great storytelling from the opening frame to its final fade to black. It tells the story of a young man who is paroled after spending time in prison and gets a job as a church organist. He claims to be innocent in the drowning of a child, but the boy’s mother won’t let it go.
When the film was over, I sat there amazed and wondering, “Why can’t I see movies like this all the time?” What is wrong with filmmaking, with Hollywood? Why are most films just the same old tired assembly line stuff — sequels, remakes, old TV shows turned into movies, predictable plots and storylines… “If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie.”
But “Troubled Water” was not like that — and therefore its distribution to the theaters of America was, in essence, doomed.

That’s not to say we don’t make great movies anymore. I loved “Avatar,” “District 9,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Up in the Air,” and “Up” among many others.

Some critics have hailed “The Hurt Locker” because the film “doesn’t take sides” in the Iraq War — like that’s an admirable thing! I wonder if there were critics during the Civil War that hailed plays or books for being “balanced” about slavery, or if there were those who praised films during World War II for “not taking sides?” I keep reading that the reason Iraq War films haven’t done well at the box office is because they’ve been partisan (meaning anti-war).
The truth is “The Hurt Locker” is very political. It says the war is stupid and senseless and insane. It makes us consider why we have an army where people actually volunteer to do this. That’s why the right wing has attacked the movie. They’re not stupid — they know what Kathryn Bigelow is up to. No one leaves this movie thinking, “Whoopee! Let’s keep these wars going another 7 years!”

James Cameron has been targeted by the crazy right, too. Because — and Fox and Rush have this one correct, too — “Avatar” is, in fact, an allegory for America — a land stolen from an indigenous people who were slaughtered, a nation that not only allows corporations to call the shots but let’s them privatize our wars (wars in distant places with the objective of controlling a dwindling energy resource), and a people who seem hell-bent on destroying the environment.

Cameron is a brave and bold filmmaker, a college drop-out who became a truck driver and then one day just decided he was going to make movies. “Avatar” is an idea he’s had in his head since he was a teenager — and somewhere, somehow, his dreams and creativity weren’t snuffed out by the machine. Thank God.

There is so much more I want to say about the state of movies these days, but you’ve got better things to do on this beautiful Sunday. I love this art form, and tonight is the night to celebrate it!

In fact, the Oscars are about to start. I’ll try to “tweet” along with you during the show.
Finally, let me leave you with a list of 20 great movies I saw in 2009 that received little or no recognition or distribution in the U.S. They deserve to be acknowledged on this important night, and I hope you can find them somewhere, someday (a number are already on DVD). They represent the hope I have for the movies being the inspiring force I’ve always believed in.

Be well. And — no extra salt or butter on the popcorn!


Michael Moore

P.S. Here’s my list of 20 “best pictures” I saw in 2009:

1. “Troubled Water” (see above)
2. “Everlasting Moments” – A wife in the early 20th century wins a camera and it changes her life (from Sweden).
3. “Captain Abu Raed” – This first feature from Jordan tells the story of an airport janitor who the neighborhood kids believe is a pilot.
4. “Che” – A brilliant, unexpected mega-film about Che Guevara by Steven Soderbergh.
5. “Dead Snow” – The scariest film I’ve seen in a while about zombie Nazis abandoned after World War II in desolate Norway.
6. “The Great Buck Howard” – A tender look at the life of an illusionist, based on the life of The Amazing Kreskin starring John Malkovich.
7. “In the Loop” – A rare hilarious satire, this one about the collusion between the Brits and the Americans and their illegal war pursuits.
8. “My One and Only” – Who woulda thought that a biopic based on one year in the life of George Hamilton when he was a teenager would turn out to be one of the year’s most engaging films.
9. “Whatever Works” – This was a VERY good Woody Allen film starring the great Larry David and it was completely overlooked.
10. “Big Fan” – A funny, dark film about an obsessive fan of the New York Giants with a great performance by the comedian Patton Oswalt.
11. “Eden Is West” – The legendary Costa-Gavras’ latest gem, ignored like his last brilliant film 4 years ago, “The Axe”.
12. “Entre Nos” – An mother and child are left to fend for themselves in New York City in this powerful drama.
13. “The Girlfriend Experience” – Steven Soderbergh’s second genius film of the year, this one set in the the post-Wall Street Crash era, a call girl services the men who brought the country down.
14. “Humpday” – Two straight guys dare each other to enter a gay porn contest — but will they go through with it?
15. “Lemon Tree” – A Palestinian woman has her lemon trees cut down by the Israeli army, but she decides that’s the final straw.
16. “Mary and Max” – An Australian girl and and elderly Jewish man in New York become pen pals in this very moving animated film.
17. “O’Horten” – Another Norwegian winner, this one about the final trip made by a retiring train conductor.
18. “Salt of This Sea” – A Palestinian-American returns to her family’s home in the West Bank, only to find herself caught up in the struggles between the two cultures.
19. “Sugar” – A Dominican baseball player gets his one chance to come to America and make it in the big leagues.
20. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” – A smart, adult animated film from Wes Anderson that at least got two nominations from the Academy.

A good list of movies at the end. How many have you seen and what other films of 2009 should we have seen but didn’t?

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Capitalism: A Love Story, 2009 – Movie Review. Glasgow Film Festival

Posted by LiveFor on February 23, 2010

Director: Michael Moore

Release Date: 26th February 2010

This review by Richard Bodsworth

Over the years Michael Moore has climbed up on to his Tesco Value sized soapbox to share his views on; gun control, terrorism and most recently the US health care system. So it was only a matter of time before he capitalised on the state of the current world economy with, Capitalism: A Love Story.

The financial collapse in 2009 was massive. News outlets lapped it up giving us constant “breaking news” bulletins, promo videos and exposes which looked like they had come from Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes stable ( But that was over a year ago. While the documentary premiered at the Venice Film Festival film in early September last year, it is only just now reaching UK audiences. Will this kick start a rebellion against the banks? Or is it old news with the public more interested in who will win the X Factor or some other monotonous reality show?

As with his previous efforts, Moore does make some good arguments and presents some startling facts. However one sided they may be, there’s no denying the immense corruption in both banking circles and the government a lot of which is void from our news outlets, you only need to look at this weeks ‘headlines’ to see what they believe is important. The stories of bankrupt families and secret life insurance polices taken out by greedy employers are genuinely upsetting and disturbing. However, Moore likes to drill his point home by covering the same ground over and over in far too similar ways. The use of stock footage, while at times entertaining, becomes an overused technique eventually becoming tedious. His customary finale of trying to get interviews with the people responsible and staging one man protests again falls flat on it’s rotund backside because, well, nothing actually happens.

While attempting to follow the same formula that worked so well for Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore seems to lack enough substantial evidence to sustain the 1hr 45 minutes running time and the last 20 minutes sinks like the Dow Jones. Perhaps an earlier release and a leaner more focused version would have helped.

Rating: **

While presenting some good facts, Moore’s arguments seem more debatable and flawed than usual. And when you struggle to fill the running time? Scream down a microphone at people that don’t really care.

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Capitalism: A Love Story – New Poster for Michael Moore’s new doc

Posted by LiveFor on October 1, 2009


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Capitalism: A Love Story – Official Trailer for Michael Moore’s new film

Posted by LiveFor on September 17, 2009

I have just realised that despite this trailer coming out a couple of weeks ago I hadn’t actually posted it…so here it is.

Due out on 2nd October.

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The Random – Green Hornet, Spider-Man 4, The Special Relationship, Michael Moore, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, 100 Bullets, Ant-Man

Posted by LiveFor on July 9, 2009

Cameron Diaz has been offered and is apparently in early talks for the female lead role in The Green Hornet for Sony Pictures says Entertainment Weekly. Michel Gondry is set to direct the film based on a script by actor/comedian Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg.

Gary Ross (Dave, Big, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) is re-writing the script for Spider-Man 4 says Variety. James Vanderbilt penned the original script which was then rewritten by David Lindsay-Abaire. The project will go into production early next year for release May 2011.

MTV Splashpage translates a report from in which Edgar Wright reveals he is still quite interested in making an Ant-Man film. He completed work on the first draft before Scott Pilgrim vs. the World built steam. “I’m very happy with the first draft and we need to get back into business,” he tells Omelete.

Hope Davis is set to play former First Lady and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in HBO Films/BBC Films’ The Special Relationship says The Hollywood Reporter. The story chronicles the unique and sometimes turbulent political relationship between newly installed British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) and U.S. President Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) in the late 1990s. Julianne Moore was originally set to play Hillary but has since pulled out due to a scheduling conflict with The Kids Are All Right.

Michael Moore’s new global financial crisis documentary has now got a name – Capitalism: A Love Story reports Variety. The film takes a look at “the disastrous impact that corporate dominance and out-of-control profit motives have on the lives of Americans and citizens of the world.” The film hits theaters on October 2nd.

In a story from The Hollywood Reporter Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk will be co-starring in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. The film, directed by Eli Craig, is being called “a genre-bending indie horror comedy.” Labine will play the role of Dale and Tudyk will be Tucker. These characters are two happy go lucky hillbillies who are mistakenly accused of being killers. Also starring in the film is Katrina Bowen (30 Rock).

100 Bullets creator Brian Azzarello teases MTV Splashpage with the possibility of a television series or movie? “That’s all I’ll say. Television … or maybe something that’s not just TV,” he quickly said.


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Michael Moore’s new trailer

Posted by LiveFor on June 13, 2009

The as-yet-untitled Michael Moore documentary will explore the root causes of the global economic meltdown and take a comical look at the corporate and political shenanigans that culminated in what Moore described as “the biggest robbery in the history of this country” – the massive transfer of U.S. taxpayer money to private financial institutions.

Due out on 2nd October 2009.

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.


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If famous directors remade famous comedy sketches

Posted by LiveFor on March 27, 2009

What if famous directors retold some of the most famous sketch comedy of all time? Heres the result!

Written by Chris Wilkes. Directed by Guy Patton. Shot/edited by John Kingman.

What if Wes Anderson directed Abbott and Costellos Whos On First?

What if Michael Moore directed Monty Pythons The Ministry of Silly Walks?

What if Quentin Tarantino directed The Kids in the Halls Im Crushing Your Head?

Leave a comment on this post below.


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Will You Help Me With My Next Film? …a request from Michael Moore

Posted by LiveFor on February 12, 2009

This open letter is on Michael Moore’s blog.


I am in the middle of shooting my next movie and I am looking for a few brave people who work on Wall Street or in the financial industry to come forward and share with me what they know. Based on those who have already contacted me, I believe there are a number of you who know “the real deal” about the abuses that have been happening. You have information that the American people need to hear. I am humbly asking you for a moment of courage, to be a hero and help me expose the biggest swindle in American history.

All correspondence with me will be kept confidential. Your identity will be protected and you will decide to what extent you wish to participate in telling the greatest crime story ever told.

The important thing here is for you to step up as an American and do your duty of shedding some light on this financial collapse. A few good people have already come forward, which leads me to believe there are many more of you out there who know what’s going on. Here’s your chance to let your fellow citizens in on the truth.

If you have any info that would help, please contact me at my private email address:

For the rest of you on my email list who don’t work in the financial industry, you’re probably wondering, “What the heck is this all about? I thought he said he was making a romantic comedy!”

Well, I just can’t say much right now. I’m sure you can understand why. One thing I can tell you is that you’re gonna like this movie when I’m done with it. Oh, yeah…

So, again, if you work for a bank, a brokerage firm or an insurance company — or if you have seen things or heard things that you believe the American people have a right to know — please contact me at

Thank you in advance for your help!

Michael Moore

Discuss in the Forum

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