Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sicko (2007)

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A documentary is difficult to review because there is no acting, nothing really "special" about watching it on the big screen, and no overwhelming sense of creativity or artistry. Documentaries must, therefore, be critiqued for their thoughtfulness, relevance, entertainment value, and truthfulness. Michael Moore, one of the most polarizing figures in popular culture, is hated by one and loved by another. He has perpetuated this characterization by creating films that strongly attack distinct parties, persons, and ideologies, but Sicko is break from the old Michael Moore. For the first time Moore has singled out a problem that everyone in America can relate to because everyone gets sick, or has family that gets sick, and experiences the U.S. health care system. With his typical wit, humor, and ability to pull heartstrings, Moore explains the sad state of the system by showing how we have gotten to where are today, who has suffered along the way, and ideas for change. Whereas in the past his spotlight shined on conservative, right wing politicians and personalities, Moore points that finger at everyone responsible and delivers blows across the political spectrum (one of the hardest hits is aimed at Hilary Clinton, and its a knockout). The combination of touching personal stories and sprinkles sarcasm keep the viewer entertained, informed, and moved. Sicko isn't perfect. Few scenes come across as excessive or unnecessary but the ones that do stand out. In addition, Moore doesn't go too far in showing critiques of universal health care. But these problems are few are far between and don't take away from the relevance or importance of the film. Moore comes across not as an agitator or trouble maker but as a passionate human being trying to figure out how America can be a better place for everyone. Sicko challenges the viewer to consider how such a powerful country can overlook such a significant problem that affects so many people. Moore has raised a flag that should be at least noticed by all Americans.

Good For: everyone with a thinking brain

Bad For: people who cry at movies, the ignorant, the narrow-minded

The Gallery
The Film Maker: * * * *
The Writer * * * *

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