Release Date: Sept. 23
Director: Michael Moore
Writer: Michael Moore
Cinematographer: Kristen Johnson, Bernardo Loyola
Starring: Michael Moore
Studio/Run Time: Touchstone
Pictures, 102 mins.After his series of shrill but powerful political films,
Michael Moore’s Sicko was his most
While it lacked some of
the theatricality and humor of his other films, it was tempered with a level
of heart often missing since his 1989 debut Roger & Me
Moore will probably always have his detractors, but if he’d stayed that
course we might have had an interesting new take on the upcoming election and a
few changed minds to boot.
Instead, Slacker Uprising
finds Moore verging dangerously close to self-parody and doing his best to
prove that his ego is the only thing bigger than the controversy that often surrounds his films.
Slacker Uprising follows Moore’s 2004 get-out-the-vote style tour. In this way, the film falls closest to The Big One, with the purpose of
showing us just how great Moore is at lectures and who he can get to speak or
perform in various states. Many of these personalities
are singers, including Eddie Vedder, Tom Morello and Joan
Baez. This lends the film an odd
pseudo-concert feel that doesn’t mesh well with what else is going on, but
does provide some of its most entertaining moments. To give the film some pathos, Moore records
the efforts to stop his tour, some of which succeed. Sprinkle in some press conferences and sound
bites where Moore unsurprisingly comes out looking brilliant, add a dash of words
from the crowds on how great or awful Moore is, and that’s pretty much it.
Few scenes do anything but stress the importance of the tour
and Moore himself, completely eclipsing any sort of issues or politics that the
2004 campaign addressed. The tour is the
slacker uprising the title speaks of (though the title is better than
the previous edit’s mind-boggling Captain
Mike Across America), with Moore purportedly the savior who brings them to
vote. But the thing is, he didn't.
Or at least he didn’t in sufficient enough numbers to have his desired affect on the
country. Regardless, Slacker Uprising feels more
like a commercial for its maker than any sort of artistic endeavor, and because of
the election’s outcome, its release is more than a little baffling. Perhaps Moore's point is to convince voters to stand up and be heard in 2008, but given his failed mission here, it’s impossible to miss the irony.
Watch the trailer for Slacker Uprising: