I really did not want to like this movie.
After all the release-era hype, the endless mugging and egotistical preening by Michael Moore, the spirit of "ya gotta see this", the back-and-forth as to whether it's completely accurate...I had gotten sick of the movie before I actually saw it. If it weren't for the fact that I called in sick (I believe I have the cold/flu bug which my co-workers are passing around), I probably would have not even bothered to watch it in one sitting. I wanted so hard to despise this movie, to fling it out of my DVD player and say, "It's just like E.T. - overrated, overamped juvenile crap." (And I had that opinion of E.T. when it first came out)
But I did...and I enjoyed it. To paraphrase Public Enemy, you should believe the hype - this is a movie that asks some very uncomfortable questions, and does so in an unusual way. In fact, the typical Moore antics presented in this movie (reading the Patriot Act in an ice cream truck, soliciting Congressmen to send their children to Iraq) seem out-of-place, and I mean that as a compliment. (And Brent, I'm sorry, but I disagree about Moore being the new Groucho Marx - not only is Moore not as funny, but Groucho was never as partisan as Moore).
This is a movie that moves from alleged business misdealings of our current president to soldiers on the front line in Iraq to increased business opportunities, and moves seamlessly. (Tarantino was right - this gained the prize due to its craft, not its content). This movie makes some unsavory parallels, and suggests that our current "war on terror" is nothing more than a massive cover-up and opportunity for money-making by friends of the current administration. The extra materials on the DVD help support this, including the infamous "post-conference" interview after Bush & Cheney met with the 9/11 Commission.
One scene close to the end of the movie - which Moore could not have staged if he tried - helps encapsulate the current mood of the country. Two mothers from opposite ends of the globe meet, and while they make a connection, a third woman yells, "This is staged, this isn't true." When one of the women - who has suffered greatly due to the "war" - confronts the disruptive woman, she receives a response of "Blame the Al-Quaeda."
Reminds me of "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" episode of The Twilight Zone
If you are a liberal, you should see this film if only to confirm your worst fears
If you are a conservative, even if you think this film is full of lies, at least you will know what the opposition is thinking.
If you are undecided, this film will help you decide one way or another.
And please - no flames about how I'm a commie pinko liberal; I've known that for years.