Sicko (and other airplane movies)

Entry #1547, Mon, November 26, 2007, 17:45 CET (Movies)
(posted when I was 29 years old.)

On my recent flight back from the US, one of the movies available for viewing was Michael Moore's "Sicko." My reaction to it was similar to my reaction to "Fahrenheit 9/11." In fact, I went back to my review of that film and found that much of what I said applies to "Sicko" as well.

What turns me off most about Moore's films is his intellectual dishonesty. He makes films that I find entertaining and relevant on subjects I find important. And then he goes and tosses out his credibility.

For example, when discussing the social system in France, he shows you all its benefits and then, in order to prove that this system is affordable and sustainable, he visits a French household. This family makes plenty of money, goes on vacation regularly, and enjoys the French lifestyle. So obviously, since the system works so well for this one family, it must work well for all of France, right?

What reminded me of my desire to write this review was the news today of new riots in les banlieues. Unemployment in the French suburbs continues to hang around 20% and poverty is above 25%. The French system is hardly working for everyone. That Moore pretends this isn't so weakens his message.

What he does best, however, is let ordinary Americans tell their stories. Their tales are heartbreaking at times, and there is no doubt the system needs change. Again, Moore comes up with some great stunts. The trip to Cuba was both humorous and telling, though it's hard to say how the Cuban doctors would have reacted if there were no cameras.

Overall, it's an entertaining film, and I hope it proves a positive contribution to the debate on health care. I just wish Moore was confident enough in his message to not resort to manipulating the truth.

On my recent Atlantic flights I also got to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which I felt was a terrible film (felt too much like a highlights reel than a movie) as well as "No Reservations," which was stupid but entertaining enough for an in-flight film.

Can anybody point me to a good style guide that will tell me whether film titles should be italicized, underlined, or put in quotes (as I did above)? Thanks.


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