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Bowling for Columbine
     

Bowling for Columbine

3.8 73
Director: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Matt Stone, Marilyn Manson

Cast: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Matt Stone, Marilyn Manson

 

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Filmmaker, author, and political activist Michael Moore trains his satirical eye on America's obsession with guns and violence in his third feature-length documentary, which gets its title from a pair of loosely related incidents. On April 20, 1999, shortly before they began their infamous killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, Eric Harris and Dylan

Overview

Filmmaker, author, and political activist Michael Moore trains his satirical eye on America's obsession with guns and violence in his third feature-length documentary, which gets its title from a pair of loosely related incidents. On April 20, 1999, shortly before they began their infamous killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold attended their favorite class, a no-credit bowling course held at a bowling alley near the school, the same bowling alley which would become the scene of a robbery and triple homicide two years later. While pondering these events, Moore humorously considers the link between random violence and the game of ten pins; along the way, Moore calls on the Michigan Militia (and gets to know some of the models for their "Militia Babes" calendar); spends some time with James Nichols, brother of Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols; visits K-Mart's corporate offices with two teenagers injured in the Columbine massacre as they ask the retail chain to stop selling bullets for handguns; investigates the media's role in the American climate of fear and anger; compares crime statistics in the United States with those of Canada (which, despite higher unemployment and a larger number of guns per capita, manages to rack up a small fraction of the homicides committed in the United States), and questions actor and National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston regarding his appearance at a pro-gun rally held in Littleton a few days after the Columbine massacre, and a similar rally in Flint, MI, after a six-year-old boy killed a classmate with a gun he took from his uncle's house. Bowling for Columbine received its first public screening at the 2002 Ann Arbor Film Festival; the film's official premiere took place a few months later at the Cannes Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jeffrey Iorio
Michael Moore's Academy Award-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine is one of the more polarizing, disturbing films in recent memory. The empirical facts put forth in it are irrefutable: Millions of guns are circulating in the U.S., and Americans are inexplicably using them to kill one another. Discerning empirical facts from deftly disguised leaps in logic, however, can sometimes be a tall order, especially when the man at the helm is rabble-rouser Moore. A folksy cherub with a sardonic wit and an insatiable appetite for off-kilter confrontation, the Roger & Me gadfly shepherds the audience to the desired epiphany with all the grace of a battering ram. Using as a linchpin an absurd yet horrifying bit of evidence -- that the Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold attended their regularly scheduled bowling class the morning of their shooting spree -- Moore launches an investigation into the origins of America's culture of violence. To his credit, the usual scapegoats, i.e., "too many guns" and "video games," are discredited. Canada, we are told, has nearly as many guns as the United States but experiences a minuscule murder rate. In Japan, ultra-violent comics and video games are the norm, yet gun crime is almost nonexistent. One could argue, though, that Moore's thesis -- that American media cultivate an atmosphere of fear by using violence as its centerpiece -- is weakened by the broad strokes he uses to paint the picture. Whatever feelings one has about National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston, who spoke at a pro-gun rally in Littleton shortly after the killings, Moore's bizarre interview with the aging actor casts Heston more as a dotard than the devil. Still, the film's impact remains undeniable, and those willing to look past Moore's propagandistic tendencies to the central issue discussed will find ample food for thought.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
In Michael Moore's best work, the director's attitude toward his subject walks a fine line between bemusement and bitter outrage, and those two extremes are closer than one might ever expect in his film Bowling for Columbine. Moore's examination of America's three-way addiction to guns, violence, and fear doesn't offer many answers to the tough questions it poses, but to a large degree that's part of the point; one of the film's most telling moments comes when Moore interviews the father of one of the students killed in the Columbine High School massacre, and after a while he can only conclude ruefully that he simply doesn't know why America has become such a violent society. Of course, Moore certainly has his opinions about this matter, but for every moment where he's taking on K-Mart for selling handgun ammo or Charlton Heston for appearing at major pro-gun rallies days after highly publicized incidents of handgun violence (in the latter case, at least Moore's entitled as a member of the NRA), there's another where Moore sets out to find if it's true that Canadians don't lock their doors by simply barging in unannounced, or visits a bank where you can get a free rifle for opening a savings account. Moore is able to make the absurdity of real life communicate his message just as well as his rage or sadness, and the film's pointed but effective comedy not only makes the film more entertaining, but also reinforces the more somber (and sometimes shocking) material elsewhere. Bowling for Columbine has an obvious and specific political agenda (and your appreciation of the film may well have a lot to do with the degree to which you share his views), but Moore seems less interested in determining who is right or wrong than in asking what can be done to make America a safer and saner place to live, and for all the craziness (both funny and disturbing) on view, it's the shaggy regular-guy humanity of Bowling for Columbine that makes it most effective, both as a polemic and as cinema.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2003
UPC:
0883904126355
Original Release:
2002
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Sales rank:
9,602

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Moore Participant
Charlton Heston Participant
Matt Stone Participant
Marilyn Manson Participant
Dick Clark Participant
George W. Bush Actor
James Nichols himself
Barry Glassner himself
Richard Castaldo Participant
Brandon T. Jackson Participant

Technical Credits
Michael Moore Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Charles Bishop Producer
Matthew Bookbinder Animator
Dave Concepcion Animator
Gaia Cornwall Animator
Jim Czarnecki Producer
Brian Danitz Camera Operator
James Demer Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Donovan Producer
Kurt Engfehr Co-producer,Editor
Jeff Gibbs Score Composer
Bob Gleason Animator
Kathleen Glynn Producer
Bob Golden Score Composer
Miguel Hernandez Animator
Francisco Latorre Sound/Sound Designer
Michael McDonough Camera Operator
Harold Moss Animator
T. Woody Richman Animator
Kareem Thompson Animator
Wolfram Tichy Executive Producer
Aneurin Wright Animator
Rehya Young Co-producer

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Bowling for Columbine 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't know what to expect. This movie really gives you something to think about when it comes to guns, gun control, and all the different things that drive people to do what they do. This movie doesn't just address the Columbine tragedy but includes tragedy in general. Makes you think about the glorification people put on news and violence. Explains how the media, writers, film makers, etc. have more of a conscious regarding how much money they will make versus the influence they will have on people (especially young people). As they say sex and violence sells which is a sad state of our society. I now have a lack of respect for Charlton Heston (ironic how he played Moses in the Ten Commandments).
Guest More than 1 year ago
A movie not a documentary. Moore should try and be as HONEST about his story as he wants the President to be. Somewhat funny, but mostly rubbish. Gets a 10 for fiction and a zero for honesty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Patricia Orozco I agree on the points of discrimanitation,is all likend together. If i'm an african american does that mean i'm a criminal. The movie was good and it gets to the point.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If one believes in magic, I can see how that same person may want to discredit the director. Watch it and make your own mind up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It really makes you think about life and our society today. best movie i have ever saw.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THis movie is a must see. Not only does it tackle so many of the issues in conversation today regarding race,fear and ignorance it does so in a way that injects humor into how Americans think without making fun of our overwhelming fear and insecurities about each other. The movie is a great conversation piece and can lead to hours of open dialogue amoung people of all races, creeds and the like.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael Moore's documentary on the shootings at Columbine High School takes a very serious though thoughtfully witty examination of violence in America, both past and present. Through interviews with victims and others both directly and indirectly impacted by the tragedy, as well as stars of hollywood and others, Moore gives viewers a chance to personally interpret what he portrays as mere possibilities in the never-ending saga of the causes of violence in American culture. My final thought: Damn... how'd we EVER get this far?? Thank you Michael.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bowling for Columbine was an awesome and very original look at violence in America. It mixed a hint of sarcastic comedy with a realism that really hit home. Between the hip roaring hilarious ''History of America'' Southpark cartoon that made you burst out into combustive laughter and the surreal real time video footage from the Columbine massacre that made you break down like a baby and cry...all of your emotions were touched. In this film, you truly will cry and laugh and be angry. Two points rang clear in this film. We live in an ever increasingly ''fear oriented'' world where we're bombarded with tales of murder and threats of killer bees and bombs in shoes. And two...it really is only a few committed people who really ever make a difference. This movie is a must see!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A wonderful documentary about the United State's gun culture and violence. With a hint of comedy in this world of violence and guns, the director makes you think about it, even after it is long over. Showing that movies, video-games, and music don't cause this by showing and interviewing Brian Warner a.k.a., shock rocker Marilyn Manson (who speaks very intelligently and sensibly) he shows the truth behind all of this confusion. You cry, you laugh, it moves you. Again. WONDERFUL
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sarcastic, funny and real-all geniune Michael Moore style. Hits very true to home...and makes you reflect very deeply (and consider moving to Canada).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interesting to read what people have written about the 'fiction' of Moore's presentation in 'Columbine.' It's so easy to check the accuracy of the facts--so do it and cite what's wrong. Whats RIGHT with the film ARE the facts cited, the interviews with real people (for example the young people from Canada who cannot figure out why the US harbors such a violent society), and the people who were touched by the Columbine shootings. How can people doubt that this country is a mess? Moore did a stupendous job in making a movie that is entertaining enough to make people come and watch, yet informative enough to make them think. AND to make me want to go back and check the facts and find more. I'm embarrased by America's standing with the rest of the world, and sad that we can't come up with a way to use our wealth to eliminate the strife, rather than enhance it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you know how to listen (unlike a few of the reviewers here do) then you'll find every bit of this film to be both true and entertaining. Micheal Moore is great at what he does, but like i said some people haven't learned how to listen quite yet. Watch it and form your own opinion, personally i find this to be very entertaining. - N
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm only 16, so I don't really know all that much about politics and what was wrong in the movie, but I thought it was great and can't get over how true it was. I LOVE this movie!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this amazing film you learn more about the obsession in this country for guns. Michael Moore does an excellent job of showing how guns have changed this country for the worse. Whether you like it or not this film is very powerful and will bring much impact upon you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie clearly underlines our nation's divisive stance on gun control. Michael Moore had the guts to go out and document what he feels needs fixing. Don't knock him down for that less you want to take away the First Amendment. The most horrifying part of this movie to me was how utterly insensitive the N.R.A. was with its tacky pep-rallies only days after the tragedies of Columbine and the death of the 6 yr. old Detroit girl. Whatever side you take, this inhumane and callous treatment of the victims, families and community is inexcusable. I am thankful Moore brought this to light. 'Bowling' sums up our alarmingly rapid rise in paranoia of our neighbors and mankind. Like it or not, this issue will not or should not go away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Does anyone else who has watched this movie know anything about Micahel Moore? The man is certainly not an expert in political science, for that matter neither am I, but do I claim to be? No. Does Michael Moore claim to be in this ''documentary'' (read 'editorial')? Anwser that yourself. What Michael Moore does in fact do is critizice the extablishment (which he has always done) which is sometimes good, but not always good as Mr. Moore seems to think. As its main way of demonstrating its points, the film uses interviews with unsespecting ppl. like employess of a Kmart who are selling things that are protected by the American Constitution. This simply exposes Moore for what he is; a political southpaw and one who skillfully bends truth to his own point of view. Don't let films like this sway your own views of what is or is not true.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kudos to Michael Moore. This film brought tears to my eyes and made me sick with grief, because as an American I am deeply concerned for our Youth and the state of our Nation. It delves into deeper issues than gun control, telling of a government that is ruled by corporations and that money and greed are the true leaders of America. This documentary is harsh, satirical, and cynical of a nation in despair. I recommend it to anyone who would like a clue about what is REALLY going on in America. Oh yeah... the CNN critic who accused Moore of falsehoods happened to be a contributing editor Gun Week Magazine. You'd think in this age (in America) that Moore would have been sued by now, considering all the lies people accuse him of. This is a movie that is every American's duty to watch!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brings home the duplicity of the gun lobby, NRA and naivity of their followers and fans. Moore's directness is as always piercing to the crux of the issue, in this case gun violence. Incredible. Laugh and cry with this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie initiates critical thinking and provides a conceptual framework for reviewing the America's evolution in recent years. MJ's review indicates that an unbiased analysis of events is simply not plausible for some people. I would like to note that this is a movie that will specifically give audiences information for further investigation and critical thought.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never liked Michael Moore, I always thought he was just some fat liberal dork. But after actually watching this movie, I was proven wrong. This guy really knows what hes doing. Bowling for Columbine points out many very important issues that are just simply ignored by us Americans. Most of us aren't even aware of them. It really opened up my eyes and changed my perspective on things. My only compliant is that he kind of makes gun owners look bad by interviewing some strange people but other than that the rest of the movie is extremely informative and well worth your time. I think every American definitely needs to see this movie, you won't be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Considering that we are currently in a state of war, this movie is worth watching if for no other segment that the one that reviews the history of political overthrows in other countries. Not only do we nurture violence in our society, our government has a record for decades of covert intervention in other countries, backing and installing brutal regimes. The cartoon offered by the 'South Park' inventor, and this chronology is a must see for every American.