Bowling for Columbine #MovieReview

Film 163 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 2002’s “Bowling For Columbine”. This Michael Moore documentary explores what Moore suggests are the main causes for the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and other acts of violence with guns. Moore focuses on the background and environment in which the massacre took place and some common public opinions and assumptions about related issues. The film also looks into the nature of violence in the United States. This is a rather interesting documentary but it does like too change it’s topic of conversation very quickly. One minute we’re looking at gun control and the next we’re looking at how the media portrays African Americans/Hispanics. It feels weird watching this and knowing all the things that have happened regarding gun crimes since the film was released. I don’t think the film really answered the question about what was to blame for Columbine. Was it Marilyn Manson songs? Was it watching The Matrix with French subtitles? Was it because of America’s past? Are games such as Call of Duty (I know they weren’t around at the time but lets pretend) and Grand Theft Auto to blame? I don’t think the film answered it. From what I got, Michael seems to blame Charlton Heston at any given moment. All thought I did think it was rude of Heston to walk out on the interview rather than apologise to everyone in Colorado and Flint for holding gun control rallies days after the shootings. Others have criticized Moore for his perceived ambush of the actor. Even Matt Stone criticized Moore for that cartoon as he felt audiences were made to believe he and Trey Parker made that when they weren’t making South Park episodes. I had a look at Moore’s documentaries to see what other topics he looks at. In his last one, 2009’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”, he looks at the financial crisis of the late 2000’s. In 2007’s “Sicko”, he looks at health care in the United States. And in his first documentary, 1989’s “Roger and Me”, which made the list, Moore looks at how General Motors went out of business. Overall, this is a documentary I would recommend. Just be prepared to loose track on what the topic of discussion is. If you have seen this film or any other Michael Moore documentary then let me know what you thought of them in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 2002’s “Bowling for Columbine”.

Film – Bowling for Columbine
Year – 2002
Director – Michael Moore
Written by – Michael Moore
Staring – Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson
IMDb Rating – 8/10
My Rating – 8/10
Length – 120 min (2h)
Genre – Documentary
The National Rifle Association made this film?
“The President bombed another country we couldn’t care about”
Meanwhile in Colorado… two kids went bowling at 6am
We find Michael wanting a free gun at a bank
You have 500 guns at the bank!!!
Before you can get a gun, we need to prove that you’re not insane
This song playing during the opening credits is about bowling! – No shit Sherlock
It’s an advert for toy guns
Michael tells us he won the national rifle award
Hello Charlton Heston
Here in Michigan we love hunting
That dog looks terrified to be wearing a jacket and carrying a gun
“Here in Michigan, animals can not commit crimes”
You can get ammo for guns while getting your hair cut
Time for a comedy set by Chris Rock
What the hell is he wearing?
“All bullets should cost $5000 so we have no more innocent bystanders”
Near our home is a army training range
We practise by shooting bowling pins
“If you’re not armed you’re not responsible”
When I’m not shooting things, I’m a estate agent
I have a M16 at home at the ready
Those are the most terrifying women to ever appear in a calender
Since when did the army have a “Bring Your Child to Work Day”
Michael then meets with a farmer, James Nichols
Terry Nichols, James’s brother was killed while James was let out
Timothy McVay stayed with James after bombing a building in Oklahoma
James’s ex-wife thinks James was insane
Who’s Gandhi?
Hello Brent & DJ from Oscoda
Brent talks about Eric Harris
He then talks about holding a 9mm on a kid while at school and getting kicked out for 165 days
DJ says his name was second highest for suspects for Columbine
DJ talks about “The Anarchist Cookbook” that he owned and says he build a 5 gallon drum of napalm
Who was #1 on the list?
Back with James who talks about the Oklahoma City bombings
“I sleep with a 44 Magnum under my pillow”
He actually does have a gun under his pillow
Welcome to Virgin, Utah who have announced that everyone must have a gun
Who let a blind man have a gun?
Welcome to Littleton, Colorado
Is this an advert for golf?
Hello Denny Fennell
He says Columbine taught everyone to stay alert
It also makes him cry every time he mentions it
Welcom to Lockheed Martin Company – The largest gun manufactuer
The owner says everyone in Littleton don’t know why Eric and Dylan did what they did
He says he donated $100,000 to the school after the shooting
Time for a montage of American foreign policy decisions set to “What a Wonderful World”
How did Bill Clinton confuse aspirin for guns?
And we end the montage with 9/11
At the Air Force Academy they have a bomber that was used in Vietnam
Norad is based in a mountain
It’s April 20, 1999 and it’s the Kosovo War
One hour after the bombing was Columbine
We listen to calls to the police about Columbine
A radio station called the police to ask what’s happening
Here is CCTV footage of everyone running away in the cafeteria
When the shooting was over, 12 students and 1 teacher died
All the bullets were bought at K-Mart
“He shot the black kid because he was black”
10 days later and Charlton Heston held a rally for the NRA
Everyone boo the mayor
One of the victim’s dads hold a talk during an NRA protest
Back with Charlton who says “We the people”
Michael chats with Matt Stone at In-N-Out (one of the creators of South Park)
Time to watch a clip from the South Park film
Matt talks about taking a maths test
He says presidents and head teachers scare kids into doing things
“Don’t fuck up or you will die poor and lonely”
“It sucks being a teenager”
After the shooting, schools expelled students for anything that can be a weapon
Nail clippers, chicken strips, folded pieces of paper, dying your hair blue, wearing a Scottish outfit got students suspended
Time for a marketing video for safety in school
The video says wearing baggy pants makes it easy to hide things
Who the hell can hide a shotgun in their pants?
Who’s to blame for the shooting?
Let’s all blame Marilyn Manson
Manson says artists like him aren’t to blame
Two years after Columbine, people protests Manson’s appearance
Michael chats with Marilyn about why he was picked as “The poster-boy for fear”
I’m assuming this Manson interview is taking place during a gig which explains Manson’s clothes/make-up
He brings up some of The President’s accidents and Monica Lewinski
Manson says no one listens to what he has to say
Michael then chats to two students who were in Eric and Dylan’s classes
They talk about bowling
“They didn’t care about their scores”
Let’s blame bowling for Columbine
Now lets look at statistics
Should all music from Germany be blamed (mostly Rammstein)
Should The Matrix be blamed
Should First Person Shooter games be blamed
Should poverty be blamed
Should America’s violence past be blamed
Should The Royal Family be blamed
Should Adolf Hitler be blamed
Should all the wars be blamed
In Germany 381 people die by guns every year
In France 285 people die by guns every year
In Canada 165 people die by guns every year
In UK 68 people die by guns every year
In Australia 65 people die by guns every year
In Japan 39 people die by guns every year
And in United States… 11,127 people die by guns every year
Tom Mauser asks why America is so violent
Now we’re blaming football riots in England (mostly by Leeds)
Time for A brief history show
Fuck off pilgrims!
They just killed all the Indians
Now they killed the British
Time to sign the 2nd amendment
Now to talk about slavery
“I work at Wal-Mart and make no money”
This is the best cartoon I’ve ever seen
Thanks Samuel Colt but your too late
Thanks Abraham Lincoln for freeing the slaves
Not the KKK!!!!
Not the NRA!!!
This happened until 1955 and African Americans rebeled
The evening news makes the world a scary place
Anyone remember Y2K?
Anyone remember Killer Bees?
Remember that story about people hiding razorblades in apples at Halloween
Are escalators really safe?
“1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental disorder”
George Bush holds a conference about something
Welcome to South Central Los Angeles
Hello Professor
The Professor says the media has never liked black people
Here’s proof that the media lied – A white lawyer blamed a black man for killing his wife – The lawyer did it
Back to the Killer Bees
European bees are nicer than African bees
Arthur Busch talks about why African Americans act the way they do
Back with Brent who talks about how he got his gun
He says he stole it from a gang
Back to The Professor who talks about crime
Back to Arthur who talks about communities
Florence and Normandy… Home of the South Central Riots
Lets blame pollution for why I can’t see the Hollywood sign
He asks news station to do a story about pollution
They say that the news story everyone goes for is the gun
You can’t arrest anyone for pollution
Time to watch “Cops” and “Worlds Wildest Police Videos”
The producer of Cops talks about the show and how everyone on the show being arrested is Black and/or Hispanic
Michael pitches an idea for “Corporate Cops” which gets turned down
I would arrest you easier if I wasn’t eating this donut
Why is Canada so nice?
Time to visit a Taco Bell in Canada
Michael finds three students about why Canada is nice
One gun crime in Sarnia in three years
Sarnia is “The Kissing Capital of the World”
Better visit Windsor, Ontario to see if they’ve had any gun crimes
Time for “Fun Facts about Canada”
Let’s ask New Yorkers about Canada
One man says Canadians don’t watch violent films
One woman says Canada has no poverty
Another woman says Canada has only whites
At a gun store in Windsor
Mayor Mike Bradley talks about guns
Canada has 7 million guns in families
At a Canadian Wal-Mart, Michael buys ammo!
A few people from Sarnia say they don’t lock their doors
One guy says teenagers burgled his house… for cigarettes!
Even in Toronto they don’t lock their doors
Michael decides to try this “unlock door” test by opening strangers doors
At a bar, the news in Canada don’t scare their citizens. They talk about politics and pot holes in roads
Time to visit a Canadian ghetto
Back with the three students at Taco Bell who all talk about health care
They don’t have to pay for anything!
One black man from Detroit says he’s visits Canada because they are nice
“Canada is more about negociating while America is more shoot first ask later”
Time to hear a phone call for a school girl who can’t breath
The caller, Jimmie, talks about what happened when the police and ambulance arrived
Back in Michael’s hometown of Flint, a first grader shot a class mate
It only took news 30 minutes to arrive at the scene in Flint, Michigan
“She was a girl who loved pizza and teddy bears and was taken away too soon”
For anyone who was wondering what it’s like to do news reports on location then this gives a good look at it
The news reporter says all of America is too focused on tragedies
No one cares about Flint
Back with Jimmie who gets upset about the shooting
Back with Charlton Heston who arrived in Flint for a gun rally
Heston was interviewed about the 6 year old girls death and asked why he came to Flint so soon
Back with Arthur Busch who talks about Charlton’s rally
A police officer says the 6 year old who killed his class mate drew him a picture before being taken away
Let’s talk about welfare and Lockheed
Robert Pickell talks about says welfare needs to be stopped because it has no merit and causes more problems
30,000 welfare people have to work in Auburn Hills to work minimun wage of $5.50 an hour
One man on welfare says everyone in his neighbourhood and his brother doesn’t make enough to pay the bills
At Dick Clark’s grill, we talk to the owner about one of workers who was on welfare
Michael flew to California to visit Dick Clark who ignores him
Michael says George Bush never cared about the poor after 9/11
After 9/11, Wal-Mart sales for guns went up by 70%
ADT have had a 30% increase in sales
Michael says that a country that is always in fear shouldn’t have guns
Michael meets with Mark Taylor & Richard Castaldo who were shot at Columbine
They still have wounds from where they were shot
Sort your white balance out
At K-Mart’s headquarters, Michael, Mark & Richard try to get a refund for all the ammo that was used
They want K-Mart to stop selling guns
A spokesperson does everything to avoid their questions
Two hours later and another spokesperson arrives and quickly tells them to leave
It’s pretty clear K-Mart don’t care
Mark suggests they visit K-Mart any buy every gun and ammo they have and return to the headquarters…. with all the news press
They return to K-Mart and show them everything
Another spokesperson says K-Mart will no longer sell guns within 90 days
Michael decides to visit Charlton Heston at his home
Charlton says he’ll meet him tomorrow morning
You would have thought Charlton would have worn something other than his pjamas for this chat
Michael asks Charlton why he has loaded guns in his house
Charlton says he’s only following the second amendment
I don’t think Charlton likes Canada
Charlton says Germans and British are more violent than Americans
Michael brings up Charlton’s rally in Flint days after the 6 year old shooting
He says he would have cancelled the rally if he had known about the shooting
He asks Charlton to apologise for holding his rallies after shooting
Charlton doesn’t apologise and walks out of the interview
Charlton doesn’t even want to see a photo of the girl who was killed
Better leave this photo at Charlton’s house before I leave
Lets end with “What a Wonderful World” by Joey Ramone

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