Fahrenheit 11/9 Blu-ray Review
It was only a matter of time before Michael Moore would pop-up during the Trump presidency. The controversial documentarian honestly didn’t have too much to go on during the Obama presidency, only churning out two documentaries. One of those was a bit of a love letter to the former President (CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY) while the other was a trip overseas to take a look at countries that patterned their social programs off of the U.S., and why America had abandoned some of those ideas (WHERE TO INVADE NEXT). This time around, he’s angry, but as usual with his anger, it’s another scattershot approach.
FAHRENHEIT 11/9 starts out trying to find the reasons behind President Trump’s seemingly improbable election. The opening moments play out like some kind of lucid dream for liberals. For Republicans, it might actually be a little comical seeing the tear-filled eyes of Hillary Clinton supporters looking on in disbelief back in November 2016. Once Moore starts digging into the reasons, he lays out several thesis statements without settling on one. Just like in his first film though, ROGER AND ME, he tries to make Flint, Michigan, a microcosm of America’s woes. Does he pull it off? Kind of.
My biggest gripe with this film, as most of Moore’s films, is that he seems a little lost in what he’s trying to say. The film never ties everything all together, and there’s a lot he tries to encompass. He taps on the Flint water crisis, the rotten core at the center of the DNC, Trump’s narcissism, the failures of Obama, racism on the rise, and other topics that I’m sure I’m neglecting to remember. It’ll certainly ruffle the feathers of conservatives, and liberals with thin skin. It may actually be his most partisan look at everything, finding every leader, regardless of red or blue, at fault for policies at state and federal levels. He just never connects the dots.
There’s a lot of interesting things in it that could have been spectacular documentaries on their own. I think he could have had a potential Oscar nomination on his hand if he had refocused his efforts on Flint, who seems to be trapped in a perpetual nightmare. I knew of the problems the Michigan city faced, but not to the extent laid out in the documentary. Not only could he have gone back to his roots, but he would have enlightened America about the continual crisis that festers near Lake Huron.
Moore has always worked best looking at systematic failures in the government and the U.S. system and he sort of succeeds in FAHRENHEIT 11/9. While most of his films try to end on an optimistic note, this one intentionally ends bleak. Moore is using this film as a rallying cry, meaning that its message will grow stale as time goes on. And while his message may ring true right now, only time will tell if it’s relative like his other movies. But if BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE and SICKO are any sign, his rallying cry will fall on deaf ears and we’ll certainly get an angry Moore once again in a few years.
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 1:85:1) The video presentation is fine when Moore and crew are behind the camera, but when using news clips and other images, it’s a very mixed result because that footage was generally filmed in standard definition.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Despite the problems with the video, there was nothing noticeably wrong with the audio.