Movie Review: Fahrenheit 11/9
Reviewed by Ken Carman for OEN
For those of you expecting this to be no more than some anti/pro-Moore partisan take here, sorry to disappoint. This is going to be as a Communications/Mass Media major and someone admittedly more familiar with editing back in the analog days of video/TV, and very familiar with digital sound editing: taking what many might consider worthless chaos and turning it into a song or composition. If editing does anything it gets to the point, emphasizes and reemphasizes the most important points. Editing brings the audience to some obvious conclusions and avoids getting the whole movie bogged down.
11/9: epic fail on all counts.
I have seen a few Moore movies. The best editing job I’ve seen was 9/11, with definite caveats: ‘from what I remember and the movies I’ve seen.’ The worst was, well, 11/9. It’s not just that it’s an attempt to ride on the back of 9/11: I’ll give Moore somewhat of a pass there. Obviously the intent was to do that, I just wish he had done it well. So much needed to be dumped on the editing floor for the sake of getting to the point. He never quite gets to answering the question he started the movie with, “How the… did this happen?” (Edited for brevity and, well, you know why.)
He spends a lot of time on the Flint water crisis. it was a valid addition, but not close to a quarter of the movie.
He blames himself. One might assume he blames Hillary, or at least those Democratic leadership folks who skewed it her way. One might assume he blames Bernie because he handed it off to Hillary. One might assume there’s at least a hint there of blaming it on Putin. One might assume a small part of blame goes to Obama. I have no objection to any of those, though I think some more valid than others, some not valid at all.
One might also assume he blames the states who voted Bernie but went to Hillary. There’s an important caveat here. If Bernie handed it to Hillary AFTER those votes were taken, valid point. If Bernie did that before the states voted, well, that depends on agreements between the two campaigns. Sometimes an agreement is reached to show solidarity. Hey, Michael, did you forget to show the timing here intentionally?
Somewhere on the editing floor was there anything on Election Fraud tactics and voter fraud? Whatever point of view he might take regarding either is not my point, it’s that one cannot deny both played a major role in the outcome. Massive amounts of voters were disenfranchised driven in part by claims of avoiding voter fraud: especially in crucial states that ended up giving the College to President Trump. Many were denied the vote. Many were only allowed to vote placebo: what some dare call “provisional.” One can only accurately refer to them as “provisional” if there is ever any intent to actually count them. A lot of claims have been made: unsubstantiated. Argue with someone who claims they’re counted if the election is close and demand proof you usually get nothing. Ask even if they ever are counted how are we to know they’re not counted in some biased manner: silence. I have argued this many times. Do you have the answer Michael? Inquiring: bored, movie goers needed to know.
So little on the Russian controversy? I’m not advocating for a position: either it’s all nonsense or we are at war with them and Trump is Putin’s puppet. Or anywhere between those two extremes. It’s just that this is all part of why some people ask, “How the… did this happen?” Take a stand, Mr. Moore.
Considering the popular vote v. College, v. number of those disenfranchised, v. the very close outcome of the election state by state, you simply can’t skip over all I’ve mentioned and find an answer to your question, Mr. Moore. Hell, you can’t even have a decent movie about it.
Hence the worst score I’ve handed out yet.
11/9 is both an editing and pacing mess. Unlike any other Moore movie I’ve seen I found myself squirming in my seat and I was glad when the credits rolled. If I hadn’t had many years of editing skills, college TV experience, years writing a column on the reoccurring topics part of 11/9, I might have walked out saying, “What was that all about?”
But I do know what it was supposed to be about.I sensed the direction he wanted to take the film, but Mr. Moore never quite got there. That has nothing to do with hating his movies, or loving them. It has to do with sloppy, maybe even careless, editing when it comes to content. Even the segues between topics were sloppy, careless, awkward, leaving a patron going, “Why this?” Could use a lot of fade on form: visual and especially content, instead of fade on, “What the…”.
We were the only patrons. I’m not surprised. I left feeling just like the movie theater: empty.
Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end: “you could wait for it to come on TV,” “best seen on the big screen” and “good for all screens,” unless other comments are added, refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.