Review: Where to Invade Next

Review: Where to Invade Next

By: Joe Dreshar

From FilmScene‘s website:

“Just in time for election season, America’s favorite political provocateur, Michael Moore “Bowling for Columbine,” “Fahrenheit 9/11″), is back with his new film, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. Honored by festivals and critics groups alike, the film is an expansive, hilarious, and subversive comedy in which the Academy Award-winning director confronts the most pressing issues facing America today and finds solutions in the most unlikely places. Moore has returned with an epic movie that’s unlike anything he has done before–an eye-opening call to arms to capture the American Dream and restore it in, of all places, America.”

where to invade

Joe writes: Michael Moore is not without his flaws. He’s biased and sometimes disingenuous in editing and interview and he tries to hide behind comedy. He’s politically charged which turns off 50% of the population and his faults as a filmmaker and documentarian can turn off even the most liberal of audiences.

That said, I don’t dislike him or his films. Bowling for Columbine, in particular, I think is a good film (full disclosure, it’s been more than a decade since I’ve seen it so I can’t guarantee it holds up to the test of time). So, put me more on the ‘pro’ side than the ‘con.’ Not staunchly pro, but I agree with his politics so it helps. It’s the editing and the humor that can turn need off moreso than the politics.

But that has nothing to do with this movie.

‘Where to Invade Next’ is worth seeing. No, he doesn’t address the differences between the nations he “invades” and the US, which may help explain why the things he is claiming for the US are not already implemented or may not be able to be implemented. Or why, politically, we may not want it.

That said, his overall thesis is convincing. You will leave the theater wondering if we can truly believe in American exceptionalism when other nations seem to excel and provide for their people in ways that exceed our own. You will find yourself wondering if liberal ideals are truly at odds with capitalism. That if we only adopted a few of the ideas presented, that if we might not be able to be better than we are.

And it’s funny whenever Moore plants a US flag is some poor Slovene’s office and he has to hold it in place as Moore walks dramatically away.

It may not change your mind if you disagree, but this is better than Fahrenheit 9/11 or Sicko or Capitalism: A Love Story politically, so give it a shot.

The movie is running at FilmScene in Iowa City through Thursday. Catch it while you can!

 

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Get Ready for Mission Creek! April 5-10

Get Ready for Mission Creek! April 5-10

Mission Creek Festival returns to Iowa City April 5 – 10. The festival is dedicated to inspiring and building the arts and culture community in Eastern Iowa.

Each year the festival utilizes the existing cultural geography of Iowa City – bookstores, clothing stores, performance venues, and movie theaters – turning the downtown into an easily-navigated nexus of music, art, and transformative experiences. Most events will be within about five minutes walking of other events.

Mission Creek Festival is presented and produced by The Englert Theatre. Information on all Mission Creek events can be found on the Mission Creek website.

 

The Corridor Review is excited to cover the 2016 Mission Creek Festival. We’ll be live-tweeting events @CorridorReview.

Tuesday, April 5th:

Alison Bechdel

Venue: Englert Theatre
Doors Open:6:30 pm
Price:Free

Presented in partnership with University of Iowa Lecture Committee.
Time magazine named her book Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic the Best Book of 2006, describing the tightly architected investigation into her closeted bisexual father’s suicide “a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” Fun Home was adapted into a musical in 2015 and was nominated for five Tony Awards including “Best Musical.”

Thursday, April 7th:

PHOX
Venue: The Mill
Doors Open:8:00 pm
Price:$15
Supporting Act(s):Subatlantic The Wandering Bears

Co-Presented by SCOPE Productions
Originating from Baraboo, WI, the band members of PHOX have since formed an American sextet creating an alternative form of folk/indie pop blend with beautiful tones and rhythm.

Since releasing their album, PHOX has continued to capture listeners with their folk-pop mixes. Drawing inspiration from Feist, Sufjan Stevens, and countless others, the members of PHOX will do nothing shy of sooth your soul.

 

YACHT

Venue: Gabe’s
Doors Open:8:00 pm
Price:$15 – $18
Supporting Act(s):Trouble Lights Cuticle

YACHT are artists based in Los Angeles.
“YACHT’s new album, I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler, is a sweeping and visionary critique of the 21st century. It reveals the band at its most self-assured: critical, funny, tough, and musically diverse, crafting an infectious and hyperactive conceptual pop that seems to seep through the walls of an alternate universe. YACHT’s knowing references to technology, feminism, and media are layered in complex arrangements in songs about holograms and phones, police violence and identity, sex and the future.”

 

7th Annual Lit Crawl

Writers and publishers from across the country again invade downtown Iowa City businesses for three hours of literary mayhem. More information coming soon. Visit missionfreak.com for more details.

 

Friday, April 8th:

Marc Maron

Venue: Englert Theatre
Doors Open:6:00 pm
Price:$37.50
For more than twenty years, Marc Maron has been writing and performing raw, honest and thought-provoking comedy for print, stage, radio and television. A legend in the stand-up community, Maron has appeared on HBO, Letterman, Leno, Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Real Time with Bill Maher, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up, The Green Room and two Comedy Central Presents specials. He has appeared on Conan O’Brien more times than any other comedian.

 

San Fermin

Venue: Gabe’s
Doors Open:8:00 pm
Price:$15
Supporting Act(s):Esme Patterson Extravision
San Fermin is a lush Brooklyn-based baroque pop band, molded by the talented Ellis Ludwig-Leone after he graduated from Yale, where he studied composition and assisted Nico Muhly, a well-known contemporary classical music composer and arranger. The band has traveled all over the world, playing sold-out shows and opening for prominent bands such as the National, St. Vincent, Arctic Monkeys, and The Head and the Heart. With their blend of classical music, pop, and rock, featuring wide-ranging lead vocals from Charlene Kaye and Allen Tate, San Fermin’s live performances have been noted to deliver an emotional and epic experience.

 

Information on these events and many more can be found on the Mission Creek website.

The 88th Oscars Part II

 

Documentary Short: The Girl in the River.

E: Has anyone thought about making a happy documentary?

J: That would just be a movie. The Martian. Boring.

C: Maybe one about pasta?

 

Documentary Feature: Amy

J: The Look of Silence. And they should have given it to The Act of Killing last year.

C: Whoopie Goldberg is like the coolest librarian EVER.

E: I actually really liked Amy Winehouse. RIP.

 

The Oscars In-Memorium:

J: Remember when David Bowie was in Zoolander?

C: Everyone is trying to capitalize on the David Bowie Death.

“I liked you in Madagascar”- Kid from Room

E: #BlessThisChild

 

Best Live Action Short Film: Stutterer

J: A lot going on here.

C: *we did not see these films*

E: *we did not see these films*

 

Best Actress: Brie Larson (!!!)

J: Brie Larson will win. I loved Saoirse Ronan. Charlotte Rampling was the best performance of the year.

C: The Samsung S7. These commercials are fantastic. I think it’s gonna be an upset. At least the S7 comes in black, hey-oh Academy, I could be Chris Rock.

E: Saoirse Ronan or Brie Larson. I just cannot pick between all these fabulous ladies.

 

 

Best Actor: Leonardo DeCaprio

leo.gif

J: I just wanna watch the world implode. They don’t give it to Leo and the world freaks out. Please Eddie Redmayne.

C: Leo and a bunch of Shit Heads this year.

E: I really enjoyed Steve Jobs. I just think people give that film enough credit so I gotta get my two jabs in.

C: And the Oscar goes to…Leonardo Da Vinci! *twist*

 

oscars-best-film-resized.png

 

Best Picture: Spotlight.

J: More Suge Night Jokes.

C: The Big Short

E: Spotlight or Room.

 

That’s the Oscars, folks! Congrats to Spotlight, my favorite pic from the get-go. Here’s a great AV Club post of the daily grind of journalism.

All in all, I though these 88th Oscars were really fun. To another year!

 

The 88th Oscar Part I

By: Emily Weber

Chris Rock though. This opening made me laugh, it made me cry. So smart and so on point.

Best Screen Play: Spotlight

J: I do not care.

C: Spotlight

E: Spotlight

 

Best Adapted Screen play winner: The Big Short.

J: The Big Short

C: The Big Short. For all the creative devices used.

E: Room. For not making a child narrator cheesy.

 

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander— and she takes the award with a bomb dress.

J: Vikander.

C: Kate Winslet

E: Joanna Hoffman for being a #BossBitch. Or Kate Winslet for playing her in Steve Jobs.

 

Costume Design: Mad Max

J: Carol.

C: Mad Max.

E: Carol. Having not seen Mad Max, when the costume designer got up and said #ItCouldHappen my heart stopped. I don’t know what this film is about, but seeing the trailer, I hope it could not.

 

Production Design: Mad Max.

J: Carol. Totally immersive.

C: Mad Max

E: Carol.

#TinaFeyHasBeenDrinking

Bridge of Spies was awful, IMO. I hope it wins zero awards.

E: How is there a category for Hairstyling but not for Stunts? Let’s get this straight Oscars 2017.

C: There, there Bernice del Toro. #TooDrunkForThisShit

 

Cinematography: The Revenant

C:  Sciario. My only complaint about the Revenant is that it could have been more welly-lit 😉

J: Sciario.

E: I don’t see these kinds of films.

C: We probably shouldn’t even use film, we should just use cave paintings. Don’t light anything. Don’t even use a camera.

 

Best Editing: Mad Max

J:

C:

E: My ballot has won every award so far. Thanks Gold Derby.

THE MINIONS AREN’T EVEN NOMINATED FOR ANYTHING. WHY ARE THEY HERE.

J: Han Solo has known Chewy for 50 years and he’s never once wanted to try the cross bow before?

 

To wrap up Part I: Getting through the first stage of awards… is taking a few bottles of champagne.

Ex Machina–Just Won Best Effects!

By: Emily Weber

The dance scene. I just can’t wait to talk about the dance scene.

But let’s get through some of the more important elements first. Ex Machina stars Oscar Isaac (Nathan), Domhnall Gleeson (Caleb), and Alicia Vikander (Artificial Intelligence Ava) are all fantastic so it’s no surprise that this film is well acted. Vikander did a solid manic-pixie-robot appearance. Domhnall Gleeson, as Caleb, played the innocent-hero role well. And don’t get me started on Oscar Isaac, who was fantastic, because too much on this subject and I’ll just start talking about the dance scene already.

Ex Machina is a sci-fi. The plot focus is Caleb and Nathan trying to Turing Test the A.I. Ava that Nathan created to determine Ava’s humanity. The film really has elements of a thriller as well. Nathan and Caleb are camped out in a spooky, isolated lock-down house with only the company of Kyoko, Nathan’s Japanese she-servant who doesn’t speak any English. When Caleb enters Nathan’s world you can immediately tell the isolation has been weighing on Nathan (he’s constantly drinkin’ his sorrows away). Plus the soundmixing really gave me that creeeeepy feel. It’s a very atmospheric film.

Nathan and Caleb being out there on their own gives them a lot of time for posturing about what Nathan has done by creating the AIs, like Ava, and what this creation will mean for the world. The outside world seemingly has no idea that Nathan is creating very near life-like AIs. Will the AIs have a conscious? How will they feel toward their human creators? Will the AIs have our human flaws?

I think I failed the Turing test, though, because I didn’t really care about Ava with the sympathy I think you were supposed to feel. It’s not that Ava was not well acted. Vikander did a fantastic job. I just couldn’t help but feel unsettled by her uncanniness. That’s my only negative. Nonetheless, I like the ultimate question that the movie’s posing for its viewers about “gods” (demi-gods, whatever you might call them) and the creatures they create. The theme was a solid one and it will stick with me.

But not as much as the Nathan-Kyoko dance scene will.

Please:

 

I will watch Oscar Isaac Tear Up the F*@king Dance Floor any time. And in fact I’ve watched this clip several times since seeing the movie. “I cannot take credit for any of that,” said Oscar. “[It was done] by a choreographer who had won Mr. Disco in the U.K. in the mid-‘90s, so he knows his stuff.”- said Oscar Isaac on the Late, Late Show. It’s the scene that everyone’s talking about.

IMO? Give Oscar all of the Oscar awards. Please.