Slacker Uprising (DVD) Michael Moore

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His first film to premiere for free on the internet, Slacker Uprising, AKA Captain Mike across America, documents Michael Moore’s attempt to influence the 2004 presidential election. Uninspired by Senator Kerry and the Democrats, he went on a 62-city tour to persuade non-voters to do their civic duty. Moore had two primary goals: 1) to encourage 56 percent of the electorate to cast ballots and 2) to remove President Bush from office. And he roped in big names to make it happen, like Steve Earle, Joan Baez, Viggo Mortensen, R.E.M., and Eddie Vedder (performing a heartfelt rendition of Cat Stevens’ “Don’t Be Shy”) Though Moore acknowledges his failure, it’s hard to fault his strategy, since he specifically targeted the 20 battleground states most likely to influence the results. Along the way, he offered “slacker” fare, i.e. ramen noodles and clean underwear, to new voters. Amusingly, some conservative commentators accused the Oscar winner of bribery, while community leaders in Utah and Nevada tried to ban his appearances. If Slacker Uprising comes across as partisan and self-important–witness the plentiful footage of excited crowds–Moore makes good points along the way, and the essential one is undeniable: everyone should vote, and it’s disheartening that Americans need to be reminded of that fact… but they do. It’s also worth noting that, as in Fahrenheit 9/11, the director continues to support the troops, and several service members to speak out at his rallies. Extras include deleted scenes, including Moore’s reading of the infamous My Pet Goat. –Kathleen C. Fennessy

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