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Sicko


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted July 10 2007 - 07:09 PM

Didn't see anything come up about this movie here.

I'll avoid the politics, but say that it was a very engaging film. It was better than F 9/11 which I remember being weak and kind of scattered. Sicko has a very simple message, which is basically advocacy for a national healtcare system. As just a film, it's brisk if at times slightly scattered (you lose track of some of the early character stories for instance, because there are a large number of anecdote/stories). The anecdotes make for an emotional film, also quite funny, but makes it also less substantive in a way. It's more of a conversation-starter than anything like an analysis piece. Slim on statistics except a handful that support Moore's advocacy, the film is hardly boring. If you really step back and think "gee, I'm watching a documentary about healthcare" you realize that it's an extremely engaging movie especially given the topic.

Audio was straightforward as you can imagine with what is mostly a talking-heads movie. Some music for obvious or ironic emotional effect, etc.

Video was crappy. Obviously sourced newsfootage isn't going to look good, but the digital camera work was pretty poor, bad focusing in a number of shots, and it also looks like it was digitally edited and poorly at that as the film print I saw had some pretty obvious banding. But again, not a visually driven film and the cinematography is straightforward and gets the job done. I don't want to excuse crappy cinematography just because it's a documentary (having seen some absolutely incredibly shot documentaries including Iraq in Fragments which captured some of the most incredibly striking film images in recent memory under extraordinary and rudimentary conditions which Moore with a film crew and no pressure should be able to do something at least decent), but it also isn't particularly necessary at a basic level to get his point across.

In any case, for a feature-length film about, of all godawfully boring subjects, healthcare, it was very entertaining and provocative. Not a thorough analysis by any means, and heavy on anecdotes and some classic Moore dramatizations, but altogether a film with a very simple thesis that our healthcare system is broken and poor, and others do it better, and that that way is the solution. The latter two points are debate beyond relevance to this review, but as far as broaching the subject, this documentary is effective and very entertaining(and surprisingly very funny) to boot. Moore has a way of making extremely mundane topics that are mostly only going to make it to officially boring outlets like the News Hour or C-SPAN quite entertaining, and if ever there is a documentary about patent law, or the tax code, or pet rocks, I think Moore would be the only guy who could really pull it off in an entertaining way. He is very successful here, and I don't think this film is nearly as politically divisive as say F 9/11 was or is and I think is more likely to engage a much wider audience, not merely people who already are prone to agree with Moore's leftist politics. It can be recommended simply on entertainment value.

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted July 10 2007 - 11:31 PM

Thanks for the review; looking forward to seeing this one for myself - and away from all the hype (pro and con) that has been surrounding it.

#3 of 22 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted July 11 2007 - 12:34 AM

Some may not like Moores tactics, but the message is there and IMHO its a important one. Theres a problem with US healthcare.

There were a few good laughs, like the guy who solved his problem by writing the insurance company a letter saying Moore was looking for stories for a movie and got a prompt response along with coverage.

I thought it was good and worth seeing.

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted July 11 2007 - 12:51 AM

I am not usually interested in seeing Moore's documentaries but I will make an exception to see this one. My wife has been a registered nurse for fifteen years and knows all too well the inadequecies of the healthcare system and some behind the scenes stuff that really get you thinking.
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#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 11 2007 - 02:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
Didn't see anything come up about this movie here.
Previous threads were closed, because the movie wasn't yet available for people to see and discuss. This thread is fine, with the caveat that it is not the place to revisit old debates about other Moore films or Moore in general.

Obviously this caveat is for any subsequent posts; everything so far has been just fine. Indeed, as someone who hasn't yet seen the film, I appreciate the comments above and found them informative.

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#6 of 22 OFFLINE   John Stell

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Posted July 11 2007 - 02:52 AM

I saw it and found it very powerful. It is a thoroughly engrossing film that has as many moving moments as funny ones. Moore, no matter what one feels about his politics or him personally, is a very talented filmmaker.
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#7 of 22 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted July 11 2007 - 03:29 AM

Quote:
I am not usually interested in seeing Moore's documentaries but I will make an exception to see this one. My wife has been a registered nurse for fifteen years and knows all too well the inadequecies of the healthcare system and some behind the scenes stuff that really get you thinking.
Of course, there's a difference between saying the health care system is flawed, and what Moore advocates is the only solution or the best one.

#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted July 11 2007 - 04:05 AM

Eh, I was rolling my eyes at a lot of the material presented in the latter half of the documentary.
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#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Matthew Brown

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Posted July 11 2007 - 04:33 AM

My only disappointment was at the end because it sort of left you with a feeling like "what can I do about it?".

The segment on the 9/11 workers moved me the most, probably because most of the people live within 5 miles of me that are in it. I know people that have been to Cuba and yes there is a hospital on every corner but other things aren't so great.

I don't think Moore's goal was to justify everybody elses system, only give a view of what others have. How they get it wasn't really the focus. This probably would have been enough to fill several movies.

Overall, an eye opener. In the U.S. for the most part if you are healthy or your health insurance has been good to you, it's easy to forget that others don't have it so easy.
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#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted July 11 2007 - 05:41 AM

Is there anything to the remarkable timing of this movie other than pure coincidence? Right now the concept of Universal Healthcare is making it's way back on the national political debate. Two years ago no one was talking about this stuff, and perhaps two years form now, no one will be. Yet now, of all times, is when this flick shows up.

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#11 of 22 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted July 11 2007 - 06:38 AM

Quote:
Is there anything to the remarkable timing of this movie other than pure coincidence?
I don't think it's coincidence. Moore is more than a filmmaker, he's also a political advocate whose films are meant by their nature to influence public policy.

#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted July 11 2007 - 06:50 AM

Sure, but I find it hard to establish any correllations here since the start current musings about the topic in the media preceeded the film's release by several months, perhaps even a year.

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#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted July 11 2007 - 11:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR
Of course, there's a difference between saying the health care system is flawed, and what Moore advocates is the only solution or the best one.

That's not his message at all. He basically says that if America is such a great country, and he says it is; then why don't we take care of all of our citizens? Why are there people with heathcare coverage going broke? He never says that one of the universal healthcare systems he explores is the answer, he just points out that it can work and we should at least try.

By the way, I know I said earlier I wouldn't see it, but my parents wanted to see it, and since they are newly retired and healthcare is ver prominent in their mind I couldn't say no.

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 11 2007 - 02:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
Two years ago no one was talking about this stuff
Really?

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#15 of 22 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted July 11 2007 - 02:16 PM

"He basically says that if America is such a great country, and he says it is; then why don't we take care of all of our citizens?"

"He never says that one of the universal healthcare systems he explores is the answer, he just points out that it can work and we should at least try."


Exactly. No system is perfect, that unreasonable, but why cant we come up with something better? That answer is simple and plain. For me, the part of the film that really drives this home is the portion that deals with what pharmaceuticals cost in other countries compared to here. I really found the info provided in those sequences to be profoundly sad.

This is a issue that delves into forbidden subjects here.

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted July 11 2007 - 03:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRice
Really?
Really what?

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#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 11 2007 - 03:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
Two years ago no one was talking about this stuff
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRice
Really?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
Really what?
C'mon, guys. Play nice. Posted Image

Holadem, I have to disagree that this is a recent topic. I'm older than you, and for most of my adult life, the question of how to control the cost of healthcare (which is just another way of saying how to make it available to more people) has continuously been part of the public debate. HMOs, Health Savings Accounts and government-sponsored single-payor systems are just some of the many specifics that have featured in the debate. But none of this is new.

Now, back to Sicko . . .

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#18 of 22 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 11 2007 - 04:02 PM

Michael is right. It is far from a recent topic and there is a snowball's chance in hell it will be forgotten or not an issue in two years. I could certainly go into my personal knowledge and experiences, but that is not the purpose of this thread...

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#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted July 11 2007 - 04:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
Right now the concept of Universal Healthcare is making it's way back on the national political debate.
Emphasis mine. Heck, the whole damn quote is mine Posted Image.

I didn't say the issue never came up, rather that it had been making a resurgence in recent months -- at least according to my news sources. And since as you guys pointed out, this isn't the first time, it is very conceivable (inferable even) that a year or two from now it will cede a significant share of the relative limelight it currently enjoys to some more pressing matter (as perceived by the powers that be anyway).

Apologies for derailing the thread.

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#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Dennis

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Posted July 16 2007 - 03:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR
I don't think it's coincidence. Moore is more than a filmmaker, he's also a political advocate whose films are meant by their nature to influence public policy.

Considering what is shown in the film, I sure hope so.


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