Documentary

Grass

Year: 1999
Directed By: Rob Mann
Written By: Solomon Vesta

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a documentary about the history of marijuana in the United States, and it is narrated by Woody Harrelson. I don’t know if I even have to write a review after that opening line. It sounds so awesome already that no doubt you are already Googling how to stream the movie online right now. There was a time in college when I just had to have this movie in the collection. It does tell an interesting story about a part of American history though. There is a lot of great footage from the last 100 years relating to the situation at hand. This documentary is both humorous and informative; I have always enjoyed watching it.

I don’t think this is an appropriate forum for discussing the debate over marijuana. I think this documentary does a great job letting us know that marijuana isn’t as dangerous as we have been lead to believe. It does not offer any alternative point of view though, but its objective was not to turn anybody off of the drug. I am not against the personal use of marijuana and I don’t think there is anything wrong with as long as it is used responsibly. I don’t see the point in debating the issue though because I don’t really expect anything to ever change. I think making a fuss about it is just blowing a lot of hot air that gets young kids noticed in all the wrong ways. In this world there are potheads and there are idiot potheads. So long as there are idiot potheads out there doing stupid things there will be people blaming it on the substance they were under the influence of. Truth is, stupid people do stupid things whether they are high or stone cold sober, but that isn’t what you will hear once the lab results are in. If pot is in the system it is because of the pot and it is another number they can add to the tally of evidence they have against the drug.

This movie isn’t one I relate to as much now that I am a working adult and parent with lots of responsibility, but it reminds me of the good old days. This is a well made documentary and those are always fun to watch. If you manage to get a chance to see this one then take a minute to watch it. It is worth your time to see it.

AMBER’S REVIEW

MARIJUANA IS BAD!! DUH NUH NUAHHHHH! I don’t have anything to say about this movie. It is the history of grass in America narrated by hottie Woody Harrelson. He wears clothes made out of hemp. Cool.

NEXT MOVIE: Guess Who (2005)

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Bowling For Columbine

Year: 2002
Directed By: Michael Moore
Written By: Michael Moore

RYAN’S REVIEW

I will never stand up for Michael Moore and defend him, but maybe the man does have a point from time to time. There are an alarming number of stupid people out there armed with guns. Michael Moore is a very hated man and for good reason really, nobody likes a smartass.  Despite what you may think about him this movie is still something I think everyone should see.  It’s entertaining, it’s interesting, and it is emotionally captivating at times.  At its core it is about a great national tragedy that affected many of us very deeply when it happened. In the pre-9/11 America the Columbine shooting was one of the greatest American tragedies of all time.  There was a lot of media attention and it hit home all across the country.

The Columbine shooting happened on my 15th birthday, April 20th 1999, I was a freshman in high school.  It was a strange and dramatic time to be a high school student. I think every school in the country had to endure at least one bomb threat of their own, threats and feuds were taken more seriously, and for a while things were different.  I remember the tragedy being the topic of discussion for several church functions and Sunday school classes.  It was an appalling crime and it seemed to go on for a while in the news because the shooters had placed boobie traps and bombs around the school.  The actual school footage and 911 phone calls in this movie are incredible and very moving.  Michael Moore is a talented director, among other things, and the Columbine shooting sequence serves as proof to that.

Michael Moore tries to cram an awful lot into this movie but somehow manages to make it work.  He somehow manages to bounce around but always bring everything back to the central theme all throughout the film.  He is an obnoxious man at times, what he does to both Charlton Heston and Dick Clarke is wrong. He isn’t completely wrong either though and he makes a point about gun control.  I believe in the right to bear arms, but within reason too.  I don’t see the point in a citizen owning an automatic weapon, or anything beyond hunting rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

I can’t argue with anyone who can’t stomach Michael Moore for the length of this movie, but I dare them to try to not laugh in the process. It is a clever and witty documentary and if nothing else it is important that we remember the events the film covers.  I’m always timid recommending this movie to people because of its political nature. Personally I’m not political anymore, I realized I wasn’t going to change the world a while ago, but a lot of people take these things very seriously so buyer beware.

AMBER’S REVIEW

Michael Moore really does prove an important point with this documentary. Guns are too easy for kids and teenagers to obtain. I am not a huge fan or supporter of Michael Moore, but this documentary I find to be intriguing and truthful. I was an 8th grader when the Columbine shootings happened. I still remember it to this day. In this film when he shows the footage of that day, I still find myself getting sad and teary eyed. If guns weren’t so easily accessible to these guys, then maybe this wouldn’t have happened. It completely could have, but it would have been harder. As Americans, we feel like we are entitled to say, do, be and feel however we want no matter how it may affect other people. As a nation and society, for the most part, we are extremely selfish and only care about numero uno…ourselves. We feel like the right to bear arms is a right, and maybe it is, but I still feel like it should be really hard to obtain a gun. If you are responsible and can prove it then I think you should be able to bear arms, but the problem is that too many people who don’t deserve and can’t handle guns are allowed to obtained them on a daily basis. You hear of kids getting their parent’s guns all the time and accidentally shooting themselves, or taking them to school because they think it’s cool. We need to step back as a nation and really try to understand the process of obtaining firearms and decide if our processes are working or not. Michael Moore does an excellent job in this film at putting that question into the minds of Americans.

NEXT MOVIE: Braveheart (1995)