Maxed Out James D. Scurlock

Maxed Out James D. Scurlock
By now, most people know the horror of credit card debt beyond what most consider reasonable. But despite some appeals to melodrama, this chilling documentary reveals the duplicity of the credit card companies as well as the consequences of their plundering of artificially deepened wallets. The film begins by showing America as addicted to spending, and though a visit with Robin Leach seems slightly beside the point, the film establishes a culture of winners-only, money-is-power economics where "predatory lenders” can promise easy money and take you for everything you’ve got. The film then goes through the outrageous ends to which the companies will rip you off, pointing out that a bad risk is more profitable than a good credit rating due to their willingness to get in debt and pay those monthly minimums. Promising everything and targeting the financially unworldly, the film paints a picture where people are fleeced by large corporations and then blamed for the very imprudence on which their creditors depend. The film has been criticised for being largely rhetorical and dependent on human-interest stories, going so far as to underscore the weeping parents of dead debtors with an inappropriate Coldplay song. Scurlock is of the Michael Moore smash-and-grab school of documentarians, and if he never stoops to the mawkishness of the master himself, he’s still got a lot to lean about forming a cogent argument. Still, as an opening salvo in the war against bad lenders, it’s a pretty lacerating statement, and it will make you think twice before entering into the deal with the devil that will cost you more than you know or expect. Extras: five deleted scenes. (Mongrel Media)