Thursday, November 27, 2008


So what is this one about?
At first I thought this movie didn't actually exist. But, apparently it does. I have seen it. And Netflix describes it as
Academy Award winner Oliver Stone directs an all-star cast in this satiric retrospective of the life and political career of George W. Bush (Josh Brolin), from his troubles as a young adult through his governorship of Texas and all the way to the Oval Office. Among the key supporting players are Richard Dreyfuss as veep Dick Cheney, Elizabeth Banks as first lady Laura Bush and Thandie Newton as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I went and saw it with Mike at Cinema De Lux. I think the tickets there cost like $11. We also ate a lot of food. They have a starbucks there and I got some tea. And a pretzel. It was nice, but I think he paid for that because I am wildly underemployed.

And what did I think?
Honestly, I thought it was undignified. So, so, so undignified. I mean, be serious, I don't love GWB. I don't hate him like my mother does (man, she gets INSANE over him!) but it is still the president after all! To paint a portrait of him as an idiot, stunted, developmentally retarded man-child is mental. I mean, be serious!!! Why couldn't Oliver Stone have waited another six months before releasing this movie? It makes O.S. seem like an asshole.

The movie was ridiculous. It was incredibly hard to tell if the movie was supposed to be serious or if it was supposed to be mocking Bush, his entire life, and his entire administration. I thought it might have been a dumbing down of the Bush Administration so idiot Americans who don't read newspapers could understand what has been happening for the last 8 years. It was impossible to tell.

But, the casting was awesome! Again, it was hard to tell if the castings were somehow supposed to have been jabs at these actual people. For example, Mike and I actually laughed out loud when "Karl Rove" first appeared. He was such a troll it was impossible not to laugh. That casting, I am going to assume, was a total joke. See...Richard Dryefuss played Dick Cheeney like an evil gremlin, James Cromwell played GHWB...but with absolutely no accent or change to his voice or mannerisms, Ellen Burstyn played Barbara Bush as a HUGE grumpy-ass, grandma beyatch, ROB CORDDRY played Ari Fleischer (another casting that I laughed out loud at) and beautiful Elizabeth Banks was the most realistic portrayer of her person--Laura Bush. Well, I take that back. Thandie Newtown portrayed Condi Rice. And holy shit!
She completely physically transformed herself. Her mannerisms, the way she walked, the way she helf her mouth, all of it! It was extraordinary!! Now, of course, there were times I chuckled to myself because all in all, it was just so entirely ridiculous. I mean, Condi is a professional woman, and to have her portrayed by a glamazon Brit actress picking apart all of her mannerisms was just undignified.

And like I said, that is how I would describe the entire film. Just unnecessary and entirely undignified.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Well, if this movie were a mockmentary, or mockufilm I would give it a 9. But I don't know that it was supposed to be. It was interesting to watch, especially with a big politico like Mike, but it was absurd. If I were rating it as a regular movie I would give it no more than a 5.


sickboy said...

Nice reviews. I was/am looking foward to seeing this one. Oliver Stone is a great director, but he is an opinionated ass at times too so no great suprise. I've added your blog to follow.

this is not a joke said...

Thanks, and welcome! I looked at your blog, and holy smokes!! You watch so many movies. I am going to watch you too.

Matthew Barney Gumble said...

It's weird, we went to see this opening night in a large group, and I was one of only two people who would really defend this movie on an artistic level, even though everyone said they 'enjoyed' it, on like a popcorn-movie level.

The thing that worked for me was that watching this felt basically exactly like living through it, especially in the scenes where, for instance, he goes to visit the combat vets. The past 8 years have been, to use your words, undignified and absurd, and its all we've been able to do to laugh at it, to cope - at the same time, you can see the real effects of the gross mismanagement all over the place. It's unfair to put all the blame on Bush, but at the same time, I think this movie was wonderful for being so cynical, for taking such schadenfreude and for not pulling any punches at the guy. For saying 'fuck the high road.' I'm not saying it's nuanced or profound, but it is unique and enjoyable.