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Thread: W the movie by Oliver Stone

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    Default W the movie by Oliver Stone

    Is anyone planning on seeing this movie? It looks pretty interesting.

    W.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I'll wait for cable. I've seen enough of the REAL Dubya movie for 8 years.

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    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Is it a comedy? From the previews it looks like a comedy-drama. Maybe that's because Dubya is just a 'tard though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    Is it a comedy? From the previews it looks like a comedy-drama. Maybe that's because Dubya is just a 'tard though.
    Yeah, he is a 'tard. It's just a biography, Oliver Stone style.

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    As is always the case when making a movie about a current tragedy...

    TOO SOON!
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

    "The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aella View Post
    As is always the case when making a movie about a current tragedy...

    TOO SOON!
    Word.

    I want to see this though, it looks like pure comedy. How can one not laugh. Look at the cast, thandie newton as condi rice, richard dreyfuss as darth cheney, I'm already f**king laughing. I think this movie has the potential to be the next 'drinking' game a la Scarface. Everytime dubya character reaches for booze, ya gotta take a shot!

    Hick!

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    ^The casting does seem to bring the lulz.

    I'd totally watch a cartoon of Dubya's presidency. They should call it "How Forrest Gump stole the White House".
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

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    Elite Member Mariesoleil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aella View Post
    ^The casting does seem to bring the lulz.

    I'd totally watch a cartoon of Dubya's presidency. They should call it "How Forrest Gump stole the White House".

    "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers."

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    it's a horror movie right?
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Well, it sure as hell ain't a thriller. I'm looking forward to this one though.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Nope.
    I can't stand listening to the Bush impersonator's, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    Hell, the original is bad enough.

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    'W.': Oliver Stone takes aim at George Bush--and misses | The Big Picture | Los Angeles Times

    If anyone was born to make a movie about George W. Bush, it's Oliver Stone. They're almost eerily like twin brothers, separated at birth. Born into wealthy families barely two months apart in 1946, they both had silver-spoon upbringings in wealthy Episcopalian families, chafing under and ultimately rebelling against the influence of two successful, overbearing fathers. They both went to Yale, where they were indifferent students (Stone quickly left) and had years of struggle and failure before finding their callings. Of course, there are key differences--Bush avoided military service while Stone joined the infantry and spent 18 months in Vietnam beginning in April 1967, earning both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for bravery.

    So it's no surprise that Stone not only ended up making a film about his doppelganger but focused on a theme that perhaps struck close to home: the psychological burden of being the unappreciated son of an overpowering father. The relationship between son and father is the key to "W.," but unlike Stone's gut-wrenching movies about Vietnam (notably "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July"), "W." feels flat and strangely passionless, as if it were directed by someone who makes documentaries for the History Channel. Variety's Todd McCarthy just posted a mixed review, noting that the film is "overly conventional, especially stylistically ... unable to achieve any aims higher than as a sort of engaging pop-history pageant and amateur, if not inapt, psychological evaluation," with almost none of the bravura Stone touches that characterized his best work.

    I think he's being too kind. The film is a mess. It picks and chooses which parts of the Bush story it wants to tell, skipping the drama of the 2000 election, almost entirely avoiding 9/11, focusing largely on the Iraq war and Bush's youthful escapades, early business failures and conversion to politics. It probably would've have been a much better piece of drama if Stone (and screenwriter Stanley Weiser) had ended the movie before Bush invades Iraq, since the real third act of Bush's life--if you're focusing on his tortured relationship with his father--is how such a rudderless, wildly underestimated lightweight could become an American president.

    Instead, Stone bores us to tears with dreary docu-style scenes of White House meetings in the run-up to the Iraq war. The scenes feel accurate, to a fault; they capture everyone's policy positions correctly, but they lack any poetry or tragic drama. Judging from several scenes that Bush has, first with Dick Cheney, then with Karl Rove, Stone's major psychological insight seems to be that Bush treats all of his high-powered advisors like they were White House waiters--they are footmen, he's the careless prince. Stone clearly believes Bush guilty of hubris, of trying to undo his father's mistakes, but he never finds a dramatic underpinning to capture the heft and hidden ironies of that story. (Someone should ask Oliver why it's always so dark in the White House meeting rooms--is that a metaphor or was he trying to disguise how little money he had to spend on the sets?)

    Stone's biggest failing is in his casting. For a director who's discovered so many gifted young actors over the years, Stone is really hurt by his poor choices of actors. Josh Brolin is believable as W, as is Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush. But most of the other roles feel like stiff impersonations or bad "Saturday Night Live" sketches.
    In fact, most of the actors seem to be playing roles from other movies. The worst is Thandie Newton, who does Condi Rice as if she were channeling Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde." Scott Glenn acts like the poker-faced CIA guy he played in "The Bourne Ultimatum"--he doesn't have any of Donald Rumsfeld's swagger or arrogance. The normally fabulous Jeffrey Wright is totally miscast as Colin Powell. I couldn't place his accent, but the person I saw the movie with said it reminded him of Robert Downey Jr. in "Tropic Thunder." Toby Jones has none of Rove's devious aplomb--he looks like an elfin sprite, as if he were still playing Truman Capote in "Infamous." Bruce McGill is god-awful as George Tenet. He goes around with a cigar in his mouth, as if he were a background goon in "Bugsy," not the head of the CIA.

    That's the problem with doing history too soon--we see it as caricature, not as real cinematic storytelling. With the real Bush in eclipse in his last months in the White House, it's hard to imagine who will want to see this paper-thin dramatic re-creation of his grave missteps and misjudgments. Judging from how little impact Bush has had on correcting our current economic crisis, most people in America have seen enough of him to last a lifetime--they're not eager to revisit his rise to power and fall from grace at the local multiplex. Stone may still be obsessed with his evil twin, but the rest of us have moved on.

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    I wish it had included the 2000 election and 9/11. That's disappointing. I was gonna wait for the DVD anyway.

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    Elite Member TonjaLasagna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysfang View Post
    Well, it sure as hell ain't a thriller. I'm looking forward to this one though.


    It's very well done.
    I thought Oliver would bash the hell outta Bushy, but he didn't.
    Everything except the dream sequences were taken from news archives.
    The cast: Brolin, Dreyfuss, Thandie, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Burstyn, Ioan Gruffudd, Jeffrey Wright and Toby Jones were all exceptional, except Scott Glenn....
    I still don't like Bushy, but I do feel a flicker of pity for the not-so-bright guy.
    "the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone"

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    W. :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews

    W.
    Don't say "yes" until
    I'm finished talking


    Release Date: 2008
    Ebert Rating: ****
    / / / Oct 15, 2008


    by Roger Ebert

    Oliver Stone's "W.," a biography of President Bush, is fascinating. No other word for it. I became absorbed in its story of a poor little rich kid's alcoholic youth and torturous adulthood. This is the tragedy of a victim of the Peter Principle. Wounded by his father's disapproval and preference for his brother Jeb, the movie argues, George W. Bush rose and rose until he was finally powerful enough to stain his family's legacy.
    Unlike Stone's "JFK" and "Nixon," this film contains no revisionist history. Everything in it, including the scenes behind closed doors, is now pretty much familiar from tell-all books by former Bush aides, and reporting by such reporters as Bob Woodward. Though Stone and his writer, Stanley Weiser, could obviously not know exactly who said what and when, there's not a line of dialogue that sounds like malicious fiction. It's all pretty much as published accounts have prepared us for.

    The focus is always on Bush (Josh Brolin): His personality, his addiction, his insecurities, his unwavering faith in a mission from God, his yearning to prove himself, his inability to deal with those who advised him. Not surprisingly, in this film, most of the crucial decisions of his presidency were shaped and placed in his hands by the Machiavellian strategist Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and the master politician Karl Rove (Toby Jones). Donald Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn) runs an exasperated third.

    But what made them tick? And what about Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright) and Condoleezza Rice (Thandie Newton)? You won't find out here. The film sees Bush's insiders from the outside. In his presence, they tend to defer, to use tact as a shield from his ego and defensiveness. But Cheney's soft-spoken, absolutely confident opinions are generally taken as truth. And Bush accepts Rove as the man to teach him what to say and how to say it. He needs them and doesn't cross them.
    In the world according to "W.," Bush always fell short in the eyes of his patrician father (James Cromwell) and outspoken mother (Ellen Burstyn). He resented his parents' greater admiration for his younger brother Jeb. The film lacks scenes showing W. as a child, however -- probably wisely. It opens at a drunken fraternity initiation, and "Junior" is pretty much drunk until he finds Jesus at the age of 40. He runs through women, jobs and cars at an alarming speed, and receives one angry lecture after another from his dad.
    While running for Congress for the first time, he meets pretty Laura (Elizabeth Banks) at a party, and love blossoms. She was a Gene McCarthy volunteer. Did she turn conservative? I imagine so, but the movie doesn't show them discussing politics. She is patient, steadfast, loving, supportive and a prime candidate for Alanon, the 12-step program for spouses of alcoholics. After Bush quits cold turkey, the movie shows him nevertheless often with a beer at his hand, unaware of the ironic AA curse for someone you dislike: "One little drink won't kill you." [In an interview conducted after this review was posted online, Oliver Stone told me that Bush was not drinking real beer in the later scenes, but the non-alcoholic O'Doul's.] Dried out, Bush is finally able to hold down jobs.

    The movie is far from a chronological record, organizing episodes to observe the development of his personality, not his career. Even several spellbinding scenes about the runup to the Iraq war are not so much critical of his decisions as about how cluelessly, and yet with such vehemence, he stuck with them through thick and thin. At a top-level meeting where he is finally informed that there are no WMDs in Iraq and apparently never were, he is furious for not being informed of this earlier. Several people in the room tried to inform him, but were silenced. Colin Powell spends a lot of time softly urging caution and holding his tongue. There is no indication that he will eventually resign.

    The movie's Bush is exasperating to work with. At his Texas ranch, he takes the inner circle on a march through the blazing sun, misses a turn and assures them it's only a half-mile back. Cheney, after three heart attacks, and Rice, wearing inappropriate shoes, straggle along unhappily. His parents are apparently even more disturbed by his decision to run for governor of Texas than by his drinking. Cheney is lectured at a private lunch to remember who is president. He quietly forgets.

    Many of the actors somewhat resemble the people they play. The best is Dreyfuss as Cheney, who is not so much a double as an embodiment. The film's portrait of George Senior is sympathetic; it shows him giving Junior the cuff links that were "the only real thing" his own father, Sen. Prescott Bush, ever gave him. The name and the oedipal complex were passed down the family tree.

    One might feel sorry for George W. at the end of this film, were it not for his legacy of a fraudulent war and a collapsed economy. The film portrays him as incompetent to be president, and shaped by the puppet masters Cheney and Rove to their own ends. If there is a saving grace, it may be that Bush will never fully realize how badly he did. How can he blame himself? He was only following God's will.

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