Stone's W

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Postby Sabin » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:02 am

He certainly does give a gracious performance. If only Oliver Stone were as gracious to give him a real character arc.
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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:57 pm

I fianlly got to this over the weekend, and would echo most of the reaction here, which amounts to Why? It's way too soon for perspective, and it's not as if Stone had any especial insight or angle from which to work. Bush had problems living up to his father? Jesus, Maureen Dowd came up with that. And if you're going to pursue that angle, how can you omit what should be a key scene: election night 1994, when George is elected governor and Jeb loses. Surely we should have seen the family's inability to feel happy for its unfavored son; it might have made even the hardest-hearted among us feel some sympathy.

But, as BJ says, all sorts of imoprtants scenes appear to be left out, making you wonder if Stone and collaborators really had much idea what they were doing.

Two scenes I did find at least engaging: the "war room" debate, where Colin Powell asserts himself for once, before Cheney takes over; and the mealtime discussion between Bush and Cheney, where we see clearly Cheney's willingness to play at being subervient to Bush secure in the knowledge he's actually in control. "Subtle" is not a word I'd ever have used to describe Richard Dreyfuss' acting, but I think he does a commendable job here conveying Cheney's passive aggressive method of getting his way without ever making it cartoonishly obvious.

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Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:18 am

I've been vocal about hating the film. It has absolutely nothing to offer the planet in any way, shape, or form outside of a good performance by Josh Brolin and the glimmers of great performances by James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn.
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Postby Big Magilla » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:29 pm

Sabin wrote:Just to clarify, I meant Josh Brolin's performance and not the film.

Thanks for the clarification. I thought maybe we had seen two different versions of the same film.




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Postby Sabin » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:48 pm

Just to clarify, I meant Josh Brolin's performance and not the film.

Oliver Stone's Nixon came out over twenty years after the man left office and the film still tanked and underwhelmed at the Oscars. I suppose in retrospect, W. didn't have a chance. Which is something of a shame because despite the fact that the film is completely lousy, Josh Brolin's performance is very interesting at times. I certainly prefer him to Jenkins and Pitt, perhaps even Langella.
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Postby flipp525 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:10 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:Even in the wake of his (political) passing, I'm so sick of Bush I don't want to see Will Ferrell's "You're Welcome America", let alone Stone's "W".

I'm sure there are others like me, probably within the AMPAS voting community. If so, there's the answer.

I have to agree with you, Sonic. I had his farewell address on my DVR for so long and then eventually just erased it. I don't want to hear about him, see him or subject myself to "entertainment" featuring fictionalized versions of him.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:02 pm

Sabin wrote:I'm a little confused as to why the film didn't do better. I think that if the producers had positioned W. as a Comedy/Musical, Brolin could have won the Globe and made up some ground in the precursors. Best Actor was a very weak hunt this year with Langella, Penn, and Rourke safely locked in, and DiCaprio, Eastwood, Jenkins, and Pitt battling it out for the final two spots. With Revolutionary Road serving as unpalatable medicine, it essentially boiled down to Eastwood, Jenkins, and Pitt. I don't really like any of these films but The Visitor's standing as liberal candy and everybody on the planet having worked with Jenkins made him a strong choice. It was Eastwood vs. Pitt and I attribute Pitt's nomination to the fact that few people saw Gran Torino in time. Whatever problems there were innate in W. (I know I consider it to be the most irrelevant film of the year), none of them can trace back to Brolin.

Even in the wake of his (political) passing, I'm so sick of Bush I don't want to see Will Ferrell's "You're Welcome America", let alone Stone's "W".

I'm sure there are others like me, probably within the AMPAS voting community. If so, there's the answer.
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Postby Big Magilla » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:49 pm

To me the film was half baked. What's there is good, but too much is missing. None of the characters are really developed. If you aren't aware of who "Poppy", "Vice", "Brother George" and "Rummy" are, you'll never know from this. Bush's early life is pretty much glossed over. We don;t really get a sense of why he was such a jerk in early years and what motivated him besides jealousy of his younger brother, Jeb, to enter politics. We don;t earn a damn thing about Laura. She's the same smiley face cipher in the film she is in real life.

The film also ends abruptly. Why didn't it cover his re-election and the departure of some of his cabinet members, most notably Colin Powell?
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Postby Sabin » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:38 pm

I'm a little confused as to why the film didn't do better. I think that if the producers had positioned W. as a Comedy/Musical, Brolin could have won the Globe and made up some ground in the precursors. Best Actor was a very weak hunt this year with Langella, Penn, and Rourke safely locked in, and DiCaprio, Eastwood, Jenkins, and Pitt battling it out for the final two spots. With Revolutionary Road serving as unpalatable medicine, it essentially boiled down to Eastwood, Jenkins, and Pitt. I don't really like any of these films but The Visitor's standing as liberal candy and everybody on the planet having worked with Jenkins made him a strong choice. It was Eastwood vs. Pitt and I attribute Pitt's nomination to the fact that few people saw Gran Torino in time. Whatever problems there were innate in W. (I know I consider it to be the most irrelevant film of the year), none of them can trace back to Brolin.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Postby Hustler » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:30 pm

Fortunately, I´ve liked it so much! This is a genuine Stone´s film. No matter what segment of Bush´s life was taken from the story. Brolin´s performance was spectacular,full of nuances, provocative. I can´t understand why he was snubbed in the lead category.

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Postby The Original BJ » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:56 pm

I pretty much agree with what everyone has said here and in the other thread. This is hardly worth being mentioned in the same breath as JFK and Nixon, two great films this one doesn't even seem to aspire to be like.

There's something very odd about the tone. You get the sense Stone and Co. were attempting an even-handed approach, but too many elements reek of flat-out mockery (including Bush's famous malapropisms in conversations they clearly don't belong, the flat-out bizarre caricature of Thandie Newton's Condi Rice) for the film to be really taken too seriously.

I'm also totally baffled by the events chosen to include in the film. Hitchcock once said drama is life with all the boring parts cut out. This film's approach seems to be the reverse: George Bush's life with all the exciting parts cut out. So we get no 9/11, no Katrina, no contentious '00 election, no close '04 election...but George Bush choking on a pretzel. Pardon me if I think those kind of events don't really give much of an opportunity to say anything substantial about the guy.

Josh Brolin, though, is uncanny. He captures Bush's mannerisms to a T. Really looking forward to his work in Milk.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:42 am

"What the hell?"

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Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:29 am

Woman who played Anne Coutler assaulted in her own home; in critical condition

As I've learned, there are some really disturbed people in this world.
"What the hell?"

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Postby Sabin » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:33 pm

I wrote about in the new reviews section. It's as satisfying as an ill-fated attempt at impeachment. The thought isn't all that counts.
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Postby Penelope » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:26 am

Has anybode else seen W.?

It's a mess of a movie. It's clearly what it is: a rushed flick that has intermittent moments of dazzle but for the most part is unfocused, rambling and reductive. Josh Brolin, however, is phenomenal: you forget that he doesn't look much like Bush because he captures his mannerisms so well; more importantly, he somehow manages to humanize this person that I loathe, to such an extent that by the end of the movie, when he realizes he's screwed up royally, and I mean royally, I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
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