oct 15


So who remembers JFK (the movie)? And who remembers Nixon (the movie)? And who remembers The Doors (the movie)? All of those historical events predate me, but from '91-'95 the filmic versions dominated my cultural thinking. This week, W. opens in theaters, in a moment incredibly more important than any of those films. Nonetheless, I get the feeling no one cares. Am I wrong?


I think its too soon. We need some time to pass to see this in historical context. IMO.

posted by Jake at 12:49 AM on October 15, 2008

I'm finding that same ambivalence around here, and 2nd Jake's diagnosis of timing. We're all still living the W. flick every single day; even atheists are praying the vision end. No one's searching out more for flucks sake, much less on a Saturday night. Heck, I've got a 3 hr. American Master's on Nixon dvr'd and yet - not quite ready for that one either...
Kudos to Stone for making it, sure, but Oy Vey already. Damn.

posted by ana at 4:26 AM on October 15, 2008

Excellent quote about it, Look, the trouble with 'W' is that after 8 years, who wants to spend two more hours with this asshole, even if it is a movie?

posted by Eric at 9:34 AM on October 15, 2008

I saw it. It's not great.

Tonally, it's all over the place.

Brolin is fantastic, really great but the film can never settle between screwball comedy or irreverent historic non-fictionish.

Thandie Newton's Condeleeza Rice is hilarious but not in the right way - it's exaggerated like a SNL character.

And, more than anything, it is too soon. I felt a mix of anger and embarrassment just because of who the man is/was. But also, Stone uses famous Bushisms in places that we all know they didn't happen (his fool me twice line was uttered in pubic not in a private cabinet meeting) and it adds to the overwhelming sense of falseness.

We know Bush because we're still living with him - you can't easily make historic judgment on his words because he's still saying them on a regular basis.

That dead-eyed speech about the economy says more about the man now than this movie ever could.

posted by Gavin at 10:54 AM on October 15, 2008

Stone is a ridiculous ideologue at this point, incapable of making anything other than a preachy message flick.

No I haven't seen W. but based on the trailer and the Nixon flick, I feel confident in making that statement. Still, I'll definitely rent it when it's out on DVD.

posted by sac at 11:44 AM on October 15, 2008

I'm just intrigued by how "important" JFK (and even The Doors) seemed, but no one seems to care about W. I don't know if that's because it's too soon or if it seems ridiculous to critique. With SNL and The Daily Show, is there anything Stone can say that's unique here?

posted by Rex at 1:17 PM on October 15, 2008

We all know Bush is a dufus. I don't feel compelled to spend the $10 to affirm that. I'll put it on my Netflix queue for later curiosity consumption.

posted by ronpadz at 1:53 PM on October 15, 2008

I've been hearing some "Stone has always been a hack, move along" chatter, but I don't buy it. I think the films Rex mentioned *were* important. Will see about W, but I'm planning on seeing it (DVD, not theater).

If it's as mediocre as Gavin says that's a shame, because it probably will be important from a historical perspective....

posted by alesh at 10:31 AM on October 16, 2008


posted by upgrayedd at 1:14 PM on October 16, 2008

JFK and The Doors felt important to us because we hadn't experienced those people and moments, and those movies became the ways for us to connect, participate and understand. None of which I'm remotely interested in doing with the subject of W, now or 20 years from now.

posted by editorlisa at 12:24 PM on October 18, 2008

I just saw it. It's not good. It's neither accurate nor providing commentary, and this kind of movie sort of has to be at least one of the two. Certain behind the scenes things that everyone would like to see (even if it were fictional) like Laura's liberal response to his actions and whether or not he really thinks God talks to him are never shown. He asks questions--the same questions we've all been asking for years--but he never provides an answer. It's also just a bad movie--no story, no ending (it ends in 2004!), no real meaning or message, it's just a bunch of unbelievable scenes (entire months of meetings compressed into silly breakfast banter). It's just not good. I say this with no irony: Beverly Hills Chihuahua is a more worthwhile time at the movies.

posted by BradOFarrell at 5:25 PM on October 19, 2008

NOTE: The commenting window has expired for this post.