So I headed out with a friend of mine last night to watch this here flick. (btw I called moviefone to check the times and it didn't know how to handle the title. it wanted first three letters. so there was that). We brought in wasabi peas, potato chips, Sprees, Twizzlers and we each had a big can of Sapporo (which really is the best can to sneak into the movies because the can itself being all extra thick and stuff keeps beer colder longer). Something I'm sure W. himself would appreciate--or woulda back in the day when he was Mr. Fun Drinker Party Asshole.
I never voted for W but I've always had an unspoken soft spot in my heart for him. Sort of like the dog at dog park who you can trick easily by pretending to throw a ball and they go running off in a direction for far too long. Not the brightest but willing to play hard. And over the years I can't deny there's a certain charisma to W. I do think he can be very funny and casual. And there's something cartoonishly goofy about him that I dig from an entertainment standpoint. That being said, I'm fairly sure historically he has earned his place as the W.orst President in history. (Katrina alone would place him in the bottom five). And he deserves it-- because there's simply nothing for history to latch onto to counter the incalculable damage he's done to this place on all levels. How can any decent leader be color blind to gray?
When I first heard that Oliver Stoned was all busy working on his W. movie my excitement level bubbled up only a little. It seemed like an easy lay-up and a cheap shot. The murmurs of a 'conspiracy' movie faded replaced with 'biopic' movie. Yawn. I dunno. I get the feeling that Ollie was so traumatized by the farty reaction to the blatantly unwatchable Alexander-- he's retreated into only safe havens of controversy. Since Alexander we got 'World Trade Center' which has aged as well as a bowl of fruit-- and now we get this near TNT original movie. What I was hoping for from Ollie was a return to real bite. Perhaps delving deep into the Axis of Evil influences in his cabinet. The more shadowy path to war. Flip the tables. Go stark and angry. But what we got was a cartoonish movie that seemed to pussy out. I expected something that would at least leave teeth marks (even if it didn't break the skin) but instead this flick just gummed my arm and made a numnumnum noise. Sure it was entertaining and it was memorable-- but it felt harmless and uncomfortable.
Yadda there's good acting here and it's absolutely fun to watch Josh Broshin laugh like Bush. And the theater laughed every time what's-her-face spoke as Condeleeza. And the "Good Pig" guy did a nice job of anchoring the Bush family and all that. But there was nothing here that I didn't already know or suspect. Yeah, I appreciated the ghostly Cheney saying stuff, 'There is no exit strategy. We're staying.' on Iraq. And a desperate W. angrily asking a room full of government dopes, 'Who's in charge!?!' There was some mumbling level of catharsis by seeing these characters reduced to simple 'characters'. And for the first 40 minutes I was fascinated with it all. But just like the W. presidency. After the early invigorating cowboy charm and attitude-- it eventually just sort of wandered around reiterating the same half-baked ideas over and over. Until all entertainment value drained away, I noticed things turned into a mess, and I stopped listening altogether... anxious for it to just be over.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I was weirdly fascinated with Laura in the movie and outside it.
- I liked playing with the idea of W. actually watching this. He would have to watch it at some point. Wouldn't he?
- The humanizing was fresh.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- At times (surprisingly) it looked cheap and amateurish.
- It reminded me that I'm still mad at Colin Powell.
- The theater had no A/C and it turned into a sauna. Which didn't help.
All in all, this movie sort of early spikes then flatlines. And I left feeling a little sad for W. and his spectacular failure. Now that the backstory has been lit up-- I realize that I probably misunderestimated the amazing level of pressure he was under. And how heavy a weight of a dynasty family can be. And what a tough spot he inherited. Etc. But to be honest, I can do without those feelings. Because the guy is obviously just a richboy spoiled fortunate son who drunk drove this country into a friggin wall-- and will limp away with swagger and wink. Then I'm sure he'll get busy reshaping his memories to hide the fact that he was responsible... again.