"W.” Baseball, Beer and Briefings


Genres: Biopic and Politics/Religion
Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Release Date: October 17th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language including sexual references, some alcohol abuse, smoking and brief disturbing war images.
Distributors: Lionsgate

Directed by: Oliver Stone

JJ Rating: A-

How George W. Bush (Josh Brolin) came to be President and how it was in the White House leading up to the Iraq War. W..

The big thing in this film is the acting and how everyone related to their counterparts. I think everyone did a great job of emulating who still exists in, for the most part, the positions they had in the film. Let me just take one person and that is Josh Brolin. He was outstanding. I’m going to dabble in the dealings of the Oscar and state that he deserves to be nominated for Best Actor; period. He embodied George W. so well that it was just like they got George W. to play himself.

It’s funny because I really wanted to see W. but it’s not that type of movie that I just drool for, normally. Apparently I’ve been doing this a lot as of late. Ha. I am, by no means, someone that stands up for what Bush does or has done as President. I am just a firm believer in the cabinet makes the President and that Bush isn’t nearly as stupid as some people want him to be.

If this film is close to reality then I believe I got to see what I thought I was going to see, and that was a man who is smart but not in a conventional way. He’s a smart man that mad horrible decisions on who should be in his cabinet. Karl Rove (Toby Jones did a good job portraying) is as devious as his face could be read by one who does that. Then there is the baffling choice of Vice President Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfess who did a great job). Add to that Donald Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn did a grumpy good job there) and you got the trio of bate, confuse and mislead. With friends like that Bush did not need enemies.

The storyline of W. focused mainly on father/son relationship that was not going the way George W. wanted. He felt neglected and under appreciated at every turn. It didn’t matter if he was an outstanding asset on his father’s campaign for President or if he became governor, let alone President of the United States, he just was not good enough. The animosity between the two was just disturbing.

Speaking of animosity Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright played with cool, controlled neatness) dislike for Dick Cheney was not at all hidden and his disagreement with certain aspects of going to war makes his leaving years later understandable, as well as his endorsement, now, of Obama. Thandie Newton’s Condoleezza Rice is interesting and amusing in weird way.

W. is interesting to me. I mean it’s very interesting to me. It’s WAY interesting to me. I’m not blind nor am I silly enough to think that other people will enjoy this film as much as I did. W. is an even handed film. It doesn’t lean left or right and all it does do is tell a story about George W. Bush that makes him human and less of a monster as some would have him to be. If you are expecting a total camp fest or Bush Bash, don’t see it. If you’re expecting praise and grandness, don’t see it. Oliver Stone delivers a film that tries to keep in the middle and allow the viewer to come to their own conclusion and I believe he did a well enough job to be nominated Best Director. I like deciding what is what without being pushed by a film, which is why I don’t like Michael Moore’s crap.

Some people think that the trailer is misleading. I saw the trailer and I knew what I was in for. It’s not misleading. All the music used in the trailer does end up being used in the film. I think the way W. was shot was awesome with the great cinematography. Also the music was well placed throughout the film.

I’m laughing because watching it I saw how George W. did not like elongated explanations. He just wanted to know what was going on straight. He didn’t like being BSed, so to speak. I think the reason he BSed in his speeches was because he did not want to come off as vindictive and hateful. He is not the best President the United States has ever had nor is he the worst. He’s just one of the ok Presidents. He’s just one of the guys who enjoyed beer, baseball and being briefed on world goings on. I enjoyed W. enough to own it. It’s weird to say that, but it’s true. I enjoyed watching a film that was about a sitting President’s life. Oliver Stone has an odd sense of what is good for a film and it seems I’m in sync with such thinking.

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