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Old 07-29-2008, 02:42 PM   #31
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Stone based his film around the book by Jim Garrison. The case built by Garrison looked semi-plausible on a cursory examination but under closer examination did not stack up. Clay Shaw was most likely an innocent man unfairly hounded.

The film 'JFK' and the book which inspired it are best seen as entertaining works of fiction.
The problem is the movie doesn't treat itself as a work of fiction.

I have a hard time believing that this "W." movie will be objective and am deliberating whether or not it's worth watching, considering that some of the things in it "may or may not be true".
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:29 PM   #32
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I have a hard time believing that this "W." movie will be objective
It's so obviously NOT going to be objective. I mean, come on. . .Nothing worse than trying to claim the mantle of "objectivity" so that your partisanship can seem more credible.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:03 AM   #33
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The new trailer, I saw it before my movie last night. Perfect song choice. It's out next month.

YouTube - Oliver Stone W. Trailer 2 (2008) HD
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:06 AM   #34
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^ wow, that was way, way better than the teaser.

i might actually see it.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:23 AM   #35
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I'm actually kind of intrigued by Josh Brolin's take of W on it enough to go see it.

Although maybe a bigger part just never, ever wants to see this man ever again.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:34 AM   #36
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I wouldn't mind seeing the movie, but after "World Trade Center" and "Alexander" I probaly won't rush to see this movie.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:07 AM   #37
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Good thing he took out Bush on the magic carpet. OMG Maybe that will make the DVD

NY Times

October 12, 2008
Film
Throwing Incaution to the Wind, Stone Paints Bush
By RICHARD L. BERKE

IMAGINE these fantastical sequences from “W.,” the Oliver Stone portrayal of President George W. Bush that opens on Friday: The president is not alone with his dogs when he chokes on a pretzel and tumbles from the sofa; Saddam Hussein is in the White House family quarters with him. Later Mr. Bush flies over Baghdad on a magic carpet as the bombs rain down. And finally Mr. Hussein returns for another cameo, this time to shout insults at the president and his father.

These depictions would hardly be a reach for a director who is fond of monkeying with history. In “JFK” Mr. Stone suggested that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a cabal of gay anti-Communists. In “Nixon” he made that president so epically loathsome that even his Irish setter turned on him.

But “W.” contains no airborne Bush; Mr. Stone cut the scene. And the pretzel incident has no Iraqi dictator, only the two first dogs, Barney and Spot.

“It was wacky stuff that at the end of the day took us out of the movie,” Mr. Stone said in a recent interview in a back corner of the restaurant at the Royalton Hotel in Manhattan. “We wanted to focus on the mind-set of this man. We don’t change anything in his true story. Don’t have to, because it’s a great story. Dickens would do it. Mark Twain would write a great book. This guy who is basically a bum becomes president of the United States.”

The surprise about “W.” is that its left-wing creator made a movie that is not so much operatic or hysterical as utterly plausible.

Yes, there are soapy oversimplifications and embellishments (and some hallucinatory camera work involving baseball stadiums and showdowns in the Oval Office) that Bush loyalists will seize on as reprehensible distortions.

But all in all, the straightforwardness of “W.” suggests that Mr. Stone set out to make a critical biography but was somehow spooked. The director who has built a career on vowing to unearth hidden truths made a movie that feels more familiar than revelatory.

For all of his fascination with what he calls Mr. Bush’s demons, Mr. Stone has demons of his own. After “JFK” and “Nixon” he was ridiculed by historians, journalists and partisans for, as he put it, “brainwashing the young.” Maybe now he is chastened, not wanting critics to dismiss the movie as another hatchet job that would scare off audiences.

Did he excise the Saddam Hussein dream scene, for instance, out of fear that it would cost the movie some credibility?

“Yes, I think so,” he said.

As a result Mr. Stone retreats to the most familiar, widely accepted aspects of Mr. Bush’s biography, gliding through the stations of the Bush cross that pop up in countless books and articles, from his fraternity hazing to his mano-a-mano fight with his father to his struggle with alcohol and his road to religious redemption to his decision to invade Iraq.

So faithful is this rendering that a scene of Governor Bush behind his imposing desk in Austin, Tex., stirred a reporter’s memories of what it was like to interview Mr. Bush in that very setting nearly a decade ago. The Bush then, with his boots on the desk, his playful sparring with aides and his conversation sprinkled with the eager invocation of “God almighty,” was uncannily similar to the one played by Josh Brolin.

But there are commercial and artistic risks to hewing so closely to the record. Given that his subject is the most dissected sitting president in history, his two terms picked over by insider memoirs and the never-ending chattering of the 24/7 media world, many viewers will want and expect Mr. Stone to whip up something fresh. Then there is the complication for Mr. Stone of basing a movie on a president presiding over an economic collapse and two wars. John Kennedy and Richard Nixon were long gone before Mr. Stone tackled them in his epics.

Asked to explain what audiences will learn about the president in “W.,” Mr. Stone was more vague than provocative. “I think you understand George Bush much better when you see the movie,” he said. “After two hours you walk in his path. You understand his worldview and how he got there and how he became the man he was.”

Mr. Stone has never succeeded at divorcing his powerful point of view from his filmmaking, and he readily acknowledges that he hopes his $25 million movie — to be released less than three weeks before the presidential election — will somehow help Barack Obama, though he is not sure how.

To make its pre-election release date, Mr. Stone completed “W.” in 46 days, much faster than most movies, after he found himself with some free time once United Artists backed out of another film he was set to direct, “Pinkville,” about the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. (“There’s really no better time to release a politically themed film than right now,” said Tom Ortenberg, Lionsgate’s president for theatrical film. “We all thought it would be a question mark as to the level of interest after the election, or certainly after the inauguration.”)

With this film, Mr. Stone — a decorated Vietnam veteran who directed “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July” — intended to focus attention on how Mr. Bush bequeathed us the Iraq war. “It’s breathtaking,” he said, “to go through your lifetime and see the second set of mistakes again.” (The movie doesn’t address 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.)

Mr. Stone’s distaste for the president rears itself even when Mr. Stone is reminded that they are both 62 and followed in their fathers’ footsteps by enrolling at Yale. “I got A’s,” he said. “He was a C student, and I think you cannot overlook that. I don’t think he’s a fundamentally educated man.” (He neglected to note that he, not Mr. Bush, was a Yale dropout.) And speaking of the Bush name, he said, “I don’t think the name can recover.”

Such remarks will only fuel Republican rebukes that the movie is an anti-Bush vendetta. Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s political guru, who is played in a bit role by Toby Jones (whose last star turn was as Truman Capote), said the trailer was such a caricature that he’ll never see the movie.

“I don’t think they made any attempt to have this conform to any reality except that which exists in the cerebral cortex of Oliver Stone, which is a brain with only a functioning left side,” Mr. Rove said. “This is a political film that is an attempt to influence an election that is about four years too late.”

Told of that comment, Mr. Stone said Mr. Rove would enjoy the movie because Mr. Bush “looks good in many ways.” While he considers Mr. Rove “one of the most devious men,” he gave him “the benefit of the doubt,” he said, though adding that he wished Mr. Jones “had been taller like Rove, and fatter.”

Despite Mr. Stone’s politics, there is room for some nuance in his portrayal of Mr. Bush. A lunch with Vice President Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) starts off with the makings of a Stone mockery: Mr. Bush seems the impatient simpleton who does not want to bother reading a three-page memo about authorizing “enhanced interrogation techniques” of detainees. “Only three pages — good!” he says. But Mr. Bush makes clear he is no stooge.

“Bush knows that Cheney is trying to play him,” Mr. Stone said. “He’s not stupid.”

Bush family dynamics are so oversimplified that at every turn Mr. Bush’s father (James Cromwell) seems to be wagging his finger at his son for besmirching the family name. Mr. Stone would have you believe that Mr. Bush ran for governor of Texas, and then president, only to fix Daddy’s mistake of not taking out Saddam Hussein once and for all — and to show his parents that their preference for his brother Jeb was misplaced. Still, the Oedipal tensions are not a complete concoction; George and Barbara Bush hardly concealed their amazement that George W., the Bush black sheep, became a governor before Jeb.

During the interview earlier this month Mr. Stone was so determined to make the case that his movie was faithful to the facts that he brought a stack of boldfaced annotations and references to books and articles about Mr. Bush (some reputable; others, not so much). But in resisting most of his fanciful impulses, he has ceded to others the job of delving more deeply (though more subjectively) into the psyches of the Bushes.

In her new novel, “American Wife,” for example, Curtis Sittenfeld let her imagination run free through the mind and heart of Laura Bush but had to do so by making her a technically fictional character — by renaming her (as Alice Blackwell) and relocating her childhood (Wisconsin suburbs for Texas). At the story’s end Alice is in full-throated rebellion — privately — over the Iraq war. Accurate? Doubtful. Insightful? Maybe. Engaging and provocative? Yes.

But Mr. Stone described himself and the screenwriter, Stanley Weiser, as so inundated with compelling “raw data” that he had no reason to manufacture any. He even cut out a scene (true story) where Mr. Bush was flying a faltering Cessna over Texas with his friend Don Evans, who was later commerce secretary. Who remembers reading about that?

“People don’t know a lot about him,” Mr. Stone said. “That presidency was veiled and hidden from the public view for three years. Remember, there were very few press conferences. There were staged rallies that very few people were invited to.”

In the next breath Mr. Stone undermines his notion of Bush the phantom president by reeling off all the books written by Bush insiders turned outsiders. “We have so much information now,” he said. Among others, he cited books by Paul H. O’Neill, who was the treasury secretary; Richard A. Clarke, the counterterrorist adviser; and journalists including Bob Woodward, Ron Suskind, Jane Mayer, James Risen and Bill Minutaglio.

His challenge, Mr. Stone said, was to go deeper into the character of Mr. Bush. He even tosses in some satire, like the president’s senior aides trying in vain to tag after him on a brisk hike at his Texas ranch.

“I hope you laughed a bit,” he said. “We did keep it at a tonality that was lighter because he’s not Richard Nixon. He’s not gloomy, paranoid and dark like Nixon.”

Some will appreciate that Mr. Stone has abandoned his polarizing, facts-be-damned tangents for a bit of lightness. Larry King, for one, assured his viewers the other night that audiences of all political persuasions would like “W.” That’s just the endorsement studio chiefs love to hear.

But it’s a departure for a director who has always been a provocateur who prides himself on creating movies “that make you think.”

Which is, then, the final question about the film. Can a fictional “W.” inspire a re-examination of the life and times of George W. Bush, even as the nation finds itself captivated by Sarah Palin — and Tina Fey?
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:47 PM   #38
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Rove and Stone Back and Forth

At least Rove knows the score.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:23 PM   #39
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Has Karl Rove seen the movie?
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:04 PM   #40
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Has Karl Rove seen the movie?

"Yes, there are soapy oversimplifications and embellishments (and some hallucinatory camera work involving baseball stadiums and showdowns in the Oval Office) that Bush loyalists will seize on as reprehensible distortions. "

I don't think he has to. BTW he saw the trailer and was already turned off with the caricature. Then again if I saw some actor playing me or people I know I would feel the same way. If a director did the movie 20 years from now or when Bush was dead it would be easier to get away with it. I'm sure if Henry the VIII could see the Tudors he would laugh himself into a heart attack.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/mo...in&oref=slogin
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:14 PM   #41
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I think my weekly splurge is going to be seeing this movie Friday.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:17 PM   #42
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I....I think I'm going to go see it
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:16 PM   #43
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I don't think he has to
You don't think he has to see the movie in order to form a valid opinion of it? Of course it will be embellished, it's not a documentary. So it employs some creative license.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:44 PM   #44
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You don't think he has to see the movie in order to form a valid opinion of it? Of course it will be embellished, it's not a documentary. So it employs some creative license.
The movie is obviously timed for the election and Rove has got better things to do. Stone has already got a reputation with JFK and Nixon in making things up. W. may be more accurate but it's obviously negative. If he wanted to not affect the election he could have sent it out just after the election. Obviously he wanted to affect the election. Remember McCain is supposed to equal Bush?
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:03 PM   #45
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The movie is obviously timed for the election and Rove has got better things to do.
Given the state of McCain's campaign I'm not sure that's true.
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