October 17, 2008

"It’s one thing to watch Paul Giamatti scowling about in a presidential wig," as John Adams.

"It’s something entirely different to watch [Josh] Brolin sloppily downing drinks in a pantomime of the current president’s younger self, a figure that doesn’t belong to history but to the present and, by extension, to us."

Are you up for "Oliver Stone’s queasily enjoyable 'W.'"?

Do you want me to go see it for you and report? If so, how will you induce me to subject myself to the ordeal?

By the way, I couldn't force myself to find the HBO mini-series "John Adams" enjoyable, and I especially found it hard to take Paul Giamatti as the little old President.

88 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

Several things immediately struck me about this opus poopus:

1> Funny for the son of two actors, one famous and the brother of another actress (famous) to criticize someone for getting a heard start through family connections.

2> Oliver Stone still makes movies?

-XC

Host with the Most said...

Ann, since you already sold out the American men and women who have brought a fragile success to Iraq by deciding to vote for the man who will put Iraq in the history books as another "lost American war" like Vietnam, I couldn't give a flying fuck whether you see the movie or not.

Chris Wren said...

I haven't even gotten around to Batman or Indiana Jones yet, so please, if you wouldn't mind checking it out on our behalf. Otherwise I won't get a chance to see it until Obama's 2nd term.

bleeper said...

Host is getting a bit testy there, and with good reason. You support the guy who is a criminal, a drug user, a smoker, a socialist and who has rigged this election, and perhaps the electoral system so that from now on, every election will be suspect.

He's your guy - pay the money, see the movie, enjoy the smug warmth of being surrounded by our betters. You have earned it.

q12345q6789 said...
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q12345q6789 said...

Given a personal audience, I would attempt to persuade you to Not go see "W". But then my bete noire for several political seasons has been the solidification of the Left-wing message machine matrix (Academia + Main-Stream Media + Hollywood Power Productions & Celebrity Causes + Goon Squad Intimidation Tactics on a local & web-wide level). But, I'm not a somebody hiding away "in the basement" trying to wait it out. I just tell people to use their eyes & ears as a valuable asset to production creators, and invest their time accordingly (the "dollar vote" approach). Thus, Please don't go see a fat & rich,left-wing director's hack-job/vanity project. Thanks, for your eyes/time.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, bullshit. I have to choose between Obama and McCain, not Obama and everyone else in the world.

bleeper said...

Yes, and you chose the addicted socialist, who, by the way, is using his campaign's money to corrupt our political process. More work for lawyers, right?

AllenS said...

Go see it, Ann. Then give us a cruel neutrality review. I'd like to give a neutral review of Godzilla. Which by the way, is just as believable.

Host with the Most said...

I have to choose between Obama and McCain, not Obama and everyone else in the world.

And your stated reasons for Obama so far can all be boiled down to:

1) McCain not conservative enough (?)

2) Obama talk real good.

MadisonMan said...

You support the guy who is a criminal, a drug user, a smoker, a socialist

Bush smokes? Who knew!

I don't think W will do well at the box office. The last couple current event movies have fared poorly and I don't see any reason that this one will buck that trend.

(If anyone asks, criminal as in DUI)

UWS guy said...

Blasphemy, John Adams was great and should be watch like all HBO series'--with an eye to the gritty reality that you rarely get in other forms.

Did you see the peoples teeth? Very entertaining and the Thomas Jefferson character was fabulous.

I'm looking forward to W. and will not have it spoilt by your blogging so...hide the spoilers if you blog about it.

(though technically there shouldn't be any 'suprises' since we all know the story).

UWS guy said...

W. is worth seeing just for the cinematic style of Stone. Almost every scene he shoots is made to look like Frodo putting on the One Ring. Everything is an acid flashback and that makes for visually stunning cinematography.

SteveR said...

To the extent you could make an interesting movie about George W. Bush, it would not be now, as if anyone of any political persuasion isn't completely sick of the subject and likely to be for a number of years.

Add to that Stone's inclination for taking artistic license with history and I'm well below zero in my interest in the movie and the topic in general.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorelei Leigh said...

I don't think W will do well at the box office. The last couple current event movies have fared poorly and I don't see any reason that this one will buck that trend.

It won't be for lack of trying, though. They have been advertising like crazy for this film. I've almost seen more ads for W. than I have for Barack Obama.

I will go see this movie. I'm actually looking forward to it. I don't see how it could possibly be what Stone claims it is (i.e. "fair"), but his movies are usually interesting even if they are dreadful, and I must confess to being curious about it.

bjm said...

Cruel neutrality requires you to see both "An American Carol" and "W".

Reviewing only the leftist parody makes a mockery of your "fair & balanced" election meme does it not?

bleeper said...

Movies by Oliver Stone - endorsed by those suffering from acid flashbacks. Should do well in Madison, right?

Henry said...
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Henry said...

The doppelganger casting is kind of interesting. Like Daniel Radcliffe cast as Harry Potter, the actors in W all seem to have been cast because of their physical resemblance to known characters.

When Dustin Hoffman played Willy Loman, they changed the line "they don't respect me because I'm fat" to "they don't respect me because I'm short."

That kind of finesse isn't an option here.

Josh Brolin, star of D.C. Smalls and The Mod Squad, has won the lottery.

UWS guy said...

I refuse to listen to Wagner because he hated jews and was a proto-nazi. In fact, I'll go one step futher and say that this makes his music retroactively bad.

amirite?

UWS guy said...

chris wren said: "I haven't even gotten around to Batman or Indiana Jones yet"

...don't watch the latest south park then, it'll ruin it for ya.

Host with the Most said...

UWS,

I agree with you on point one - I detest Wagner because of his Nazi alignment. His music, however is truly great. But I choose not to listen to it.


Heroin has several medical uses, but I choose to never be involved with it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As part of my 'Going Galt' movement I don't generally go the the movies. That would support the Hollywood slime merchants. And I most certainly won't contribute to Oliver Stone or Josh Brolin.

I might consider Apaloosa however. :-)

jdeeripper said...

Ann Althouse said...Oh, bullshit. I have to choose between Obama and McCain, not Obama and everyone else in the world.

Vote for Sarah.

Baron Zemo said...

They have already made a movie of the upcoming Obama reign.

The Last King of Scotland.

Trevor Jackson said...

I think you're in the wrong thread, Baron. The post on racism is just below.

integrity said...

Definitely go see it, it should be a hoot.

Too bad Stone hired such a beautiful woman(Thandie Newton) to play one of the physically and behaviorally ugliest women on the planet(Rice).

We can only do socialism for wealthy people, right? Please economy, fall apart even quicker. I long for the coming days when I can just read the comments here without commenting, as the same fools saying this stuff about Obama have been brought to their knees economically and are being hunted down metaphorically by their friends and family that have lost everything and will hold them accountable for issuing the final coup de grace to America's viability in electing McCain.

Reminder to the idiots, your stock prices do not yet reflect the massive liquidation of hedge funds to come.

How anyone can listen to these right-wing people and not be filled with a need for vengeance(vote John McCain) is beyond me.

P.S. I've heard Stone is way too kind to the chimp in this film.

"Going Galt". Heh, Indeed. Dr. Helen and her husband's income come primarily from government susidized institutions. What a joke. They'd should Go Galt and start their own freakin' businesses, and get off the public dime. Two of the biggest welfare queens around. Stop taking the checks and live what you preach.

Lawgiver said...

God, some of you guys are sounding like the leftist trolls who for the past three years have been attacking Ann as a tool of the Bush/Cheney/McCain regime. Grow up.


(Stones) Oedipal story about the rise and fall, fall, fall of George W. Bush...

Oedipal story? I can maybe see the hostile or jealous feelings towards his father, but libidinal feelings for his Mom? That's a new one to me.

Host with the Most said...

integerity,

You're hatred of the President of the United States is so tiresome.

When you're with Oliver Stone, do you take it up the ass, or do you only blow him with those despicable lips of yours?

Michael_H said...

You should probably go see it, just for the sake of having a baseline comparison with Stone's next movie, the one about Obama, pending title 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'.

integrity said...

Host with the Most said...
integerity,

You're hatred of the President of the United States is so tiresome.

When you're with Oliver Stone, do you take it up the ass, or do you only blow him with those despicable lips of yours?



I hate everyone in his administration, please don't limit me. Couldn't be as tiresome as watching what people like you have done to this country for about 28 years.

I actually don't like Stone, he is way too establishment for my liking. I would have found a homeless woman with no teeth to play Rice. And I would have ridiculed Bush beyond belief, and of course the drones like you who voted for him.

mccullough said...

Who is a bigger failure, W. as President or Stone as a film-maker?

Rich kids from Yale with a daddy complex seem to be natural born failures.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Too bad Stone hired such a beautiful woman(Thandie Newton) to play one of the physically and behaviorally ugliest women on the planet.

Is Janet Reno in the movie?

peter hoh said...

If you watch the movie, I'll make you an egg salad sandwich.

Host with the Most said...

Couldn't be as tiresome as watching what people like you have done to this country for about 28 years.

Oh Please - do tell.


PS.I hate everyone in his administration, please don't limit me.

That was a good line. LOL

sydney said...

John Adams was a horrible mini-series. Giamatti should have been a good Adams - he's a good actor and he has the right body for Adams, but he just came across as chronically dyspeptic, except when he did a bad Perry Mason imitation at the Boston Massacre trial. It was much overwrought. Perhaps it was the director's fault.

ShadyCharacter said...

Lorelei is right about the number of ads for this movie. For those of you who despise Oliver Stone and have an interest in seeing him lose money on this thing, take advantage of those ads!

Click on EVERY SINGLE AD you see for this movie. It can cost the advertiser up to a $1 per click through on some major sites (drudge, or as a result of google searches). Try to make sure you are clicking on paid search results on google. I must have clicked on 35-40 iterations of this ad yesterday. Spread this around!

Roger J. said...

The only Stone movie I liked was Platoon. I thought it did a reasonable job of portraying part of the Viet Nam experience for those men who served in the infantry over there.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Couldn't be as tiresome as watching what people like you have done to this country for about 28 years.

Yeah, let's rush back to those glory days of the Carter administration.

Lorelei Leigh said...

You should probably go see it, just for the sake of having a baseline comparison with Stone's next movie, the one about Obama, pending title 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'.

Ha!

Though, that's only if every other director in Hollywood doesn't beat him to the punch.

Kevin said...

Oliver Stone making a movie about GWB is like Rush Limbaugh making a movie about Bill Clinton. It's about as likely to be accurate and balanced.

kynefski said...

Bush's story is an interesting one, but I have no interest in watching Oliver Stone tell it.

I'll wait for the international court testimony.

Titusbackandforgetmypassword said...

There is quite a bit of nastiness here today.

It's Friday people. Relax, enjoy the nice fall weather, have a great weekend.

I tried to watch John Adams and I found it painful. I read the book and it was much better.

Go see W if you like. I would be interested in your perspective. I am not going to see it. I will wait until it comes out on dvd.

I actually like Oliver Stone's movies and not for the political message. I think they are different. I actually liked Natural Born Killers. I also liked JFK. I loved the scene with Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Bacon partying. Kevin Bacon was sprayed all gold wearing wings-how decadent.

sonicfrog said...

UWS Guy,

Not only have I not seen the John Adams pic, I have also not seen that episode of South Park either.

I Am A Failure.

Oh, but I did read the McCullough book on Adams. Fantastic read!

Now, about "W", I won't pay money to see it. I will maybe rent it or get it off the web when it is available. I know it's going to be bad, but could it be any worse than Steve Martins God Awful version of "The Pink Panther". And they've actually went and made a sequel to that one.
PS. I am voting for neither Obama OR McCain - I'm writing in Joe the Plumber... with a brown pen.

bleeper said...

Don't worry, vowel-free name dude, that "international court" trial can cut both ways. Don't think that The Messiah will not commit crimes against humanity. Take his smoking, for instance - that alone will soon be enough to take him to trial.

Freeman Hunt said...

I have as much interest in this movie as I do in that movie about very small dogs that dance, which is to say none. In fairness though, that's how I feel about most of the movies that have come out during the past few years.

A little OT: What is the deal with the rash of animals dancing around movies? I've never seen one. I can't even imagine wanting to see one. What is the draw?

Host with the Most said...

I hate all of Oliver Stone's movies

EXCEPT:

"On Any Sunday". One of my top 5.

And, Oliver Stone has the balls to make fun of himself in both that movie AND in "Dave".

Trooper York said...

Well you have obviously never had a lap dance by a nubile chicken.
Just ask RH Hardin about that one.
(he has photos, NSFW)

Host with the Most said...

Freeman,

I am so with you on dancing animal movies.

When Babe came out, I sat through it with my kids in the theatre. But all I could think about was bacon.

integrity said...

Although I don't like his P.O.V., I own J.F.K., Any Given Sunday, Natural Born Killers, Wall Street and Nixon. There is probably no other craftsman like him in the film industry. An American master in terms of craftsmanship, they are all technically brilliant and perfect.

Host with the Most said...

Integrity,

ooooo, I forgot about Wall Street. that one was good too.

Even though I was not a Nixon fan growing up, I thought that Stone slandered people ruthlessly in "Nixon". It made me angry.

integrity said...

Host with the Most said...
Integrity,

ooooo, I forgot about Wall Street. that one was good too.

Even though I was not a Nixon fan growing up, I thought that Stone slandered people ruthlessly in "Nixon". It made me angry.



The MSM treats his films like they are documentaries, when many of them are more like brilliantly crafted episodes of "Unsolved Mysteries". Almost all conjecture and speculation, which is fine with me as it is being presented within an artistic medium. Truth doesn't always matter in art. But if I were the subject of the kind of slanderous speculation in which he often traffics I would not be a happy camper and would sue if I could. The problems arise when he puts something like J.F.K. in public schools and tries to push it as something that is or may be factual, really wrong to sell that stuff to kids as anything but entertainment. These films are brilliantly crafted entertainment, nothing else. In "Nixon" he really did a job on so many innocent(until proven guilty) people that it is stunning, almost all made up. Same with J.F.K. I hear "W" contains a lot of scenes with no basis for fact, but he is out pushing in the MSM that it is almost all from the public record, it is not.

Titusbackandforgetmypassword said...

I was too young to know much about Nixon. I really have no feelings for or against him

I didn't see the Nixon movie but I did see a 3 hour documentary on him in PBS. I actually kind of liked him in it. I liked his wife too and his daughters. It was all so 70's. The hair, clothes etc.

Pat Nixon was a babe.

Titusbackandforgetmypassword said...

There was a scene from the Nixon documentary where he was on Art Linkletter and he was actually funny.

Paranoid but funny.

Too many jims said...

Prof. Althouse,

In light of the turn of the conversation yesterday in the "Leaves" thread, if you attend W and stay through it (i.e. no walking out), I will make a contribution of $10 to the Madison chapter of Komen. It is breast cancer awareness month after all. {If you have some qualms with Komen, I'd be happy to send the contribution to the charity or foundation of your choosing.} It may not be much of an inducement but it is not egg salad either.

veni vidi vici said...

Stone makes a good film, but this one's coming a little fast against a story that isn't yet finished, and like others said, it's probably too soon to tell this story as well as it could be told.

My main issue, though, is the choice to cast Mr. Barbra Streisand as W. Bush. WTF? You think this is going to be a "fair" portrayal?!!! LOL naive idiots!!!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I actually liked Natural Born Killers

Me too. I thought it was an interesting psycological look at a couple of deeply flawed people. Gory, but insightful.

There are a lot more people out there that fit that profile than we would like to think.

chickenlittle said...

Just added "W" to my Netflix queue.

It comes back "Release date unknown," so I guess it'll be a while before I see it.

Pogo said...

Goin' Galt on this and most other movies myself.

Go or don't go. Would anyone expect to be surprised or informed seeing this? What's the point?

Palladian said...

Whatever your opinion of the film, the linked New York Times review is sure a piece of crap. Doesn't that rag hire anyone who can write coherently and originally anymore?

Palladian said...

I just have to add: when I was a kid, I had the hots for Josh Brolin when I saw him in his debut film.

madawaskan said...

Pat Nixon was a babe.

OK I know you like 'em stiff or cold as ice but this is ridiculous-she's dead...

[and with that I'm out!]

Revenant said...

Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay for "Conan the Barbarian", so I'll give him points for that (yes, I'm serious). The other movies he's been involved in haven't impressed me.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blake said...

Conan failed to capture the spirit of the original stories, I think, although it might have been much worse.

Whether Stone is to blame for that or Milius or just the budget and times, I don't know.

Stone's best work was The Hand. And that wasn't very good.

Of course, I stopped watching after Platoon, which absolutely disgusted me. Talk about ham-fisted. (I did learn that "beer drinkers = bad" and "pot smokers = good", though.)

Oh, wait, I did try to watch The Doors. 5-10 minutes in and I'm thinking "Why the *#$(& do I care?" So that didn't get very far.

Politics aside, Stone irritates me. (I find myself irritated by Tarantino, too. And Ken Russell.)

I don't know why you'd waste your time, Althouse. I think it'd be more amusing for you to go see the Chihuahua movie.

blake said...

vvv,

It's not Mr. Barbra Streisand, of course. James Brolin's way to old to play th epart.

It's the son of Mr. Barbra Streisand.

I'm sure he does a good job, given the parameters.

Revenant said...

Conan failed to capture the spirit of the original stories, I think

I have to disagree with you there. I thought it did an excellent job of capturing the feel of the earlier stories, when the Conan character was still just a thief and barbarian. But fan opinion is certainly divided on that. :)

blake said...

Indeed.

I thought the movie was mediocre, but I hadn't read any Howard at the time (more of an HPL guy, mah-own-self).

In later years I read the stories and was favorably impressed, and I'm inclined to downgrade the movie.

Webrider said...

Bushman, unfortunately, that seems to be what we're doing (rush back to the Carter years) by going forward for the next four years (hopefully no longer) with another inept inexperienced boob who's afraid to take a stand on anything, and can modify it before he's finished saying it someone points out something wrong with it.

UWS guy said...

Ya'll call it "going galt" and that's cute, but that's not what John Galt did.

He abstained from production. You all "going galt" is like an anorexic who instead deciding on stopping puking, stops eating instead.

Revenant said...

UWS Guy,

There's this thing called a metaphor. You may have heard of it.

Original George said...

The only way to capture Conan on screen would be to go inside the head of a 13-year-old boy reading those stories.

Best was when Conan was crucified in the desert and left to die. A vulture swoops down to peck out his eyes, so Conan rears back and bites its head off.

What a man.

Trooper York said...

The second Conan movie was far superior to the first which was much too pretentious and slow.

The freaky one with Wilt Chamberlin and Grace Jones was a lot more fun.

I wonder if Wilt banged Grace Jones. You need a lot of notches to reach 20,000.

bleeper said...

Wilt and Grace - no, even he had his standards, low tho' they might have been.

I read the Conan books in '72 - what struck me was the fact that he would not give up. He was dauntless. I admired that quality. Got in a tight spot, didn't quit. Good man. Ok, barbaric at times, but hey, that's not always a bad thing, right?

Methadras said...

I think I'll fire up Conan tonight. I want to see the part of the pillaging, screaming, and lamentation of your women.

Revenant said...

The second Conan movie was far superior to the first which was much too pretentious and slow.

What are you, some kind of freakin' Communist or something? How DARE you say that about the second movie, sir.

Trooper York said...

Maybe I mangled that Rev. I like the second one much more than the first. It was far superior in my humble opinion.

Red Sonja sucked on the other hand.

Trooper York said...

I hear that they might be making a mini-series of George MM Martins
a "Song of Ice and Fire."

They are supposed to film it in New Zealand where they made the Lord of the Rings.

That should be great.

Pastafarian said...

Althouse -- I concur with the opinions of many commenters here: Skip the W hitpiece, and watch "Conan the Barbarian" on DVD. The first one. And have a nice beer, in a tankard, if you have one; and ignore the curiously enraged "host with the most" and "bleeper".

Conan, what is best in life?

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the women."

Great stuff.

Blake -- does HPL = HP Lovecraft?

blake said...

Troop--

'tis true, they are in progress on the "Fire and Ice" series.

Pasta--

Yes, indeed, HPL = HP Lovecraft. "Cthulhu fhtagn" and so forth.

Revenant said...

I like the second one much more than the first.

Yes, that's what I thought your meant -- and that sentiment is an offense to all that is good and decent about the world of fantasy adventure films. :)

blake said...

This is where I chime in and say I preferred The Sword and The Sorcerer with Lee Horsely?

Or, wait, no: Krull!

Heh.

Patm said...

I think bashing Bush is the easiest, most socially acceptable and therefore most cowardly act one can currently perpetrate in media. There is nothing "brave" or "edgy" about Stone trying to be relevant by trying to give one more kick in the ass to a guy who has been kicked more than anyone in the last 100 years.

As to whether Ms. Althouse should go see it - why feed that ugliness?

Revenant said...

I actually kind of liked Krull. It had some interesting ideas.

UWS guy said...

Saw W. tonight.

Not as psychedelic as I figured. As someone who voted for G.W. twice I'd have to say I really enjoyed the film. Dick Cheney's rational for the invasion given in the war room, I thought was the most compelling argument ever made for the war.

Say what you want about Stone, he did not give straw-man arguments for the Left to knock down. The only two people that come off as silly are Condi and Rove. I enjoyed the portrayal of Condi as farce, but it was such.

very well done, everyone should see it.

UWS guy said...

Like Nixon to China; only Stone could pull off a hagiographic bio of Bush.

Kirk Parker said...

I'm with DBQ here. In fact, I'd gladly pay the going rate to not see this movie, as long as the proceeds don't go to anyone connected with it.