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8 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Oliver Stone

Written By:
Stanley Weiser

Elizabeth Banks, Josh Brolin, Thandie Newton, Ioan Gruffudd, Jesse Bradford, Richard Dreyfuss, James Cromwell, Scott Glenn, Ellen Burstyn, Noah Wyle, Jason Ritter, Jeffrey Wright, Rob Corddry, Toby Jones, Sayed Badreya, Jonathan Breck, Michael Gaston, Allan Kolman, Dennis Boutsikaris, Jennifer Sipes, David Born, Paul Rae, Wes Chatham, Drew Waters, Brent Weisner, Tom Kemp, Bryan Massey, Randall Newsome, Chris Freihofer, Andrew Sensenig, Jim Garrity, Jeff Gibbs, James Martin Kelly, Bruce Bryant, Lacey Ford, Ashley-Anne Parker, Halley Rachal, Matthew Ramsaur, Steven E. Williams, Paul T. Taylor, Lee Ann McDade, Randal Reeder, Rodney Wiseman, John Neisler, Gillian Chung, Charles Fathy, Teresa Cheung, Jeff Hoferer, Jon Michael Davis, Terry Gamble, William Lanier, John Neisler, W. Douglas Waterfield, Jonathon Tripp, Gabriela Ostos-Tamez

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W. (2008)
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Movie Review by Chris
March 17th, 2009

As I am against the Bush Administration, I found 'W.' to be a very well made and fascinating film, on the horizon of both a comedy and docu-drama. I have always enjoyed Oliver Stone as a director, but some may argue that this film was made to early, that it shouldve been made years after Bush left the office in 2009. I think that it couldve been made a little bit later, but the timing wasnt all that bad for the release of the film. The acting is terrific, as we see a number of well known faces played by great performers, the story is very well told and overall this is a very interesting and well made movie. Though it does have some problems, those mistakes werent major enough for me to hate this movie, but I found that the film was great to watch and it asked a lot of questions about America's approach to leadership and politics, as well as telling a father/son relationship that feels very real to us, as humans.

Oliver Stone's biographical take on the life of George W. Bush, one of the most controversial, secretive, cynical, and ruthless president in USA history, chronicling from 1967 to his wild and carefree days in college, to his military service, to his governorship of Texas and oil businesses, leading to his 2000 candidacy for president, his first turbulent four years to his 2004 re-election campaign.

The first thing I want to point out about this film is that it's not all about Bush's life in the office, the number of mistakes he made or the reason he is hated by so many American citizens, but it's the story of his life. One of the biggest topics the film brings up is the one showing the rough relationship between George W. and his father, who was president before Clinton took office. As a teenager and forward, W. was never really a perfect son. He smoked and had a major drinking problem, which lead to him driving drunk and even letting his 15 year old brother drink with him. His father helps him out of these situations, bailing him out of prison and giving him constant talks about how he is a screw up to the family and everything like that.

Throughout the entire movie, even when his father isnt in the scene, we can see and feel the pressure that his father puts on him. When his father was president, he took America out of the Gulf War and therefore, when he went to vote for his second term, Clinton beat him in the race. So when his son now becomes president, he feels as if his son is going to screw up America big time, since that's all he's been doing since he was a teenager. They get in constant fights and are always arguing, all of this affects him as an adult, all the memories of his father yelling at him and telling him he's a screw up had an impact on him. I feel differently about Bush now after watching this movie, and I wonder how he handled this pressure. He knew his father was watching, and he made decisions he thought was right. In the end, his father still wasnt satisfied, and this leaves me stunned how Bush Jr. changed for his father and no matter what he does, he never seems happy.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this movie was the way Oliver Stone told the actual story. Instead of having one large flashback leading into more modern day, or back to Bush's first term, he switched between both of them. Having 20 minutes of Bush in office, followed by 20 minutes of Bush as a kid, meeting Laura and everything like that. I actually enjoyed the scenes with Bush in office more then I did the flashbacks, and thats just because it argued and brought up a lot of questions about modern day politics. I never did exactly understand American politics and never really thought about studying them, but now I see how much was really wrong with our political system. Bush did screw up a lot, but maybe we shouldnt completely hate him, and thats just because it wasnt all his fault. A lot of different people made decisions that led to the war and everything, so lets not put all the fault on Bush.

Oliver Stone is a great director, he knows his visual style and tells great stories, mostly about America's problems. Previously doing World Trade Center, which told the story of 2 fire fighters during 9/11. He always gets the best actors to play the roles, and he knows how to make them fit very well. The last I saw Josh Brolin was in No Country For Old Men, where he did an amazing job as a runaway. Now, portraying George Bush can't be easy, and if it's done wrong, the whole film is screwed up. Brolin does an amazing job, he gets the character done right and nails things like movements, facial expressions and even the voice just right. I liked him more in the younger Bush role, just because when he's in office I am able to compare him to what I saw on TV and stuff, but I think he did an amazing job overall.

Elizabeth Banks does a really good job as Laura Bush, whom is seen more in the flashbacks then the modern day stuff. She gets the Texas accent down and is marvelous to watch on screen, not to mention she's a very beautiful woman. James Cromwell does a perfect job as George H. W. Bush, who actually plays a very emotional part here. The scene where we find that he has lost the second election to Clinton is very emotional, we see just how great of an actor Cromwell really is. So overall, I really liked 'W.', I give a lot of credit to Stone on taking this project, and he made it into a very entertaining movie. A must see.

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Mar 18, 2009 9:30 AM
I not a Bush fan or Obama fan for that matter. I found that the film dumbed down Bush almost to the point of relinquishing him for the terrible things he did, and lets face it if he was the President of any other country he would have been on trial for war crimes.

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