Wednesday, 26 November 2008

My Best Friends Girl Review

Hey guys! Chicks dig assholes! Well of course they do Owen you massive twat, everyone knows that. How else do you explain arrogant bullshit rock stars getting blowjobs like cups of tea at a tea parade yet care workers getting not so much as a Dutch Rudder for looking after spastics all day (sorry for using that word again but I am in character so fuck you). Does that mean women are shallow and rubbish too? Of course! But wait I know loads of nice couples who get on really well and they're not knob-jockeys and whores. Well don't tell the makers of My Best Friends Girl or it might make their film look like a steaming turd.

Sadly their film already looks like a steaming turd because they've cast Dane Cock in it (Really changing cook to cock, that's all you got, well there is this which is much better, http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FFzjXnOqks8) as the eponymous hero who treats women like shit so that they'll go back to their cheating partners. But then he falls in love with one of the people he's been hired to scare off. Wow, kinda like a reverse Hitch. Which is probably just how the producers pitched this breathtakingly toss assault on everything I hold good and pure in this messed up world. Pricks.

See, I really like romantic comedies when they're done well (but then I class Fight Club as a romantic comedy so my definition may differ from yours). The problem is the abundance of them filling up the schedule because any cinema chain must have at least 5 'date movies' on at the cinema just in case some total bastard needs to try and plough a different girl every week but doesn't want to sit through the same movie while he's trying to co-erce them into taking off their sopping panties. I think that's why there's lots of them but then I may just be jaded from the hour and a half spent in the company of the utter, utter shitcunts that feature in this movie.

But its not just Mr. Cook thats rubbish in both life and in this film. Jason Biggs sells another little piece of his soul and pride as the kind of chronic masturbating, desperate fucktard that is supposed to represent 'the nice guy'. Well if this is how the 'nice guy' is represented I'm kicking puppies to death as soon as I hit 'publish post'. And the object of their mutual affection (the point of the movie is they both love the same girl, sorry I didn't mention that, in fact I've said nothing about the plot as this review has been taken over by my angry, ranty, angry rant) is such a vapid pointless character you wonder if a 5 and half ft Vagina might have evoked a similar repsonse from Cook and Biggs. That she's played by the one time Penny Lane makes me weep even more.

In summation this movie tells you to be a prick but a nice guy too. Now what sort of advice is that, the only reason I watch movies is to get hints and tips of how to get women to fuck me. Hey, I made it. I'm an asshole! Woohoo, bring on the pussy!!!!

Flawless Review

Diamonds are a girl's best friend. They are also forever. Apparently. Age however is not a girl's best friend and youth is in turn not forever. What I'm getting at is Demi Moore is old and this film is about Diamonds. I know the challenge is nearly over but surely I can do a less tenuous opening link than that. Bollocks can I! Its Mid-November, (say that's a nice Johnathan Rice song!) and in one and a half months time I can pick and choose what I watch at the cinema and all will be right in the world. Until then Tenuosity Rules! As do made up words like Tenuosity.

So starting in the present day we're 'treated' to a montage of career driven women that looks exactly like a Diet Coke ad execs best wank fantasy. We also get to see what Demi Moore would look like if she couldn't afford plastic surgery (Answer- a burns victim) as she tells her life story in flashback to one of these up and coming, 00's women with balls. The story, thankfully, is quite interesting, because it involves Michael Caine as a working class hero stealing shitloads of bling from big bad diamond geezers. Thats diamond selling geezers not the Guy Ritchie type. They'd have Caine's balls in a vice before he could say 'OOOOh but I was doing it for me dead wife'.

When a film sits on the shelf for as long as this has (Feb 2007 was its first airing) you'd have to think the dust is there for a reason. Is, it features Demi Moore, reason enough? Well yes and no. To be fair to the Ashton fucking septugenarian she's not half bad in this. Her English accent is passable and the scriptwriters have even explained that she's from America originally to save any insults. But on the other hand she's fucking Ashton Kutcher. So she's obviously a massive twat, who can't act for a really extra large bag of Worthers Originals and deserves some kind of syphillus induced brain meltdown. Bitterness is funny.

The heist itself is effective considering its 1960's London and there's no lasers or dogs with bees in their mouths to stop Carter stealing all the little shiny rocks he wants. Instead we have an antiquated CCTV system and two or three security guards that would put Abe Lincolns to shame (Too Soon!!!). Still the robbery has a fair amount of tension and kept a moron like me guessing til quite near the end. How to some it up, Its kinda like Oceans 11 with GIJane and Alfie the Butler. Damn I wish I was famous enough to get that on the poster.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Quarantine Review

Hay dos cosas probables de bombear mi sangre. Uno es una película de terror que es verdaderamente espantosa y me hace que wanna va caca. El otro es el sobre el uso de longitud en pies de videocámara para espantar y dar miedo (ve Agenda de la Revisión Muerta) especialmente cuándo weilded por equipos de cámara incompasivos. Chickos not as hotos as in Recos. Olvidar el molestar efecto inestable de leva por un segundo el principal problema con estas películas es que debido al docu se siente que la naturaleza hay pequeña a ningún compromiso emocional con cualquiera de los caracteres. En lugar nosotros son dejados con anónimo, víctimas sin cara para ser offed de uno en uno. No signifique que no es suficiente espantoso para hacerme caca de wanna aunque.

Una tripulación local de la televisión de Spainish, completa con astuto, periodista de ambitous Angela, dispara una característica que sigue a personas que trabaja de noche permitido "Mientras usted está durmiendo". Este segmento de particualr sigue la tripulación local de fuego como ellos son escatimados a ayudar una mujer de edad avanzada encerró su plano. Fish from Ally McBealos. Cuándo la anciana gira pyscho y come el cuello de uno de la tripulación enviada a ayudarla que el edificio de apartamento es sellado por las autoridades en el motivo de un susto de la salud. Lentamente pero seguramente los residentes, los bomberos y el equipo de cámara son... bien ellos no son enviados flores y abrazados por perritos permite ponerlo así.

Yo no soy inseguro si ni comienzo a respetar éstos "haré nada para una historia" tipos de periodista o si el más veo de ellos el más pienso qué tontos que ellos son. Pienso su el último porque a fines del día lo que valioso ayuda a ser ellos dando realmente al público. Parece a mí que la único advertencia positiva su cobertura da nosotros somos no es agradable a niños desquiciados locos de autómata. No preocupe a tipos que hago no. Same bloody film. ¿Pero realmente suficiente de mí gemiendo acerca de esto 'tipo de película' porque el tema es de interés pequeño lo que el espectador quiere realmente saber es, me cagó arriba? Sí, sí y tres veces sí.

El claustrofóbica se siente, los temores primitivos y los golpes baratos que todo fueron amontonados en en palas. Hay una cantidad conveniente de Gore práctico de llegar al hoyo del estómago (si la Fotografía no llega primero) y los chillidos, una vez que ellos comienzan, nunca paran. Not as scary. Después de que la Agenda lamentable del Muerto parezca Romero podría conseguir una punta o dos de los jóvenes en cómo hacer un golpecito espantoso. Y con la prima agregada del subtexto de católico Autómata de Spainish Posesión un estilo de George UN 'comentario explícito en nuestros tiempos' es incluido en el precio de billete también.

(Because people are stupid they can't read subtitles and films have to be remade into English. Quarantine is a remake of Rec, a Spanish film that was out less than 8 months ago. As a protest to this kind of lazy filmmaking I've cut and pasted my review form April. Well its half protest. Half me being lazy.)

Choke Review

An underrated cast containing the likes of Sam Rockwell and Kelly McDonald. Radiohead on the soundtrack. Titties, preferably jiggling. Steak. A decent low budget production company like Fox Searchlight. Source material from someone with such satirical bile it makes you look incredulously at the entire human race. Clay Davis from The Wire. A sense of humour darker than Bill Hicks wearing all black in a room with the lights off. The kind of stupidly romantic ending that makes you think life might not be as painful as it appears. More jiggling titties. These are just some of the ingredients to make a perfect movie for me.

From the same fucked up mind that gave us Fight Club, Choke is author Chuck Palanhuiks second big screen outing. Sam Rockwell plays Victor Mancini a directionless sex addict who spends his days working at a colonial theme park and his nights 'choking' on food in restaurants looking for someone to save him. In doing so, he argues, he's giving these strangers a reason to live, which they then reward by sending him money whenever he needs it. This money is spent making sure his demented mother is alive long enough to tell him who his dad is. A question with more answers than Victor may have hoped for.

The main problem with Choke, as a film, is its faithfulness to the book, something that before I went in I was really hoping they would nail. Yet from the new romance with his mums doctor, to his sex addiction, to his choking scam, to beads up his arsehole, to collecting rocks and raping pensioners, every page is up on screen. Every subplot is present and correct but none are expanded on and each deserves more screentime. An entire movie could be made about who his father may or may not be, if only because it poses the greatest philosophical question seen at the cinemas in some time. What Would Jesus Not Do?

Fight Club was a very different beast fom Choke but it knew when and where to stray from the text and when it did stray it was a better film for it. So while Choke may have all the checklists for the best film of the year it doesn't quite live up to the ridiculous personal hype I'd bestowed on it. The fact that its still funny, intelligent and enjoyable from start to finish says a lot about the filmmakers involved. But these are the kind of filmmakers that could play out a joyously sentimental ending with Radiohead's Reckoner on the soundtrack. Of course I'm going to like these filmmakers.

Body Of Lies Review

(The) War! (On Terror) Huh! What is it good for? Not inspiring good movies, thats for damn sure. From old school film makers like Robert Redford (Lions for Lambs) and Brian DePalma (Redacted) to up 'n' comers like Gavin Hood (Rendition) and Kimberley Pierce (Stop-Loss) nobody has managed to really get to grips with the nice big mess of beardy guys blowing up buses and the subsequent shelling the shit out of their countires by us (or vice versa depending on your newspaper of choice). Now we can add Ridley Scott to that ever expanding list of directors who have tried (and failed) to say anything of worth.

Body Of Lies tells the investigative side of the story in the struggle for freedom and democracy throughout the land TM. Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the guy on the ground running around hot, sandy countries, sporting silly beards trying to gain access and gather information to take down a big cheese in the Osama Army. Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) is the suit, the guy in the office. He's running the game from a Madonna style headset nonchalantly shrugging if one of his characters takes a bomb to the face. After all, he can always upload another.

Actually that write up of the plot makes the film sound quite compliacted and interesting. And I guess that was what Sir Scott was going for. The problem being he had to add a story to the idea of the clean handed guy in charge versus the poor schmuck in the field who picks bits of his dead friends bone from his arm. The story that he chose is not just dull, but ultimately pointless. So what if we remove the head of one bad guy, another will take his place. This isn't the film makers fault though. Its the War On Terrors fault. Silly War On Terror.

With WWI and WWII there was a real sense of good guy/bad guy but still enough wiggle room to find complexity. Vietnam, while a mess, gave us great movies about what a mess it was. There is definitely the possibility for some Dr.Strangelove style silliness to be had on our generations conflict but this "War" (Yeah I used bunny ears, how subversive am I?) will never, ever stop unless the following conversation is read by all.
Man In Power #1 "Y'know this War on Terror thing.
Man In Power #2 "Yeah"
Man In Power #1 "When's it gonna end?"
Man In Power #2 "When everyone gets on."
Man In Power #1 "Oh."

Easy Virtue Review

We Brits are a miserable bunch. Uptight, close minded, not really up for any fun. We could argue that its because most of our days are overcast and the sun is as rare as a review on this website that doesn't mention The Wire. But what we do do well (ha, doo doo) is sardonic, sarcastic wit. That and good costume dramas and acting. So place a Noel Coward play (king of sarcastic, sardonistic wit) with a big BBC production and fine actors and Hurrah its Rule Britannia.

Set in 1920's England where the skies are overcast and the Great War has just finished, Easy Virtue tells of the Whittaker family and their 'shock horror' when the eldest John (Ben Barnes) brings home a bloody Yank as his wife. The majority of the chagrin eminates from the mother (Kristen Scott Thomas) while the father (a splendidly deadpan Colin Firth) enjoys the life the new addition brings. That the wife is played by Jessica Biel in full, turning heads mode might have something to do with the mens reaction.

And Biels Larita is reallly where the film lives or dies. Sadly for the film and her (when she reads this she'll probably try to take her own life) I don't find her that attractive. If you're in the 1920's you better have a Louise Brooks haircut or I'm just not interested. So while she nails the role of the strong yet vulnerable outsider as soon as Charlotte Riley pops up as John's lifelong best friend I was thinking, choose that one. She's prettier, not blonde and not American.

A couple more things to note in what might be my laziest review yet (Anyone wanting a summation, its alright, occasionally funny, not particularly dramatic).
Q. When did dead dogs become a staple set-piece of all British comedies? (How to Lose Friends... and this within the space of a month)
Q. Since when could Kristen Scott Thomas speak English too? (Some Frenchie eh?)
Q. When did Ben Barnes learn to act? (Between Prince Caspian and this I suppose)
Q. And finally who on earth thought putting Car Wash, Sex Bomb and When the Going Gets Tough through a 1920's jazz blender was a good idea? (No-one)

Friday, 14 November 2008

Zack and Miri Make a Porno Review

Sex is funny. The faces we make, the seriousness of it all, the importance we place on it as an everyday occurence, the stress-inducing worry that you might not be doing it 'right'. If that lot doesn't convince you that intercourse can be a great source of mirth just go look at some balls in the mirror for 20 minutes (if you don't have balls of your own, borrow a friends). Even the word balls is funny. Balls, balls, balls. With an endless amount of possibilites for making with the funny stuff when it comes to boom boom, it should be the centre point for more big screen comedy but for every Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask or American Pie, you get a Good Luck Chuck or American Pie Presents Beta House. Yet if one man can pull it off, (insert Graham Norton audience reaction here) its Kevin Smith.

Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are life long best buds. Outsiders who struggle by in shit jobs because their favourite thing to do is just hang out with each other. When the bills start to pile up and the utilities are cut off they need some money fast. Ever the thinking outside the box kinda guy, Zack decides they should make a porno. Miri agrees. Oh to have best friend like Miri. Saying that I think if I asked my best friend to make a dirty flick with me for cash he'd say yes. I just get the feeling it wouldn't be quite as sweet and life-affirming with as many lessons to learn. And I wouldn't be able to look him in the eye again after. Or sit down.

Anywho thats quite enough thinly veiled homo-eroticism for now. On with the review. If you're aware of Kevin Smiths oeuvre, or his work, you'll know he's a very filthy man. He uses all those
positively digusting words like, Fuck, Cock, Pussy, Crevis, Leak and Job to make up at least half of the script. The great thing this time is the script comprises of all these words in both dialogue and scene direction. So not only do we get dialogue that sailors would frown at but we get Jason Mewes butt crack bobbing up and down on real life porn actress Katie Morgan and Jeff Anderson (Randal from Clerks) getting shitfaced while filming it. Well he probably needed some Dutch courage to video two people fucking.

Speaking of the Dutch, how about an explanation of what a Dutch Rudder is? Its all here, present and correct and so is the real treat (well for me anyway), the stupidly cheesy, ridiculously heartfelt shit that since Mallrats has been even more of a staple of Mr.Smiths films as a phatty boom batty. Its the reason Jersey Girl tanked and that most View Askew fans will say is the 'gay' bits of the film but the man has such a hard on for overly romantic, cinematic love I just have to sit and applaud. The fact he can balance it with jokes about cum shots and awful puns like Star Whore Episode III: Revenge of The Shit just makes it all the better.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Max Payne Review

Some things I'm not a fan of.
1) Video Game Adaptations
2) Video Games
3) Marky Mark
4) Lazy Plotting
5) Poor Characterization
6) Bad Dialogue
7) Tediousness
8) Checklists of things people aren't fans of
9) Self Deprecation
10) Irony

Max Payne has the first seven in abundance. But does it have enough of them for me to make a terrible pun about watching it being like "Payneful to the Max"? No, because while I'm not officially a professional film critic I still have an ounce of self respect. Anybody who has been paid for a review and used any variation of this terrible wordplay donate at least a months pay (or a kidney) to an orphange or something. Alternatively, kill yourself.

Max Payne is a hard-boiled noir cop (or he'd like to be if he wasn't played by a member of the Funky Bunch) who deals in cases unsolved. He does this because his wife and baby were killed by bad guys that never got caught. That old chestnut. And even though I watched this less than 12 hours ago I can't remember anything else about this film's plot. There's some crap about army soldiers taking drugs and growing wings, Meg from Family Guy shows up because her sister (the new bond girl) gets eaten and Beau Bridges is the bad guy.

Awww did I spoil the ending? Well no because to spoil something you would have had to have been enjoying it at some point and I can guarantee that you won't. In fact if you can write in a 1000 word piece about why this film was good and can prove you have an IQ over 85 then I'll buy you a Coke to say sorry. This film is just a mess. It hasn't got nearly enough stupid action to please the fanboys (there is more gunfire in the closing credits than in the movie) and is far too tired and lazy to be a 'real film'. Huge logic gaps crop up every two minutes, including one scene where BB saves Maximillian (I like to think thats his real name) just to explain his dastardly plot and then try to kill him. For god's sake why?!?

Whenever I see a video game movie I recall horrific conversations with some of my closest friends of how "One day films and games will be the same thing!". On the strength of this it would appear their dream of synergy is dying, yet they're arguments still reverberate through my mind like a pointless, misfired shotgun blast. For now though my real worry, the big girl that I am, is that Mark Wahlberg is going to ruin The Lovely Bones (thats right I read books recommended by Richard and Judy but won't sit in front of an XBox, bring it on). We all know he can be good, Boogie Nights and The Departed are two fine examples of silly Mark fitting a role but deep and complex they ain't. The idea of him playing Susies dad brings a large amount of discomfort to me. You could even say I'm in...

Eagle Eye Review

With the news that the stupidly named D.J. Caruso wasn't happy enough just re-imagining Hitchcock's Rear Window with last years Disturbia but he's now updating North by Northwest with Eagle Eye I threw my toys out of the pram. The cries rang out "How dare the mother fuckers?", "Leave the classics alone?", "You're raping my media studies years?" Etc. etc. Thankfully Eagle Eye is such a stupid film and the comparisons are so few and far between I believe the they were just there for lazy reviewers to have an opening paragraph. Hey-O!!!

Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) is an unmotivated slacker. He has a very successful twin brother in the army (think Arnie to Danny in Twins, 'cept they look alike) who has just bought the farm. This buying of the farm triggers little Shia to be the centrepiece in a big conspiracy theory where he has to go on the run with a foxy gal (Michelle Monaghan) culminating in a huge big climax inside a symbol of the greatness of The United States all the time having no idea why he's there or what he's supposed to be doing. So not at all like North by Northwest...Dammit!

So the comparisons aren't quite so few and far between but if I see it as a remake I'll get really angry and its far too silly a film for me to get uptight about. For starters you can't compare Cary 'Suave' Grant with Shia 'Smug' La Beouf. Cary's Thronhill was a well to do gent, who reluctantly went along with the shennanigans with a smile and a wink. Shia's Jerry is in a do or die position every step of the way lest the viewers find something interesting to do like twiddle their thumbs. Instead of a nailbiting cropduster attack in the former, the latter gives us a pylon falling on someone. Oooo tension.

The omnipotence of 'the machine' is also massively questionable when you take into account such things as human variables, like perhaps Michelle's single mom isn't a rally driver or Shia isn't made of flubber and won't bounce after jumping out of a window. A plus point, however, is Eagle Eye has the most guaranteed civilians deaths seen since the end of Con Air. Never have I seen so many instances of members of the public definitely, definitely cashing their chips in such a haphazard way. In fact so many people were mangled in car crashes and the like that when the big bomb was due to go off in the last act, I actually thought it might. Then I remembered that the characters we had invested in were in the room so therefore that might cause the audience to see Death in a different way. And we can't have that.

Pride and Glory Review

Fuck David Simon! That's right. Fuck him in his award winning, best television show inventing ear. This man has done more to ruin my cinema experiences this year than Adam Sandler, Jason Statham and Paul W.S. Anderson combined. For the uninitiated, non-band wagon jumping people out there David Simon creatored a television programme called The Wire. Its so good it makes any other form of media which involves police, drugs, deprived communities or actual bloody characters look completely shit. Considering thats mainly what Hollywood specialises in the cinema is now a dull, lifeless place to be. Thanks Dave, thanks a fucking bunch.

When four po'lice are killed in a botched drug bust, a family full of cops find their lives turned upside down. There is 'old man cop' (Jon Voight) whose a little passed his time and unsure what the right thing to do is. He is the dad to 'sergeant cop' (Noah Emmerich) who wants to cover stuff up but his dying wife won't let him. He is brother to 'out of retirement cop' (Edward Norton) whose returned from filing papers to help the investigation and 'do the right thing'. Lastly he's brother-in-law to 'dirty cop' (Colin Farrell) who wants to do bad things. He is dirty. Of course he is he's Colin Farrell.

Pride and Glory is at times an incredibly brave movie. There are long scenes in Hispanic with no subtitles, a real emphasis on relationships over shooty-shooty-bang-bangs and an ending that actually requires some thought and conversation after, rather than tying it all in a neat little bow. The acting is top-notch across the board, even if at times you might feel like the words 'For Your Consideration' are plastered along the bottom of the screen. Edward Norton takes the understated role of whispering to witnesses until they tell him what he wants to know. While Colin has a scene with a baby and an iron that will have you open-mouthed.

This baby/iron scene isn't the only stand-out moment. An awkward christmas meal has Jon Voight being given a role he can actually get into and while the opening may suffer a little from herky jerky cam it throws you into the movie straight away. There's a famous quote attributed to many people including Howard Hawks that a film can be declared a success if it has three good scenes and no bad ones. Well with that in mind Pride and Glory is a definite success but as Owen Nicholls once said "If it ain't as good as The Wire, fuck it," Altogether now, whatd'ya know about Bodymore, whad'ya know about Bodymore, Bodymore...

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Saw V Review

A little story for you all. Its Halloween 2006 and I ring some friends for a cinema outing. Thinking we have to see a scary movie, its tradition, I pursuade some of my friends to join me in the annual Saw outing. The ones who refuse I chastise as wimps and pussies. Flash forward to about halfway through the film, a guy has been drowned in blended rotting pigs and now we're watching open brain surgery from a shaky cam. I manage to resist the urge to spew but can't stop the entire auditorium spinning and swirling as I make for the exit, white as a sheet. Now who's the wimp and the pussy? Lets just say I way looking forward to Saw V as much as I look forward to having a Nandos poo.

For a guy who had a terminal illness in the first movie, the Jigsaw killer has done surprisingly well to last into film 5 of the series. But seeing as how he actually carked it at the end of III (of course, I had to be told this as I was crying in a dark corner when the film ended) this shouldn't trouble us too much. What should trouble us is the amount of apprentices he has carying out his work.

But fuck it we're not here for the plot we wanna see the people made all dead. And how! Sadly, or not so sadly if you're a giant girl like me, Saw V is pretty tame. There's some decapitation, some electrocution, a pendulum ripping someone in half and someone undergoing Thom Yorke's head in a fishbowl routine from the No Surprises video. But at no point did I feel like I couldn't handle it.

Instead you're just left with the horrible feeling that you're watching a dead horse being flogged. Now if this was literally the case and it was some kind of My Little Pony Snuff movie where the equine beastie was hobbled at the ankles, then his eyes gauged out and put into a feedbag for him to eat and then his johnson cut off and he was beaten to death with it over the course of 90 minutes until all that was left was the pulpy remains of a mashed up stallion. Well then, then I'd probably chuck.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

W Review

Oliver Stone seems to have been neutered of late. Since the 43rd President took office he's made Comandante, a fairly radical film about his meetings with Fidel Castro where he said 'that Cuban leader ain't half as evil as everyone says'. Next he made Alexander, only likely to offend very, very old Macedonians who don't like being called gay. Then came World Trade Centre, a film so politically tame it ended up being the big screen equivelant of Little Timmy being stuck down a well. But now with W, surely the gloves are off and Olly Stone is back, kicking it to the man?

A biopic of sorts W jumps around over George Bush Jrs (Josh Brolin) life tracing his misspent youth and lack of direction and stopping for a large time on 2002 and the lead up to the Iraq war. In the mis-spent youth days we see him drinking, fighting and looking for affirmation of his life from daddy (James Cromwell). In the Iraq war years we see him sober (after finding religion), starting wars and looking for affirmation of his life from daddy. With hardly any mention of dirty trick campaigns to win the governership of Texas, Florida vote rigging and September 11th, W is not the leftie, Bush-baiting, 'kick him while he's down' film most (including myself) were expecting, or hoping for.

Instead its a Tragedy of Shakespearean depth of a man who stumbled into the most powerful seat on earth. (Sadly in our current climate we may have to take a bad Disney movie over Shakespeare for the 45th president biopic). Portrayed by Josh Brolin as a character first, an impersonation second, Georgie is the victim of circumstance. While his Bushism ("they misunderestimated me") are written into the script for a cheap laugh there isn't the attack on the inherent wrongness of his actions. While I'm not looking for shots of W cackling over pictures of dead Iraq children it seems the director has let him off the hook for his part in the troubles his administration has brought on the world. Instead of villifying Bush, its Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and Karl Rove (Toby Jones) who get the bad guy roles, while Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright) gets to be the American conscience for the second time in two weeks.

So in Oliver Stones world George W Bush isn't the hero or the villain. He can be intelligent, charming, driven, funny, self deprecating, warm, a dreamer. He's also inarticulate, hot headed, an alcoholic, naive, troubled, war-mongerer who has some severe 'issues with pops' but you're left with the feeling at the end that Ge-O is someone you would go and have a beer with. And isn't that the reason he was elected twice. Its a troubling viewpoint but one which leaves me with the distinct impression that Oliver Stones main target for ridicule isn't Bush himself but the American public. A nation dumb enough to vote someone into the most powerful position in the world because he's a regular Joe. I suppose we'll see tonight whether the 'Joe strategy' works again.