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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bush, The Movie!

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It looks like the Oliver Stone movie biography of George W. Bush, "W" is progressing along the lines one might expect. According to ABC News which got a copy of an early version of the script the movie presents a "humanistic portrait of the president". No, really. They actually said that.

The film seems to bear a number of similarities to another film based on another Republican President, CBS' The Reagan's which documented such well known episodes in President Ronald Reagan's life as his conversation with wife Nancy in which he said, referring to homosexuals suffering from AIDS, "They that live in sin shall die in sin." (Well, actually he never said that but CBS apparently thought he would have if only...if...he...had(?) Well, you know what they meant.) That film, by the way proved so controversial due to a host of falsified scenes like that one that CBS wound up airing it on their pay cable channel, Showtime.

"W" stars Josh Brolin, the son actor James Brolin who played Reagan in The Reagan's. Brolin, by the way is married to Democratic activist/actress, the legendary Barbra Streisand, who in 2006 included as part of her concert performances, a skit using a Bush impersonator making the President look foolish. As another aside Brolin, pere gained some recent notoriety by saying on a local New Haven, CT radio show, "Happy 9/11" and "Celebrate the day, right?"

This films seems to have the same sort of interest in historical accuracy as the Reagan film as it contains scenes such as the following:

One explosive scene in the movie features press secretary Ari
Fleischer complaining to Bush about longtime reporter Helen Thomas who questioned the run-up to the war in Iraq.

Bush explodes in a
profanity-laced outburst , "Did you tell her I don't like motherf-who gas their own people! Did you tell her I don't like a-- holes who try to kill my father! Did you tell her I'm going to kick his & a-- all over the Middle East?"

Fleischer says it never happened.

Stone's interest in accuracy can perhaps best be seen in his other biopic of a Republican president, the 1996 "Nixon" which Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said,

The real Nixon looks and sounds like another Jack Kennedy next to
the version presented in ``Nixon,'' Oliver Stone's overblown biographical epic on the life and career of our 37th president. In the title role, Hopkins sweats and twitches, walks like an ape, hunches his shoulders and looks like a man on the edge of a breakdown.

The ridiculous thing is that this is Stone's image not just of the private Nixon but of the public Nixon, too. The Nixon who could
be a cool customer, who could slam home a stump speech, who could deal as an equal with guys like Brezhnev, is nowhere to be found.

Instead you get the pathetic Nixon as described by Woodward and Bernstein in ``The Final Days.'' So we see him looking paranoid and speaking haltingly, for example, as he delivers
his acceptance speech at the 1968 Republican convention -- a speech that the real Nixon thundered out forcefully.

"W" is expected to be released sometime in 2009. Get your tickets early.

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