This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.
Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.
I want to love W. a lot more than I actually do. The concept is great, attempting to satirize the most hated president the US has ever had by painting a sympathetic portrait of the man and allowing his own actions to speak for themselves. It’s not very successful though, never seeming to know exactly what it wants to be. Sometimes it feels like a straightforward biography; at others it feels like an unfunny SNL sketch (e.g., every scene with Thandie Newton). The finished product is less a movie and more a flimsy amalgamation of random moments from Bush’s life. Since the film (having been made before Bush was even out of office) already lacks any sort of historical perspective, I really think it would’ve played better had it focused more on its narrative structure, telling its story chronologically as some sort of absurdist fantasy where this drunk college kid with a rich dad ends up controlling an entire country (and then subsequently subjecting the whole world to complete chaos). You could kind of already get a sense of that basic concept in the film, but like so many of W.’s ideas, it eventually gets lost in the shuffle. Josh Brolin is great in it though. Blu-ray? Yes. Notable Extras: Audio commentary with director Oliver Stone, a “Dangerous Dynasty: The Bush Presidency” featurette, a “No Stranger to Controversy: Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush” featurette, and deleted scenes.
Posted on Saturday, February 7th, 2009 by David Chen
/Film is on the scene at the 2009 New York Comic-Con! Although the NYCC (held at the Javits Center) is not nearly as overpopulated and out of control as its San Diego counterpart, there will still be some neat footage and panels this weekend that me and Devindra Hardawar will be covering for the site over the next 48 hours.
This evening, we had the privilege of seeing a screening of the new Futurama direct-to-DVD film, Into the Wild Green Yonder. Amidst thousands of enthusiastic Futurama fans, the two of us along with Alex Billington from Firstshowing watched the fourth (and potentially final) Futurama movie unfold. It’s no secret that Devindra and I haven’t been terribly pleased with the quality of the most recent direct-to-DVD films. Did the movie live up to the best of the series? Hit the jump to hear our thoughts. Read More »
In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, and Adam are joined by Devin Faraci from Chud.com to console each other after facing an emotional onslaught in Dear Zachary, lament the loss of Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2, debate Zach Snyder’s changes to the Watchmen film ending, and try to pretend the last eight years didn’t happen while reviewing Oliver Stone’s W.
Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next next week as we review Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In.
If you went to the movies this weekend, chances are you either saw:
Max Payne, Oliver Stone’s W. or Sex Drive
We would like to know what movie you chose, and what you thought. Did Stone’s W. lack focus or was it the Nixon for this decade? Was Max Payne all style and no substance or a kick ass action film? Was Sex Drive the funniest comedy of 2008 or just another sex comedy? We want to know! Post your thoughts in the comments below.
The reviews for Oliver Stone‘s W. have begun to show up online, and aside from Josh Brolin‘s “magnificent” performance, the buzz is pretty mild:
Jeff Wells writes: “Josh Brolin’s performance as George W. Bush being dead perfect but — and this, I believe, is a crucial distinction — appropriately hollow. Which means that on some level the performance, like the film itself, leaves you feeling a wee bit flat and wanting more.”
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Kirk Honeycutt writes: “It’s a gutsy movie but not necessarily a good one. Its greatest strength is that it wants to talk about what’s on our minds right now and not wait for historians.” … “What he seems to want is Greek tragedy. But what he gets is Texas melodrama.”
Screen Daily‘s Mike Goodridge writes: “Oliver Stone has an uncanny knack of making movies which are better appreciated many years after they are made, and W feels like it will be one of them.” … “At its best, it holds up as a dramatized character study of the father and son presidents which will be watched keenly in years to come. At its worst, it is submerged by an over-populated cast of characters and a tone which shifts awkwardly between dramatic storytelling and smartass political comedy.”
David Poland writes: “Brolin should be nominated for the Oscar. We’ll see whether the crowd around Best Actor is too big for him to crack, but it is a letter perfect performance that looks much, much easier than most critics and audiences, I think, will understand.” … “Brolin is magnificent in a way very different than Langella in Frost/Nixon or Hopkins in Stone’s Nixon. It is not an imitation, yet it is a perfect imitation… and you don’t just see that every day.”
Variety‘s Todd McCarthy writes: “Oliver Stone’s unusual and inescapably interesting “W.” feels like a rough draft of a film it might behoove him to remake in 10 or 15 years.” … ““W.” is, if anything, overly conventional, especially stylistically. The picture possesses dramatic and entertainment value, but beyond serious filmgoers curious about how Stone deals with all this president’s men and women, it’s questionable how wide a public will pony up to immerse itself in a story that still lacks an ending.”
Emanuel Levy writes: “Too late (or too early), too little, too restrained, and too conventional.” … “a strong, compelling and entertaining turn from Josh Brolin” … “[the tone] is too restrained and solemn to qualify as a social or political satire.” … “As a film, W. represents a passable entertainment, one that’s easy to take and be moderately engaged in. However, lacking real bite and criticism, and mostly rehashing facts that are known about Bush fils’ earlier life.”
In a new interview with The Times UK, director Oliver Stone ponders the domestic box office prospects for his W. biopic, opening in limited release the 17th of this month. The Lionsgate film had a budget of $30 million—financed by Chinese investors—and arguably there is no precedent for how well it might do. High profile movies about U.S. presidents tend to always be posthumous (Stone’s Nixon, HBO’s John Adams, Spielberg’s planned Lincoln), and the political climate has only grown nastier and nuttier since Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 grossed $119 mil domestic in 2004 (seems longer ago). American Carol, anyone? With the election too close to call and the economy exposing orifices daily…
“I’m not sure that we’ll succeed,” Stone concedes. “But this movie is not for the 12 per cent who still approve of him – it’s for the other 88 per cent. On the other hand, I don’t think there’s anything in the movie that the other 88 per cent would have any reason to detest. It is a human portrait of a man, not meant to insult people who believe in what Bush believes in.”
How much of this majority will show up, either in hopes of a good movie or to magnify their displeasure with the current administration, remains to be seen. And back to the economic crisis, Stone says comparisons to the rampant greed and corruption depicted in 1987’s Wall Street are nil…
“I don’t even think a Gordon Gecko [sic] could exist in 2008, not as an individual buyer or seller. He’d have to work for a bank. Those [Wall Street] guys – they pigged out, man, to a degree that I never thought was possible.”
On that note, I wonder where things are at with Michael Douglas’s Wall Street 2(Stone is said not to be involved)? Stone says he has no interest nor plans in making another war film, citing his age and specifically calling Iraq too much of a “bummer” to confront. Coming from Stone, who served in VietNam, directed numerous films related to that war (including the aborted Pinkville with Bruce Willis), and is a history buff, I’m not sure I buy it. He even seems to hint that Pinkville might be rescued in the same interview.
Discuss: How much do you expect W. to gross domestically? More than $30 million? Do you agree with Stone’s sentiments on Gekko and today’s Wall Street?
Lionsgate has released a 2-minute long extended movie trailer for Oliver Stone’s W. The more and more I see from this film, the funnier it looks. I particularly love the way Josh Brolin shrugs about 30 seconds in. I think that shot says everything you need to know about this film. As always, share your thoughts in the comments below. Enjoy.
W. hits theaters on October 17th 2008. You can watch the new trailer in High Definition on MYSpace.
Lionsgate has released a final trailer for Oliver Stone’s W, which is basically an extended version of the recent tv spots. I think this is a vast improvement over the teaser trailer, because you get a much better understanding of the comedic/dramtic tone of the film. The juxtaposition of the war images with Bush’s stupidity is pure Stone. I also love how they call George Bush Sr. “Poppy”. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Official Plot Synopsis: Whether you love him or hate him, there is no question that George W. Bush is one of the most controversial public figures in recent memory. In an unprecedented undertaking, acclaimed director Oliver Stone is bringing the life of our 43rd President to the big screen as only he can. W takes viewers through Bush’s eventful life — his struggles and triumphs, how he found both his wife and his faith, and of course the critical days leading up to Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.
Cast: Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Elizabeth Banks, Toby Jones, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, Ioan Gruffud, Richard Dreyfuss, Jesse Bradford
With potential for yet another mind-shattering Republican satire hanging in the balance, Vanity Fair has published the first look at the entire 2003 cabinet in Oliver Stone‘s W.There’s a good overall likeness, sure, but I dig the quirky soap opera-esque caricature Stone seems to be shooting for. What better way to portray the walking jokes and greedy, delusional scumbugs that raped my early 20s?
(L to R) Jeffrey Wright is General Colin Powell, Toby Jones is Karl Rove (even more imp-like), Dennis Boutsikaris is Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Dreyfuss is Dick Cheney (my second fave douche-likeness), Josh Brolin is George W. Bush
(L to R) Thandie Newton is Condoleezza Rice (nice Gremlin eyes), Rob Corddry is Ari Fleischer (my fave), Bruce McGill is George Tenet (smug, much), Scott Glenn is Donald Rumsfeld (theory: doesn’t deserve any likeness)
And here’s a new image we never got around to posting. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure x Sling Blade? Economy permitting, Oliver Stone’s W. opens this October.
Access Hollywood has another behind-the-scenes feature on Oliver Stone‘s W. They are on the set for a scene where George Bush practices an emergency water landing before the now infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech. I have yet to read the script, but I find it interesting that they would choose to include a little moment like in this story. And I think that might tell you a lot about Stone’s film. Josh Brolin relays a funny story of his initial reaction to Stone’s offer to star in this film. I wish they had asked Stone what he said to convince Brolin to change his mind and take the possibly very controversial role.