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Westside Steve

Vice review

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Vice
Annapurna Pictures
R.                   72 min
I’ve known of this film for quite a while and seen a couple of trailers so, as usual, I had a preconceived notion of what to expect. I do that with most films and often I’m way off the mark, and I always admit it. That can be a good thing, sometimes not, but Adam McKay’s biopic about Vice President Dick Cheney was just about exactly as I’d expected.  First and foremost it’s a political Passion Play meant to turn up the heat on the innuendo, rumors and talking points that surrounded the George W Bush presidency and the Iraq War specifically. It’s no secret that both sides of the political Spectrum have their own personal Boogeyman, or men. Republicans have George Soros and Democrats, Dick Cheney.  That means folks on one side of the aisle will probably view this film differently than folks on the other side just for historical and factual, or lack of,  perspective. You can tell which way Adam McKay, the director and writer views things, and frankly that doesn’t affect the quality of the film only the political conclusions. Fair enough?
Of course McKay’s claim to fame is a couple of second rate Will Ferrell movies and a job as head writer of Saturday Night Live, which begs the question when was the last time anybody thought SNL was entertaining?
The story here, besides the political message, is of a drunken redneck college dropout who worked his way up to a position of power second to few in the US and possibly the world. Some of the elements of the film aren’t negative, including his devotion to his wife and daughters for whom he rehabilitated himself early on, but mostly it paints the VP as an unscrupulous schemer. McKay’s bias is pretty evident especially when you hear the Darth Vader music they play almost every time Cheney is on screen. He also recently gave an interview to Variety bemoaning the fact he didn’t have space to blame Cheney for failure Cap and Trade (the energy tax) in America.  As far as the film there is good and bad. It’s long and not especially captivating except for some of the best acting I’ve seen it in a while. Honestly I have no idea what a young Dick Cheney looked or sounded like but as he ages in the film Christian Bale’s performance is absolutely uncanny. It’s actually worth seeing the film just for that. Another surprise is Sam Rockwell as George W Bush. Whether or not the portrayal is accurate doesn’t really matter but the performance is amazing. On the downside I didn’t particularly care for Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, then again I don’t get the fascination with Carell in the first place. LisaGay Hamilton did a first class turn as Condoleezza Rice, but unfortunately it’s a relatively small role. 
At the end of the day I thought it was a mediocre film that might get a small plus or minus depending on your opinion of the politics involved.
C
WSS

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The film was far more favorable toward Chaney than I Thought it would be or thought that it should be.  I thought that his depiction of Cheaneys use of power and or what you call manipulations are actually an objective view of what happens in American politics.

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14 hours ago, The Gipper said:

The film was far more favorable toward Chaney than I Thought it would be or thought that it should be.  I thought that his depiction of Cheaneys use of power and or what you call manipulations are actually an objective view of what happens in American politics.

Well good for you.

WSS

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2 hours ago, Westside Steve said:

Well good for you.

WSS

Yes, good for me because I am aware that "political manipulation" is standard operating procedure when it comes to obtaining and exercising political power.   I would not be critical of Cheney's "grab for control" that was depicted in that scene with GW Bush where he accepts the VP post with "conditions".  I had absolutely no problem if in fact that is what Cheney did.  The problem lies in GWB allowing him to do it. 

If a hack job was done on anyone in this movie, it was on W.  His drunkenness in his first scene at that party....and his fecklessness at allowing Cheney to control so much....and allowing Cheney to make many of the hard decisions. He is the guy that I thought came off looking the worst in this movie.

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And it just boils down to who's innuendo rumor and bullshit you choose to believe. None of it has anything to do with the performances or my enjoyment of the film one way or the other. For instance I love the Star Trek movie but I don't really believe there are Klingons.

WSS

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2 hours ago, Westside Steve said:

And it just boils down to who's innuendo rumor and bullshit you choose to believe. None of it has anything to do with the performances or my enjoyment of the film one way or the other. For instance I love the Star Trek movie but I don't really believe there are Klingons.

WSS

Nothing that I am talking about has to do with the performances, some of which were very good. 

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McKay wrote and directed the Big Short, great movie which won an Oscar, so you're a bit off on that.

Movie wasn't very good but the acting, although I thought Rockwell was off the mark, was very good...wasted in my opinion.

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5 minutes ago, BaconHound said:

McKay wrote and directed the Big Short, great movie which won an Oscar, so you're a bit off on that.

 I didn't like the big short that's the point.

Movie wasn't very good but the acting, although I thought Rockwell was off the mark, was very good...wasted in my opinion.

I thought Christian Bale was great and I like Rockwell a lot too.

WSS

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18 minutes ago, Westside Steve said:

WSS

You may not have like it but Mckay's "claim to fame" is an Oscar winning film not Talledaga Nights

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18 minutes ago, BaconHound said:

You may not have like it but Mckay's "claim to fame" is an Oscar winning film not Talledaga Nights

I saw the filmography, thanks.  A touch of snark. I'm always annoyed on a mediocre picture gets Raves because of political hackery. But that's the way of the world these days.

WSS

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4 minutes ago, Westside Steve said:

I saw the filmography, thanks.  A touch of snark. I'm always annoyed on a mediocre picture gets Raves because of political hackery. But that's the way of the world these days.

WSS

Funny you like Bad Times at the El Royale and it was a watered down Tarantino film with less than stellar acting and storylines, a lot of snark :)

I get that your reviews have a lot to do with your world view.

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9 minutes ago, BaconHound said:

Funny you like Bad Times at the El Royale and it was a watered down Tarantino film with less than stellar acting and storylines, a lot of snark :)

I get that your reviews have a lot to do with your world view.

No doubt my friend. You might be surprised though. I've enjoyed just about every one of Michael Moore's films even though he's a left-wing hack gas bag. But separate the politics from the flick and the story it's actually compelling. Sorry I didn't like Vice. If the main aim of a film is to preach politics and the film isn't that good then fuck it. And yes bad times was diluted Tarantino mixed with a couple shots of diluted Coen brothers. Both concoctions I enjoy.  And I never claimed to be right or wrong with these reviews, it's just what I like or I don't like. I hate a lot of stuff that the big shot critics love and vice versa.

WSS

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10 minutes ago, Westside Steve said:

No doubt my friend. You might be surprised though. I've enjoyed just about every one of Michael Moore's films even though he's a left-wing hack gas bag. But separate the politics from the flick and the story it's actually compelling. Sorry I didn't like Vice. If the main aim of a film is to preach politics and the film isn't that good then fuck it. And yes bad times was diluted Tarantino mixed with a couple shots of diluted Coen brothers. Both concoctions I enjoy.  And I never claimed to be right or wrong with these reviews, it's just what I like or I don't like. I hate a lot of stuff that the big shot critics love and vice versa.

WSS

Fair enough.  I couldn't stand Vice but not because of it's political leanings but the funny offbeat parts that worked in the Big Short didn't in Vice.  I think most movies have some redeeming value if the viewer understands what they are in for.  Of the 60-70 I see in the theater each year there are only 2 or 3 that I'd consider a waste.

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15 minutes ago, BaconHound said:

Fair enough.  I couldn't stand Vice but not because of it's political leanings but the funny offbeat parts that worked in the Big Short didn't in Vice.  I think most movies have some redeeming value if the viewer understands what they are in for.  Of the 60-70 I see in the theater each year there are only 2 or 3 that I'd consider a waste.

I think you are correct. And I didn't say Vice was a waste I gave it a c.

Speaking of films that I might possibly agree with politically I could barely sit through anything by D'Souza.

WSS

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23 minutes ago, Westside Steve said:

I think you are correct. And I didn't say Vice was a waste I gave it a c.

Speaking of films that I might possibly agree with politically I could barely sit through anything by D'Souza.

WSS

The same as Halloween, I'm paying attention :) 

I don't watch many political movies, haven't seen a single Moore film not even Bowling for Columbine.

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