“In April, when we posited that Oliver Stone’s upcoming Bush biopic W. would be the surprise comedy hit of 2008,” said Dan Kois and Lane Brown in New York magazine’s Vulture blog, “we were kidding, mostly.” But now that we’ve watched the first trailer for it, which was leaked online over the weekend, it turns out we might be right. “We know this is supposed to be a tragedy, but come on: The music! The drunk fighting! That funny face Josh Brolin is making the whole time!”
“Depending on who you ask,” said Jarett Wieselman in the New York Post’s blog Pop Wrap, this movie is “either the best idea since kegerators or a fast and loose slap-in-the-face to this great country we call America. Personally, I lie firmly in the former group and the just-released teaser trailer only reinforces my beliefs.” Brolin “does a killer W” and “Thandie Newton looks so much like Condoleeza Rice it’s scary.”
But why did Stone cast James Cromwell as George H.W. Bush? said Adam B. Vary in Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch Blog. Cromwell seems to make no attempt to match Bush Sr.’s “distinct vocal cadences.” It’s also “pretty jarring to place the same man who currently occupies the Oval Office at the wheel of a car crashing into someone’s front yard.”
This movie “just looks terrible, all around,” said Ken Layne in the blog Wonkette. And what’s with the awful soundtrack? But to be fair, “no biopic could ever compare with the rancid stupid tragedy that is the life of George W. Bush.”
This trailer “is already stirring debate all over the Internet,” said Mark Whittington in Associated Content. Those who hate Bush “seem pretty sure that Oliver Stone is about to foist upon us a dark comedy about a drunken buffoon who somehow became President of the United States,” while “Bush supporters seem pretty afraid that the Bush haters are right.”
The film is supposed to be released “less than three weeks before voters go to the polls to choose Mr. Bush’s successor,” said Brian Montopoli in CBSNews.com’s Horserace blog. Democrats have tried to paint John McCain “as representing a continuation of Bush administration policies,” so this biopic could “feed into that narrative.”
There’s a good chance that “nobody’s going to see” a movie about “an unpopular lame duck, any more than they're going to see a movie about the Iraq War,” said Roger Moore in OrlandoSentinel.com’s blog Frankly My Dear. Most “people have tuned the past out, and are watching cable right now because they're all about the future—the election.”
(Watch the trailer for W here.)
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