Thursday, October 23, 2008

At the Movies: W. and Religulous

Last weekend, I saw 2 movies I'd recommend to others. First up was Religulous, Bill Maher's documentary on religion. Bill travels all over the world trying to understand why people believe in Christ and Allah and original sin and, well, faith of any kinda. He criticizes those who follow blindly and arrogantly, and proposes doubt as a necessary, humble component for a better humankind, but, like, he's funny about it. He never really criticizes God/Christ (admiring the latter's position of forgiveness and compassion), but rather the screamers who rail against others in his name (to psuedo-paraphrase John Irving). Whether you are religious or not, Religulous presents an interesting (and hilarious) look at what many people in the world believe (most fascinating, for me, was a comparison of the life of Christ to the Egyptian god Horus. Check it out).

Later, I saw Oliver Stone's W. While not up to his old JKF/Platoon greatness, Stone makes a very compassionate, funny and entertaining film about our current Commander-in-Chief. Following Bush from Yale to the Iraq invasion, Stone presents a man driven by passion, guts and daddy issues, who essentially allows his advisers to really run his presidency (Josh Brolin is terrific as W. Who knew Brand from The Goonies would grow up to be such a great actor?). I saw an interview with Oliver Stone where he said he honestly thinks the only mistake George Bush believes he ever made was trading Sammy Sosa to the Cubs while the owner of the Texas Rangers. And that's the man we see. It gave me a new perspective on Bush...a man I've never liked, but for whom I now maybe feel at least some compassion. And a man who really should probably see Religulous.

That's what you call bringing things full circle. Sometimes, I blow my own mind.

9 comments:

Liz said...

I'm curious about W, though I'm not sure you can really do the subject justice while he's still in office. I'll probably check it out though.

The Guv'ner said...

I saw W at the weekend as well. I was amazed that it wasn't harsher - it was almost comedic in parts. I did think it touched just the right level of idiocy in not making him out to be a COMPLETE bumbling idiot and nothing else - that would have been so easy to do. You still didn't come out of it thinking he was any better a leader though. It was more a "how the hell did he get to be president" thing and despite saying the war in Iraq was foundless and all about oil and revenge (which I agree with) it still wasn't an unsympathetic movie either.

david wells said...

Josh Brolin was amazing in No Country For Old Men

pistols at dawn said...

I do want to see both of these, so circa 2015, when I've got a free weekend, I'll do it.

Dr Zibbs said...

Can't bring myself to see W.

Falwless said...

I've GOT to see both of these, but especially Religulous. Bill Maher is a pompous asshole, but I can't make myself dislike him. I watch Real Time relig(ul)ously. His no-holds-barred brand of common sense commentary always has me wishing the hour wasn't up as soon as it was. I just wish he'd stop bringing Frank Luntz on. God that guy's a fucking hack.

Falwless said...

P.S. I swear to god you see more movies than anyone I've ever known. I hate you and envy you, both at the same time. (They feel the same in my heart, anyway.)

movie fan said...

Josh Brolin did a convincing Dubya, though it reminded me a lot of his cowboy character from No Country for Old Men...

Malcolm said...

Both films look intriguing to me. Hopefully, at least one of them is still playing in my area during my upcoming "stacation". I'm pleased to hear that "W" presented the President in a sympathetic manner. Although I am far from being a fan of President Bush, I'm afraid that if Oliver Stone's film had been a one-sided attack, it would have given the right more ammo to toss at so-called liberal Hollywood.