Thursday, January 31, 2019

Vice (a movie review post)

I wanted to see Vice as soon as I saw the trailers for it, and I'm not going to lie: That was mostly because of Sam Rockwell. Rockwell as W.? I'm in! Despite Rockwell's Oscar win last year, he tends to be pretty underrated in Hollywood. And, since we're on the subject of Rockwell, he was great. I'd say he nailed W. and was very enjoyable to watch; however, his performance pales in comparison to Bale's.

I feel compelled to point out here that I am not a Christian Bale fan. On a personal level, and I say this without ever having met the man, he seems to be an asshole. One of the flaming types. And he was a pretty crappy Batman, though that may have been more Nolan's fault than his. In fact, based on Bale's apparent level of skill, I'm going to have to say that his failing at being Bruce Wayne has to have been bad directing, because Bale is an acting genius.

People always talk about Daniel Day-Lewis and his ability to disappear into a role, which is not not true, but he has nothing on Bale, and Bale doesn't take three to four years between roles because he has to recover from being someone else. Look, knowing that Bale is playing Cheney doesn't help you to see him in his performance of Cheney. For all intents and purposes, Bale was Cheney. It was pretty amazing and, at this point from what I've seen, he deserves the Best Actor Oscar. As much as I'd rather see Bradley Cooper get it.

Then there's Adam McKay, the writer/director. Also the writer/director of The Big Short, which also starred Bale and Steve Carell. McKay's origins doing goofy comedies with Will Ferrell is evident in these more serious movies, but I think it makes them more accessible. Or maybe it doesn't. I don't know. What I do know is that I loved The Big Short. I don't think Vice is quite as good or enjoyable, but I think it's vastly more important.

So, yeah, I don't think Vice is quite Best Picture material -- though it deserves the nomination -- but it may be the most important film of last year. If you want to know how and why we got to where we are today, especially the part where Trump (#fakepresident) got elected, you can see an awful lot of that road in this movie. Now, if McKay will do a movie on Newt Gingrich, you'd be able to see the other part of that road.

Of course, that brings up the question of whether the movie is credible or not and all of the accusations that the movie has a liberal bias. I'm actually not going to get into that. For one reason, McKay closes the movie by... well, not dealing with that question exactly but, certainly, bringing it up. For another, it doesn't matter. Which is the sad thing and part of what the movie is about. The facts don't matter. Just saying the word "facts" at this point is confirming that you have a liberal bias. Like facts are some construct of liberalism while conservatives live in the real world of "truth," or whatever it is that they think of it as, where science is evil (of the Devil) and the destroyer of all that really matters. At any rate, we don't have the whole picture because so much of what Cheney did was in secret. You want to talk about emails...

Oh, no, you really don't, because the email thing was just an excuse.

One way or the other, though, if you want a peek, a tiny brief peek, behind the curtain of subterfuge, you should see this movie, whichever side of the divide you're on.

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