Monday, November 8, 2010

W. and You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush

I don't know why I bothered.  I'm a fan of political satire done well, but I should have known that Oliver Stone and Will Ferrell would take things too far in their depictions of George W. Bush.  Now don't get me wrong: I'm no big Bushie.  He's much too statist and too big a spender for my political taste.  But he's better than the alternative, especially the socialist in the White House now.  But Bush seems like a good guy, and there's much about him that I admire.  These 2 films would claim that their intent was to entertain, but clearly the agenda was greater: to perpetuate and promote liberal lies and to defame President Bush.

The only consolation I have is the limited reach of these movies.  You're Welcome America was a stage production which HBO aired.  It's out there on video, but I'm guessing not too many people saw it (although that's still too many).  W. was just not a very good movie.  I don't think it did too well at the box office.
Brolin in W.
Of the two Bushes, Ferrell is the best.  He has honed his Bush portrayal in years of "Saturday Night Live" skits, and I have to admit there are times when he does Bush better than Bush.  Josh Brolin plays W in W.  It's not a terrible portrayal, but just didn't work.  The whole movie's full of these characters who are just off!  Virtually every part is someone you've seen on the news and in the paper, and some of them are made up well to look the part, but the whole effect makes it seem like a bad SNL skit.  Richard Dreyfuss's Cheney is pretty convincing, though.
Ferrell in You're Welcome America
I think these 2 films shared their sources.  They have the same distortions and half-truths designed to discredit Bush and diminish his legacy.  I think of the question Bush asked about Iraq: Is the world better of with Sadam out of power?  Yes, of course.  The related question is, Is the world better of with Bush having served 2 terms?  As much as I wish his policies had been different, I have a hard time thinking of a Republican challenger to Bush who I would rather have seen in the White House, and I don't have a hard time at all preferring Bush to Gore or Kerry.  So the answer is most likely, yes, we are better off with Bush than we would have otherwise been.
Don't bother with these movies.  What I'd really like to see is similar treatment given to the incompetent, money-grabbing, self-righteous, big-government clown who succeeded Bush in the White House.  Now that would be good for a laugh.

Bottom line on both films: Yuck.

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