DVD Review of the Bush-Who-Is-No-More: W.

W. Josh Brolin DVDI love movies. I really love movies. I love watching them, I love playing them, and I love stroking them. Wait, what? Ignore that last part. Getting back on track, as much as I love movies, I’m really not a huge fan of bonus features. It’s not that there aren’t some really good bonus features that get packaged with DVDs – it’s just that the movies themselves are enough for me. The only reason bonus features are included on discs are to sell more – which is fine – but they are, in fact, bonus. And unlike bonus questions on a test that can raise your grade from a B+ to an A-, bonus questions don’t elevate a movie from one plateau to the next.

Given that, I was actually happy to see that W., the George Bush docu-drama from famed director Oliver Stone, had only one real bonus feature. That’s not to say I’m going to recommend the DVD, but when I can knock off a DVD review in a matter of minutes… that’s just awesome.

W. itself is a decent movie, with strong performances from some of the actors (Josh Brolin and Richard Dreyfuss as Bush and Cheney, respectively) and others that are just plain strange (Thandie Newton as a nasally Condoleeza). The movie works for the most part, even though it clips over some important aspects of the Bush presidency and would probably have worked better had it been made a couple years from now, when the taste of Bush is more of a nagging thought than a cringing reminder of what has happened to our country. You can read my full W. movie review here.

Despite what I said earlier, there are two bonus features included on the disc, an audio commentary with Oliver Stone and a documentary on the damage that Bush has done to the United States. I don’t normally listen to audio commentaries, but I may just have to listen to this one: I’d love to hear why Stone skips over certain parts (like the contested 2000 election) and his reactions to people’s complaints that he wasn’t nearly as harsh on Bush as they were expecting (a complaint that I believe even took the director by surprise, even though it’s valid).

The documentary, unfortunately, is just DVD filler. It’s short, includes both scenes from the movie and real-life footage, and thus comes off as semi-promotional. The problem is that with so many damning, full-length documentaries that go into much more detail and provide more valid arguments out on the market, why this one was even made would beg the question “why,” if it wasn’t so clear. Frankly, it would have better not to include anything rather than spend the money to create this feature.

W. is a decent film that’s worth seeing, but not good enough to buy. The DVD bonus features, if you can call them that, don’t do anything to change that statement.

View pictures and learn more about W. at my W. details page. The movie comes to DVD on February 10th.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews
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