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RE: VICE - Adam McKay (2018) | Film Review

in #review6 years ago

I watch a LOT of films. I couldn't bring myself to watch this one. It felt like a Hollywood circle jerk. Hollywood is incapable of impartiality when it comes to politics. Seeing Bale's comments on why he was cast as Cheney only reinforced my supposition.


This film definitely comes from a viewpoint that Cheney and Rumsfeld had a net negative effect on the country and the world. It's a viewpoint that matches mine, but looking at McKay's remarks that the film can really be watched by anyone, I think he's either optimistically blinded or saying that purely for the purpose of publicity.

I don't know if impartiality is always such a noble objective in politics, or at least political media. There's this assumption that between two viewpoints the truth lies, when that is not always the case. It's a bias that always ends up favoring conservatives because conservatives have - ever since the Nixon days - much, much less restraint on the awful things they're willing to say and do to maintain power. If one supported Bush and Cheney to their worst lows, a/or supports Trump, who is constantly finding new lows... what film is going to be impartial enough? What's the likelihood of any film, no matter how impartial, changing one's mind? How many facts, surveys, polls must be cited before "fake news," "lies," "liberal bias" stops being chanted, drone-like, every time reality gets a mention? Nothing will satisfy them. Nothing.

TL;DR: Impartiality doesn't matter too much to me, at least in Hollywood, because "impartiality" usually equals conservative bias.

IN ANY CASE though you are correct that it is not impartial and that it does preach to the choir. I probably should spell that out explicitly in my review, instead of leaving it implicit. I have revised the 'Concluding Thoughts' section to make that explicit.

Not sure I agree with all that, but particularly Hollywood doing politics. It would be different if they didn’t have a need to create charicatures. I pan films all the time for lacking character development. I’m the case of politics, that is generally the case.

I forgot to thank you for the first comment, so consider this thanks for both your original comment and your response to my response to your comment. :)

I think in the case of politicians that the creation of a caricature is especially difficult to avoid because it's difficult to compress a life that may last for fifty, sixty, seventy years into the span of two-ish hours and still achieve the multiferous (is that a word? if it wasn't before, it is now) goals of comprehensibility, narrative, accuracy. In real life, it takes months, years to learn about a person. In film, a specific set of scenes can convey all that information in just a couple minutes. What do you do when the two get married and have a biopic?

I think approaching a biopic with a level of objectivity, knowing your predilections and biases is a good starting point. Knowing you want your characters relate requires an attempt to humanize rather than demonize. Even a good antagonist has likable qualities. In fact, the likable bad guys are the best one. But a biopic should not even be about good guys and bad guys. And that is where films like this so often go off track.

Did you see the film Elvis and Nixon? I thought that film was done well. As hated as Nixon is by the left, that film was humorous and engaging.

I have not, alas. I don't watch too many movies and I go to the theatres even less often. I'll check it out, though, see if it's streaming.

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