Tag Archives: U.S. Politics

The Kennedys: After Camelot

Six years after The Kennedys came this follow-up, which focuses on Jacqueline Kennedy’s (Katie Holmes) life after the murder of her husband, as she falls in love with Greek shipping tycoon Ari Onassis (Alexander Siddig); and Ted Kennedy (Matthew Perry), who’s battling his own demons and the burden of being part of a family where you … Continue reading The Kennedys: After Camelot

Trumped: Inside the Greatest Political Upset of All Time

HOW HE GRABBED AMERICA BY THE VOTE. After Mark Halperin and John Heilemann spent months and months covering the 2016 presidential election for the Showtime series The Circus, this summary in the shape of a documentary feature was quickly assembled. The amount of footage is overwhelming, but the filmmakers focus on the winner, Donald Trump, … Continue reading Trumped: Inside the Greatest Political Upset of All Time

Thirteen Days

YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE HOW CLOSE WE CAME.  In October 1962, White House advisor Kenneth O’Donnell (Kevin Costner) becomes a witness to how President John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) challenges a Soviet decision to put missiles in Cuba capable of delivering a nuclear strike on the U.S. The ultimate screen portrait of the Cuban missile crisis … Continue reading Thirteen Days

13th: Birth of a Scheme

FROM SLAVE TO CRIMINAL WITH ONE AMENDMENT.  A documentary that uses the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the one that abolished slavery, as a starting point for a discussion of how African-Americans are still subjected to racial injustice in the United States, may look on paper like a concern mainly for what conservatives would call … Continue reading 13th: Birth of a Scheme

Jackie: After Dealey Plaza

I WANT THEM TO SEE WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO JACK.  Chilean director Pablo Larraín was about to make his first American film, but had doubts. He had been offered a biopic about Jackie Kennedy, but didn’t know anything about the Kennedys and the assassination other than what he (and we) had read in newspapers … Continue reading Jackie: After Dealey Plaza

Michael Moore in TrumpLand

Michael Moore usually takes his time getting a movie into theaters, but this one was a surprise release just a few weeks before the presidential election where voters decided between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s essentially a standup performance (or sermon) taped in October over two nights in Wilmington, Ohio before an audience said … Continue reading Michael Moore in TrumpLand

All the Way

POLITICS IS WAR. Shortly after swearing the oath in November 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson (Bryan Cranston) begins the struggle to get the Civil Rights Act passed, trying to please both Dixiecrats and African-American voters. Recount and Game Change director Jay Roach was the right person to bring the successful play to television. In spite … Continue reading All the Way

Confirmation

IT ONLY TAKES ONE VOICE TO CHANGE HISTORY. In 1991, President Bush nominates Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce) for the Supreme Court, but a law professor (Kerry Washington) steps forward, claiming that Thomas sexually harassed her. The Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy is an epic he said-she said story where we still don’t know which one of … Continue reading Confirmation

Where to Invade Next

PREPARE TO BE LIBERATED. The director’s Sicko (2007) explored the problems with the American healthcare system and looked abroad to see how differently other countries took care of their people. This documentary continues in the same way, with Michael Moore leading a military-style charge toward Europe and North Africa, “invading” countries like Norway, Tunisia, Germany, … Continue reading Where to Invade Next

All the King’s Men: A Populist Menace

HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A PRETTY GOOD GUY… IF TOO MUCH POWER… AND WOMEN… HADN’T GONE TO HIS HEAD! In other reviews I’ve previously used the example of John Wayne at his most reactionary. Well, this is no exception. He was considered for the lead role in this movie but was so offended by the script … Continue reading All the King’s Men: A Populist Menace

Best of Enemies: The Original Crossfire

BUCKLEY VS. VIDAL. 2 MEN. 10 DEBATES. TELEVISION WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME. I’m writing this review in the midst of Donald Trump’s campaign for the U.S. presidency. What started as an empty circus act, cherished by angry rightwing voters who feel left out, has turned into something threatening. Not once through his nasty campaign … Continue reading Best of Enemies: The Original Crossfire