Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Death Of A President

Most likely, at some point in the last year, you heard about the movie with that title.

A lot of people immediately reacted with shock and disgust at the thought of British Filmaker Gabriel Range creating a film that marries actual footage and CGI to create the assassination of George W. Bush. The fact that Lions Gate...the studio that took a chance on Dogma from Kevin Smith and several other movies considered too hot for the bigger houses to touch...distributed the film is testimony to the awkwardness of the subject matter.

The Beloved Kim and I rented this movie and watched it last night, and I may have to go out and buy it.

Here's why.

The film is NOT anti-American, nor is it a slam-piece against the President. It's a very well-thought out story, actually a bit of a mystery, right up to the ending, that presents the situation as a documentary of the event. The production is very well done (something I always look for, given what I do for a living...point of fact, I like a lot of bad movies because they were produced well despite having no story to them). It's done in a respectful way that evokes emotional response from the audience. Anger, sorrow, disbelief...you get swept up in the story very easily.

The actual assassination scene is a brilliant piece of effects work. It's not bloody for the sake of bloody. It's very reminiscent of the shooting of Reagan, actually. Ironically, the picture above, which was used in the promotional materials, is not a camera angle that's used in the film.

Set aside whatever politics you have and watch this film with an open mind. It's worth your effort. I think it's one of the best films I've seen about the way America works since Good Night & Good Luck.

And the end result...Patriot III (a new spin on the Patriot Act) gives you a bit of a chill, no matter which side of the red-blue debate you typically fall under.

My opinion, and I think my wife would concur: This film is not sick. This film is not disrespectful. This film is not a blueprint for someone to try and kill Bush. This film is a look at what one random day could mean to this country, and the world. Like September 11th.


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