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Bush's Brain (2004)

Cathy Bonner , Bruce Buchanan , Joseph Mealey , Michael Shoob  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cathy Bonner, Bruce Buchanan, Max Cleland, Shirley Cuff, Robert Edgeworth
  • Directors: Joseph Mealey, Michael Shoob
  • Writers: James C. Moore, Wayne Slater
  • Producers: Joseph Mealey, Michael Shoob, Elizabeth Reeder
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7SMA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,618 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bush's Brain" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A late bloomer among the rich harvest of political documentaries released in 2004, Bush's Brain is potently revealing yet maddeningly pedestrian in its attack on Karl Rove, the powerful presidential advisor nicknamed "Bush's Brain" for serving in effect as co-president in the George W. Bush administration. Slapped together for the sake of an expedient pre-election release, the film makes a convincing case (while offering no tangible proof) that Rove conducts ruthlessly effective Republican campaigns on the belief that "the ends justify the means." Based on the book by James C. Moore and James Slater (both featured prominently in abundant talking-head interviews), the film lacks the coherent structure that would've made it truly effective, assumes considerable foreknowledge on the part of the viewer, and regrettably includes a tear-jerking, non sequitur digression about the grieving family of a beloved Marine who was killed in Iraq. But the film's shattering allegations and heartbreaking testimonies suggest, in no uncertain terms, that Rove is pulling the Presidential strings, remaining virtually untouchable while winning elections by any means necessary. As a fascinating study of alleged corruption and unchecked ambition, Bush's Brain is anything but balanced, but it's an important film that invites viewers to draw their own conclusions. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Karl Rove is President George W. Bush's closest advisor. He is a man who has almost single-handedly shaped the policies of our nation. Feared and admired by Republicans and Democrats allike, Rove has raised a new and disturbing question for Americans: who really runs the country? This DVD explores Rove's remarkable political journey and the extraordinary role he has played in Bush's rise to the top. DVD features include chapter selection, theatrical trailer, bonus interviews, and previously unseen documentary footage.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explains McCain's Loss January 29, 2005
Edit of 20 Dec 07 to add link to the others books on what Rove did to us.

This is quite a chilling movie, and it makes even more sense to me now that I have finished reading Lee Harris' "Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History." Never mind John Kerry, a world-class loser with a wife to match--what this movie explains is how and why John McCain lost the South Carolina primary to Karl Rove's dirty tricks.

What really chilled me is not that Rove plays dirty against Democrats, but that he plays dirty against Republicans.

The movie begins with an early look at Karl Rove's start with Lee Atwater teaching young Republicans, including "dirty tricks" that the movie takes pains to point out are questionable but not illegal.

Included in the middle year's are stories with on the record interviews and replays of old media stories that make it quite clear that Rove is not above planting a "bug" in his own office (one with a six hour battery life, only 15 minutes of which have expired by the time it is "found"), nor of co-opting a single rogue FBI special agent to "coincidentally" have opponents under supeona just when it matters most.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bush' brain depicts the tactics and character of George W. Bush's political consultant, Karl Rove. They describe Rove as an American Svenghali who will stop at nothing to get his candidate elected. They provide compelling proof of the history of dirty tricks he has been involved in.

As a nerdy kid, Rove took an interest in republican politics at an early age. As a member of his high school's debating team he would bring stacks of index cards to intimidate his opponents, opponents who didn't know that many of the cards were blank.

In college, Rove broke into the office of a democratic candidate and stole his stationery. He printed up hundreds of copies saying that there would be free food and free beer at the opening of the candidate's new headquarters. He delivered the flyers across campus and skid row. Rove's character was taking shape.

But we really get to know Rove's chicanery and penchant for dirty tricks when he is directing the campaign of the republican candidate for governor of Texas in 1986. With the race at a dead heat, Rove "discovers" and announces finding a bugging device poorly concealed in his office, the day before the candidates' debate. Rove implies that it was planted by the opposition. As the Texas Rangers are closing in on the investigation, a republican judge closes the investigation, and Rove's candidate wins. It turns out the battery in the bug had a life of six hours, and the FBI had determined that only .2 of the battery's juice had been used--fifteen minutes. Was it planted by Karl Rove to make it look like it was from the opposition? The interviewees in this story answer with a decided yes.

Rove's other penchant was mastering the "whisper campaigns" against Governor Ann Richards and Senator John McCain.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
First the disclaimer ... this review is going to be full of glowing statements about Karl Rove because, quite frankly after viewing the documentary "Bush's Brain" I don't want to be put on his enemy list. Yes, that's right; sign me up as a bona fide FAN of Karl Rove ...

Now I've established that, let's get down to the nitty gritty...

The documentary, "Bush's Brain" focuses on Karl Rove--some people say he's the man behind the White House throne. The film--based on the book co-authored by James Moore and Wayne Slater certainly adopts that position. Rove's career is examined from his high school days, and many people who've crossed paths with Rove add their perceptions of exactly how Rove wins campaigns. There are details here of Rove behind the scenes on the Clements vs. White Texas governor race. In this campaign, it looked as though White would win, when all of a sudden, a story hit the press that Karl Rove found a bugging device in his office. Never mind that the device had a 1/2 mile range, and a 6-hour battery life. Never mind that the bug had been in the wall "for about 15 minutes." Timing is all, and the media was swept along with the bugging story and the subsequent FBI investigation. Rove's candidate pulled a win.

The documentary also includes interviews with Mike Moeller, Pete McCrea, and Max Cleland--all people who crossed Rove's path and have opinions on how he pulls off a successful campaign. Apparently, the "mark of a Rove campaign" is a "whisper campaign" or "parallel action" involving implications of the general unworthiness of a political rival. It's certainly proved to be a solid tactic, and the documentary includes footage from the McCain bid in 2000.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I purchased the item for a friend of mine and my friend loved it and said that is very satisfied
Published 18 months ago by Adnor Pitanga
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie!
Saw this years ago and wanted to purchase it to share with my sister. If you are a Bush fan or Karl Rove fan, you won't like it. It shows Karl Rove's dirty politics!
Published 21 months ago by bdrp55
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad and Disturbing Political Journey
"Bush's Brain" is a eye-opening documentary made in 2004 based on the book by James C. Moore and Wayne Slater. Read more
Published on February 16, 2011 by Loyd E. Eskildson
4.0 out of 5 stars A reminder about abuse of power
I think the title of the book and the DVD is a bit unfair and that the DVD should have been a bit less on Rove and more on how unelected individuals with a short resume can... Read more
Published on July 30, 2010 by Phil S.
3.0 out of 5 stars Carl Rove is Such an Evil Person, This Film Comes Off as Unfair or...
Carl Rove is sarcastically referred to as "Bush's Brain", implying that Bush - by himself - is unintelligent and incapable of having his own thoughts and positions on public... Read more
Published on January 25, 2008 by Keith Kimmel
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to deliver
With the exception of a segment focusing on Fredrick Pokorney (a young Nevadan who died early in the Iraq War), Bush's Brain is relatively passionless. Read more
Published on November 6, 2007 by Farffleblex Plaffington
4.0 out of 5 stars well done
This documentary shows the facts underlying what we already knew about Rove. Well done, but not as great as Michael Moore.
Published on October 28, 2007 by Nanabird
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Haven't You Watched This Yet? A Must See for Every American!!!
This is one of the infamous DVD's of the new neo-con era. It carefully follows this one time,unpopular, nerdy and and mean tempered schoolyard whipping boy through his power... Read more
Published on March 26, 2007 by Metaldiva
5.0 out of 5 stars Rove as "Genius" and Language Distortion
In these days of spin control language distortions are such a popular pastime that it is becoming increasingly impossible to separate distortion from reality, which is what the... Read more
Published on March 10, 2007 by William Hare
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary!
If you want to rent a true horror movie, watch Bush's Brain, based on the book by two Texan reporters. Read more
Published on January 26, 2007 by Sigrid Macdonald
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