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Knife Fight


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Editorial Reviews

If a political candidate is personally flawed but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help them win an election? That question looms over the life of Paul Turner (Rob Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office. With the help of a bright young assistant (Jamie Chung, The Hangover Part II), a shrewd reporter (Julie Bowen, Modern Family), and a seedy operative (Richard Schiff, The West Wing), Turner spins every news cycle on behalf of his clients, which include a philandering Kentucky governor (Eric McCormack, Will & Grace), a blackmailed California senator, and an idealistic doctor turned gubernatorial candidate (Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix Series). When the ugly side of Turner s work begins to haunt him, he learns that even in the bloodiest of battles, sometimes you have to fight clean. A smart and crackling look at what happens behind closed doors in American politics, KNIFE FIGHT is a searing political insider story for the new century.


Special Features: Trailer, Interviews


Product Details

  • Actors: Rob Lowe, Julie Bowen
  • Directors: Bill Guttentag
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: June 11, 2013
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BCJR94S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,046 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Part satire, part expose, part commentary, the political drama "Knife Fight" targets some pretty familiar topics. Unfortunately, it doesn't do so in a new or illuminating way. Saying that the American political process is corrupt AND unscrupulous is like preaching to the choir. Is there anyone left with the idealism necessary to make this thought even remotely controversial or incendiary? Just watching the smear campaigns, the Internet rumors, and the negative press during every election season, it seems pretty clear that it is a flawed system (perhaps even irreparably flawed). There is no civility, but a policy of doing whatever necessary to gain the upper hand. That said, there have been some brilliant films to address the subject that were both merciless and unforgettable. "Knife Fight," in the end, doesn't offer anything to the debate. It's pleasant, watchable, and has an attractive and likable cast and maybe that's enough for some. But it lacks teeth, surprise, and true controversy. Heck, I think 1949's "All The King's Men" is still more relevant and shocking than this piece!

Rob Lowe plays the power broker at the heart of the movie. A savvy political strategist, Lowe is the point person for several notable campaigns including a scandalized California senator (a solid David Harbour) and a philandering Kentucky governor (Erik McCormack). With the help of his faithful staff (including newbie Jamie Chung), they are doctors of spin turning negatives into positives whenever possible. And if not possible, just make the other guy look even worse! At its best, "Knife Fight" does showcase some amusing campaign ads. They are, to me, the most effective aspect of the film's screenplay.
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Format: DVD
I usually hate conspiracy theories, but as I was watching this slog through the campaign movie cliches, I began to think that Aaron Sorkin had secretly funded it after reading the script in order to deflect attention from his very pompous News Room. After all, Sorkin has been trying to live up to The West Wing for over a decade now and everything that worked with the West Wing now sound incredibly tone deaf. So this is the movie that people can watch and think about how much better Aaron Sorkin does it.

Movies about election campaigns and spin doctors always remind me of the Life in Hell joke about how comedies are funny, the French are funny, sex is funny and yet no French sex comedies are funny. Campaigns are very entertaining. One of my favorite books is Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 even though I have moved past the point where I thought that McGovern would have been a good president. The intricacies of the primary season and the favorites and the favors are amazing. Yet, one of my least favorite books is Primary Colors where the fictionalized version of Bill Clinton swarms his way through 300 boring pages of an author trying to impress the audience with how much he knows. For some reason, the entertain value of the campaign falls away when it's fictioanlized. Unless the political insider show is something crazy like House of Cards, it's just not a fraction of the entertainment value of watching political shows on Sunday morning or the scene in The War Room where Stephanopoulos entertains Carville with a bogus concession speech that both know is never going to be needed.

Still, even by the low standards of political campaign movies, this is deadly dull. While it's got all the looks of spin doctors, none of the scandals that Rob Lowe handles have any originality.
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By GskFn on October 13, 2013
Format: DVD
What a blast! I loved Knife Fight, and my only complaint is, I wish it were a cable tv drama so I could look forward to 12 episodes in successive seasons. Lacking that, what we have here is an hour and forty minutes of fresh, fast-moving with a wham-bang cadence, and entertaining drama on a serious subject. It's a political campaigning palooza. It's dark and light at the same time, occasionally managing to be funny. It's the best of the worst. And it zings off a few little surprises along the way that I will not reveal -- no spoilers here.

Rob Lowe takes on a big role, Paul Taylor, and he carries if off both with weight and levity. Paul Taylor is a ruthless master media strategist and fix-it guy for hire. He is the Democrats' version of Roger Ailes before Ailes owned Fox News. Paul's character could have been played down to a silly stick figure. Instead, Lowe performs here at his very best in my opinion, his most complicated and believable, and most fun to watch.

Paul's sidekick, Kerstin Rhee, played by rising star Jamie Chung, is a junior associate who pulses with newfound talent, an inquiring mind, and a zest for following Paul where the action is. She has an idealistic streak too. Her ethical sonar reads trouble at times.

Paul also calls in a master on reserve, played by Richard Schiff, making for a nice West Wing moment. Thankfully, Lowe's and Schiff's characters are just different enough from West Wing, and the two actors are strong enough, that the West Wing allusion does not distract, but rather, adds a bonus.

Paul feels a pinch of conscience that leads him to fire off in another direction -- another complicated direction, that is. The ethics on display include lots of bad stuff, but not all black and white.
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