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W. [Blu-ray]

287 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Whether you love him or hate him, there is no question that George W. Bush is one of the most controversial public figures in recent memory. In an unprecedented undertaking, acclaimed director Oliver Stone brings the life of our 43rd President to the big screen as only he can. W takes viewers through Bush's eventful life -- his struggles and triumphs, how he found both his wife and his faith, and of course the critical days leading up to Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

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Oliver Stone’s W. is similar to his other movies about American presidents (JFK, Nixon), which is to say these films are much more about Stone’s imagined versions of reported events than they are alleged reenactments. As such, W. is Stone’s case for what he sees as the absurdity of George W. Bush’s ascendance to the White House and especially the arrogant blunder of the Iraq War. Josh Brolin is very good as the miscreant son of George H. W. Bush (James Cromwell), Vice President to Ronald Reagan and 41st president of the United States. Adrift in a sea of booze and squandered opportunities, the younger Bush is largely driven by a need for his disapproving father’s love and respect, which never truly arrives. Becoming a hatchet man for Bush Sr.’s administration, “W” (as his wife, Laura--played by Elizabeth Banks--call him) meets Karl Rove (Toby Jones) and heads toward the Texas governorship, despite his father’s preference that the more golden son, Jeb, get all the family’s support in his Florida gubernatorial bid.

Told in broken chronology, W. focuses on Bush’s post-9/11 path to waging a “preventive war” in Iraq despite no hard evidence of weapons of mass destruction to justify it. The major players in W’s administration--Rove, Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), Condoleeza Rice (Thandie Newton), and especially Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss)--all participate in closed meetings that look and sound like every investigative account by the New York Times or Bob Woodward about the administration’s inner workings leading up to the war. Much of this is quite fascinating if a little weird (Newton’s performance is indeed strange), but the drama is often powerful, particularly around Powell’s resistance to the rising tide for a supposedly slam-dunk war. A number of the film’s key performances, besides Brolin’s, are very strong, especially Cromwell, Jones, Wright, Dreyfuss and Bruce McGill as George Tenet. --Tom Keogh

Beyond W. on DVD


Family of Secrets the book

W. the Soundtrack

W. the Original Motion Picture Score

Stills from W. (click for larger image)











Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd, Colin Hanks, Toby Jones
  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Writers: Stanley Weiser
  • Producers: Albert Yeung, Bill Block, Christopher Mapp, David Whealy, Elliot Ferwerda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001MVWFAY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,647 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "W. [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
To be honest, I am a liberal who went to this movie expecting to see a funny parody of George W. Bush along the lines of a Michael Moore film. While I did laugh at times during the film, I left the movie feeling strangely sympathetic towards poor W. Stone plays it surprisingly straight, presenting Bush as the kid who had trouble finding his way as a grown-up. The main focus here is on Bush's relationship with his father, particularly his efforts to constantly try to please George the elder and falling short, especially when compared with his brother Jeb. Stone effectively weaves in flashblacks from Bush's college and early adult years with his first term as President. Some major events, including the 2000 election and September 11th, are given almost no attention, but again, that's not the main focus of the film.

The movie is superbly cast. Josh Brolin does an amazing job as W.; he manages to capture Bush's mannerisms in a portrayal that is uncannily accurate without becoming a caricature. Then there's James Cromwell, who looks and sounds nothing like George Bush senior but somehow manages to depict the former President perfectly just the same. Most of the other supporting roles are excellent as well, from Richard Dreyfuss as Cheney to Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell; the one exception was Thandie Newton's Condoleezza Rice, who DID feel more like a caricature.

No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself on, this is an engrossing movie with the potential to appeal to many different types of people, and I definitely recommend it.
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105 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Chris Pandolfi on October 17, 2008
Format: DVD
Oliver Stone's "W." is one of the year's most absorbing films, and that's because, as the tagline suggests, it reveals that George W. Bush has been greatly misunderestimated. Watching this film, we see not the forty-third President of the United States, the former Governor of Texas, or even a politician in general. From my perspective, we're being told about an insecure man who reaches too far in an attempt to earn his father's approval. This movie is not a political commentary--it's a character study. Better still, it's a character study that's more or less historically accurate, with Stone and writer Stanley Weisner relying on published works and in-depth reports for the screenplay. Liberties were obviously taken; after all, there's no way anyone could know exactly what was said behind closed doors. But all the basic scenarios are well documented, which is to say that the film never once felt contrived. The end result is a compelling, complex, and occasionally funny examination of a person who always has something to prove.

Josh Brolin is perfectly cast as the title character, flawlessly capturing the mannerisms and diction we've become so familiar with over the last eight years. We see him as a determined but incompetent man who claws his way up to the presidency without the necessary skills. Pay close attention to scenes featuring W. in staff meetings; it quickly becomes clear that political heavyweights like Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss), Karl Rove (Toby Jones), Condoleeza Rice (Thandie Newton), Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), and even the infuriated Donald Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn) are making all the important decisions. As for W., well, let us not forget that the real President Bush publicly declared that his faith in God influenced his foreign policy decisions.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Koenig on September 9, 2009
Format: DVD
When making a semi-biographical film, there really are two ways that one can go about the task. The first method would be to try to be as objective as possible in trying to present all sides of a person's life and public reception equally. Sadly, that method was most definitely not used by Oliver Stone in the making of "W".

Upon just a surface-level viewing of the film, one might think that, objectivity-wise, it isn't really too bad. George W. Bush is portrayed both at his worst (the college years) and at his best (the 9/11 response), including pretty much all his important life events in between. Yet, for viewers who did not feel that Mr. Bush was the root of all political evil while in office, they will be able to see the framework from which Stone is portraying our latest departed President.

Basically, the #1 problem inherent in "W" is that it clearly takes the stance that Bush is an idiot, no matter what the time period, situation, or office he holds. For example, instead of the strong leadership ability that was the Bush administration's "claim to fame", Stone projects G.W. as a stupid, bumbling idiot who was nothing more than a puppet of a few of his more superior cabinet members (such as Vice President Dick Cheney). Then there is also Stone's take on George W. Bush becoming a born-again Christian. Instead of perhaps even hinting at the fact that Bush might have made a sincere and heartfelt transformation towards God, Stone portrays the revelation as just emboldening Bush to keep blundering through life, as now he supposedly has God to back him up.

Unfortunately, those two examples do not stand alone...the entire film is just dripping with the "idiot Bush" mentality.
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W. [Blu-ray]
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