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Fair Game [DVD]

4.1 out of 5 stars 261 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the director of The Bourne Identity comes this riveting thriller inspired by the experiences of real-life CIA officer Valerie Plame (Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts). When Plame's retired ambassador husband Joe Wilson (played by Academy Award® winner Sean Penn) writes a newspaper article challenging the basis for the U.S. war on Iraq, the White House leaks Plame s undercover status leaving her international contacts vulnerable, her career in shambles and her life in danger. Crackling with sharp dialogue, gripping intrigue and heart-pounding suspense, Fair Game is the adventure that s so unbelievable, it can only be real

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The skullduggery surrounding the Valerie Plame affair is already the stuff of an espionage thriller, even if at the time of the making of Fair Game many details of the incident remained murky. Naomi Watts plays Plame, a longtime CIA agent whose classified status was exposed to the world by columnist Robert Novak in 2003. The move was widely seen as retaliation for the fact that Plame's husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), had just written an op-ed piece contradicting an assertion in President Bush's State of the Union address--an assertion that was part of the Bush administration's drum-beating enthusiasm for the Iraq War. The movie can't answer all the questions about who wanted Plame exposed, but at the least it could create a convincing piece of Beltway intrigue. Instead, Fair Game steers in the direction of domestic melodrama, as the marriage between Plame and Wilson is severely tested by the unwanted notoriety. It's not that the actors are unable to bring this situation to life; Penn is forceful (and he cleverly suggests the vanity of a longtime cocktail-party maven), while Watts, though quite capable, is somewhat frozen by her character's mixed, ambivalent reactions. The main problem is simply that these relationship scenes tip the balance, as though the Plame-Wilson marriage carried greater weight than allegations of weapons of mass destruction and the ramp-up to the Iraq War. Meanwhile, director Doug Liman tries to whip up some spy-movie "energy" with lots of noise and cutting, all of which feels increasingly hollow as the movie goes along. A calmer, cleaner documentary on the same subject might do a superior job someday. --Robert Horton

Product Details

  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sonya Davison
  • Directors: Doug Liman
  • Writers: Jez Butterworth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Summit Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004IFYMWK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,127 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fair Game [DVD]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on November 22, 2010
Remember Joe Wilson, the man who called a US President a liar?

No, I don't mean the Congressman from South Carolina who shouted out a spontaneous "You Lie!" at President Barack Obama during the State of the Union address. I'm referring to Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson who wrote a New York Times editorial entitled "What I Didn't Find In Africa" contradicting President George W. Bush regarding the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"Fair Game" relates to the latter Joe Wilson (played by Sean Penn), who served as a diplomat in Africa during the 1990's and was asked to visit Niger prior to the Iraqi war to determine if there was yellowcake uranium there. Ambassador Wilson did not find the uranium on his visit and when the President referred to the uranium being there, he wrote a contradiction.

As a result of that contradiction, Wilson's wife CIA agent Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) was determined to be 'fair game' by the Bush Administration. Her cover was blown and the operations she engaged in were all scrapped, including getting Iraqi nuclear scientists who had been involved in Iraq's nuclear program before it was destroyed during a previous US invasion and their families free from their war-torn country.

The film's a tightly paced combination spy thriller and domestic drama. On one hand, you see the front page news of "Plamegate". Valerie's discredited and her career is dismantled. She goes from being a well-traveled agent with highly critical projects to 'a secretary' or a 'low level flunky' depending on what you read.

On the other, you see the Wilson homelife unraveling. The idealistic Joe is counterpointed strongly by his realistic wife as the country turns against them both.
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Format: Blu-ray
Fair Game is one of the best politically themed films in quite some time - an equally riveting and well told story of the Bush administration's leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity to the general public. I highly recommend this movie no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on - if for nothing more than two see the two Oscar-worthy performances of Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. The movie is great, and the final sequence of the film is one of the year's best.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched the Valerie Plame hearing on TV when it was shown. What got us in the Iraq war amoung other things was what had been done to the Wilsons when Joe Wilson wrote his op-ed about Niger not selling anything to Saddam Huessen. This goes into more of their behind the scenes life & how Joe Wilson fought what the G.W. Bush admin was putting out especially V.P. Cheney. But even though Cheney was behind it all & "Scooter" Libby took the fall for him & when Scooter was sentenced, Bush IMMEDIATELY pardoned him before he even spent a day in prison (he did pay a $250.000.00 fine & lost his Lawyers license) but they in my estimation WERE THE WINNERS. Joe Wilson & Valerie Plame came out clean but the administration was raked over the coals. At the end of the movie it shows Valerie Plame walking into the Capital to testify---that was her. IF YOU WANT TO LEARN HOW OUR GOVERNMENT CAN TURN LIES INTO THE TRUTH----YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS MOVIE. BUSH HAD SAID ON TV WHEN THEY "OUTED" HER THAT IF ANYONE IN HIS ADMINISTRATION HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT HE WOULD FIRE THEM. YOU GUESSED IT------NO ONE WAS FIRED---ANOTHER LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE PRESIDENT IN REAL TIME. So enjoy the movie---it's good.
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Format: DVD
Some have compared this film to "All the President's Men", which told of the travails of the intrepid reporters who unraveled the Watergate scandal.

There's one large and tragic difference between that story and the one told in "Fair Game". Watergate forced Richard Nixon to resign his office in disgrace. The treasonous activities perpetrated by Bush, Cheney, and their cronies have had all but no repercussions.

Bush now makes thousands speaking at company functions. Cheney is about to release a book justifying his misdeeds. And Bush commuted the sentence of the one guy who took a fall for the "Plamegate" scandal, Cheney's operative Scooter Libby.

Make no mistake. The story told in "Fair Game" captures one of the darkest hours in American history. The leaders of our nation launched a war of aggression on another country, attempting to justify their actions based on the flimsiest web of false information.

When one courageous citizen, former ambassador Joe Wilson, spoke out about the campaign of deceit waged by the White House, the White House exposed his wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative, and attempted to discredit the couple in a wave of lies and vitriol that lasted four long years.

Any American, either on the right or left, who cares about "truth, justice, and the American way" should be outraged and disgusted by what went on here. This movie does a valuable service in dramatizing and focusing a complicated story obscured in real life by the fog of disinformation into a taut hour-and-forty-five minute drama.

This DVD also brings more to the story than the original theatrical release, because the disc includes illuminating commentary by Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.
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