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Journeys with George

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Journeys with George (DVD)

Amazon.com

Culled from countless hours of video and originally broadcast on HBO in November 2002, this Emmy-winning "home movie" purports to provide an "all-access pass" to George W. Bush during the 18-month haul of his 2000 presidential campaign, but it's more accurate to call this a revealing portrait of camaraderie among the campaign's roving press corps. Armed with a camcorder and her own charming personality, NBC news producer Alexandra Pelosi (youngest daughter of California Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi) captures a "Dubya" we don't often see: casual, charismatic, and (with a mouthful of junk food much of the time) rather lacking in table manners. History has turned Journeys with George into a horror film that looks like a road-trip buddy comedy. The terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 and the subsequent war in Iraq were more than two years in the future, so this amiable cross-country jaunt now looks like a stress-free postcard from a more innocent time, enjoyable for its candor about the seemingly endless cycle of photo-ops and repetitive campaign rhetoric. What you won't get from Pelosi's video diary is any deeper insight into George W. Bush or the nascent workings of his imminent administration. As a lighter-side companion to The War Room, however, Journeys with George is must-see viewing for anyone interested in the relationship between jaded journalists and the man who would become the 43rd President of the United States. It's unlikely we'll ever see another film quite like this. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alexandra Pelosi
  • Directors: Aaron Lubarsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000YTOXU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,385 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Journeys with George" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A must see movie. If you are at all interested in the inner-workings of a national political campaign and if you would like to see Dubya letting his gaurd down, you need JWG. I think that the Bush supporters will like him even more after seeing this and the Bush-haters out there will hate him even more. This film is very well put together.
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By A Customer on March 29, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a must see for Democrats and Republicans. Among other things, it gives incredible insight into what happens between a presidential candidate and his press circuit, and how that relationship can be manipulated to produce the candidate's desired results. This was well worth seeing when it first came out, and worth purchasing to share with others.
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Format: DVD
I hesitate to call this a documentary, it's more a well-edited video diary, and should be judged as such. George Bush is humanized to a great degree, in a way we heard about but rarely ever saw (or see) in the never-ceasing effort to mythologize the man.
The relationship between the Governor and Pelosi is kind of sweet and unpretentious. Their encounter over her California absentee ballot, where GWB2 gives her some really amusing politician schtick about why she should vote for him is a great scene. The "Newsweek Man" flirtation theme was also great. One gets the sense that a lot of this press pool was very young, fairly inexperienced, and not nearly as sophisticated as they thought they were. The segues with the Texas print reporters (who, I think, were later responsible for the critical Rove bio "Bush's Brain") were also interesting, they actually knowing something about politics and about Bush. One gives an impromptu monologue analogizing Republican campaigns with a baloney sandwich that is priceless.
One of the most noticeable features is the absence of much real journalism being practiced by the press pool. The closest we get to that is the late revelation of Bush's DUI, and we see Karen Hughes skillfully handling that. She is rarely in the film, but comes across as impressive, especially vis-a-vis Rove's pomposity. But in actuality, the press pool spent most of the time going through the motions, messing around, and being bored in an extended tour. I think a lack of curiosity became their most prevalent trait.
So really, as is seen from the evident relief of other reviewers, this isn't by any means a Bush-bashing movie. Pelosi's liberal pedigree is clear from the start, and actually shapes her friendship with the Governor.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is great! It captures the wild pace of a presidential race. While Director Alexandra Pelosi is a liberal Democrat, she presents a fair and balanced view of George W. Bush while he was a candidate, and while he could be more relaxed and less scripted than he is now as President.
Regardless of your politics, this movie is a joy to watch. It is a must-have for any political junkie.
Thank goodness it is now coming out on DVD. Don't miss it!
(Based upon reviewer seeing VHS tape, and not DVD.)
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Format: DVD
It's hard to think about George W. Bush pre-9/11 and pre-Iraq. Both of those events have had such a huge impact on his presidency that what happened before them seems like a very very long time ago.

I think that this was a great film not only because of the rawness of it, but because it showed the relationship between politics and the media in a way that no other film or book has done, at least in my opinion. Yes, Bush was arguably the star of the movie, but seeing how he interacted with the media was more interesting than the campaign itself. Watching him with the reporters, I could see that this was part of the reason he won (yes, there were many reasons...Florida...). This film couldn't have been made with Gore; it simply would not have worked.

Looking back, I am struck at how comfortable and jovial he seemed with the media back then. His administration today is one of the most secretive and hostile towards the press that has ever come along. I think he would be in much better shape if he looked back to this film and took some notes.

All in all, this is a great film. Anyone who is even remotely interested in politics/presidency/campaigns, etc would enjoy it I believe.
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Format: DVD
Future historians of our era will puzzle over George W. Bush. How did a man of seemingly modest gifts and achievements find himself at the helm of the world's most powerful country? And why did he behave so strangely, alternating between grave purposefulness and breathtaking immaturity? Alexandra Pelosi's documentary of her travels with the 2000 Bush campaign will provide useful clues for future archeologists.

Though it is a political film, it contains almost nothing about issues or ideology, and only brief glimpses of tactics. But it is unmatched as a portrait of the sociology of the traveling campaign press corps and its simultaneously symbiotic/antagonistic relationship with the candidate it covers.

At first, Bush appears as a likeable, bantering prankster--more of a master of ceremonies than an aspirant to lead the free world. Like the fraternity president he once was, Bush knows how to create an atmosphere of fun. At the same time, with a slight turn in the mood or setting, he can be an alarming clown. Bush's lack of gravitas momentarily appears to be the central subject of the film.

But it is not. Bush gradually reveals himself to be a more subtle operator. "I am a student of human nature," he tells Pelosi, and the claim rings absolutely true. His jokes and jabs are anything but uncalculated--there is always an edge, either to put the recipients off-balance or to pull them closer to Bush. He uses this jocularity as a form of seduction, as does his campaign at large. The fun in the back of the press plane is not a random phenomenon but an elaborately staged bonding ritual.

Why no 5th star? Pelosi only hints at the larger implications of Bush's seduction of his traveling coterie of reporters.
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