Vice reviews

User avatar
Precious Doll
Emeritus
Posts: 3691
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:59 pm

I forgot about Nasty Habits - terrific film and when I first saw it I knew virtually nothing about Watergate and had no issues with the film. Have to admit I don't think it has aged that well as my second viewing a few years ago wasn't as enjoyable as the first time round, though second viewings can sometimes be like that.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15912
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:54 pm

Greg, Nasty Habits has been available through Warner Archive, Amazon and various other DVD sellers since August 2014.

In addition to Glenda Jackson, her fellow nuns include Melina Mercouri in a takeoff on Kissinger, Geraldine Page and Anne Jackson as versions of Haldeman and Ehrichman and Sandy Dennis as a version of John Dean. Anne Meara is the nun-receptionist (Nixon's secretary?) and Edith Evans in her last film is the nun whose death sets off the fight between Jackson and Mercouri to replace her.

It's enjoyable on its own, but better if you know something about Watergate.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

Greg
Tenured
Posts: 2768
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Greg
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Greg » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:35 pm

One political satire that I have been intrigued about tracking down on video, etc., is Nasty Habits. It was made a few years after Watergate and parodies it by portraying a scandal at a convent. Glenda Jackson plays a nun based on Richard Nixon.
"Wall Street is not the solution to our problem. Wall Street is the problem!"

Ronald Reagan, corrected

User avatar
Precious Doll
Emeritus
Posts: 3691
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:12 am

Cinema in general has been very sparse when it comes to political satire. I would imagine most satire is on television and of course comics in daily newspapers - which are dying out.

The last great American political satires were from 1999: Alexander Payne's Election & Andrew Fleming's Dick. Ironically, both have teenage girls as the central focus. Something of a shame that Dick is largely forgotten today. If double bills still existed Dick with make a great double with All the Presidents Men. One a serious take on the Watergate scandal, the other a very clever satire on it.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15912
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:30 pm

I didn't find it "good" at all!
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 4060
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:28 pm

Big Magilla wrote:To me, and many others, Cheney was a horror show that deserved more serious exposure, not a sophomoric yuck-yuck fest. What will we get when the Trump show ends its run, an All the President's Men style rebuke or something like this?


Ok. Well, political satires can be as good, and as biting, as political dramas, actually. I guess you didn't find Vice's satire good enough.

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15912
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:53 am

ITALIANO wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:
Ok, but why "smarmy"?
The director and his actors were smarmy in the sense of dictionary meaning number while the film itself was smarmy in the sense of dictionary meaning number 2:

1. Excessively ingratiating or insincerely earnest.

2. Relating to or indulging in lewd conduct; smutty: smarmy jokes.


Oh ok. No, by European standards - especially when it comes to political satires - it would never be considered "smarmy". But I guess we are less gentlemanlike when it comes to politics :)

To me, and many others, Cheney was a horror show that deserved more serious exposure, not a sophomoric yuck-yuck fest. What will we get when the Trump show ends its run, an All the President's Men style rebuke or something like this?
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 4060
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:11 am

Big Magilla wrote:
Ok, but why "smarmy"?
The director and his actors were smarmy in the sense of dictionary meaning number while the film itself was smarmy in the sense of dictionary meaning number 2:

1. Excessively ingratiating or insincerely earnest.

2. Relating to or indulging in lewd conduct; smutty: smarmy jokes.


Oh ok. No, by European standards - especially when it comes to political satires - it would never be considered "smarmy". But I guess we are less gentlemanlike when it comes to politics :)

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15912
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:18 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:I wonder if one of the (unconfessed, maybe even unconscious) reasons why this admittedly imperfect effort has been attacked by so many is, simply, an unconfortable reaction to what the movie says about American politics, the war in Iraq and more generally, power.


No, it's the smarmy way it's done. Cheney and Rumsfeld's roles in the Bush administration were widely known before Bush's 2004 re-election and known by just about everyone else in America by 2006 when the Dems took over Congress the last time.


Ok, but why "smarmy"?

The director and his actors were smarmy in the sense of dictionary meaning number while the film itself was smarmy in the sense of dictionary meaning number 2:

1. Excessively ingratiating or insincerely earnest.

2. Relating to or indulging in lewd conduct; smutty: smarmy jokes.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 4060
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:52 pm

Big Magilla wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:I wonder if one of the (unconfessed, maybe even unconscious) reasons why this admittedly imperfect effort has been attacked by so many is, simply, an unconfortable reaction to what the movie says about American politics, the war in Iraq and more generally, power.


No, it's the smarmy way it's done. Cheney and Rumsfeld's roles in the Bush administration were widely known before Bush's 2004 re-election and known by just about everyone else in America by 2006 when the Dems took over Congress the last time.


Ok, but why "smarmy"?

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15912
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:46 pm

ITALIANO wrote:I wonder if one of the (unconfessed, maybe even unconscious) reasons why this admittedly imperfect effort has been attacked by so many is, simply, an unconfortable reaction to what the movie says about American politics, the war in Iraq and more generally, power.


No, it's the smarmy way it's done. Cheney and Rumsfeld's roles in the Bush administration were widely known before Bush's 2004 re-election and known by just about everyone else in America by 2006 when the Dems took over Congress the last time.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 4060
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:25 pm

I found it certainly very interesting. Like most Europeans, while I had heard of Dick Cheney, I really didn't know much about him, and I definitely didn't have any idea about his role in the invasion of Iraq and other pivotal moments in America's recent history (did Americans know about all this - especially while he was still vice-president?). So I have to admit that I never found the movie boring.
Is it pefect? Maybe not, maybe it's true that (unlike for example Sorrentino's similar Il Divo) it never really finds the (difficult) balance it tries to achieve between satire and political (and, even more problematically, human) drama.
But while not as exciting as it hopes it is, it's full of original bits (I liked for example the revelation of the narrator's identity towards the end), and, let's face it, it's not stupid - and intelligence, whenever I find it in an American movie, seems to be so rare nowadays that even when it doesn't exactly lead to a masterpiece, I can't ignore it. (It's also well acted at least by Bale and Adams - in this movie she at times reminded me of Shelley Winters - and I'm not sure that more charismatic performers would have been more effective in the same roles. Nominations won't be undeserved. And as others have said, the make-up is just great).
Now, I can understand doubts about aspects of this movie - but not from those critics who praised A Star is Born or Roma to the sky. And I wonder if one of the (unconfessed, maybe even unconscious) reasons why this admittedly imperfect effort has been attacked by so many is, simply, an unconfortable reaction to what the movie says about American politics, the war in Iraq and more generally, power.

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 3039
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby dws1982 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:55 pm

I strongly disliked this--as in, maybe even more than Green Book. Vice does make me appreciate even more how Oliver Stone handled Nixon and W.

I liked The Big Short, and I felt like a lot of McKay's ideas worked, both as interesting ways to tell that story, and they all worked together. Here, like MaxWilder says, he tries half a dozen styles--anything and everything he can do to make it seem alive and interesting--and it really is tiring. It feels as if he has no faith in the narrative to assert itself (although I guess that lack of faith is fair, because this is a very thin narrative) so he's just throwing whatever tricks he can think of at us to keep us interested. It's hard to say much about the performances because everyone is essentially playing these characters as ogres, but I'll say they probably gave the performances that McKay was looking for. McKay is not an unskilled filmmaker, but given the single-minded thesis of the film, and the over-emphatic one-dimensionality with which he harps on it, I don't think this is all that different from a Dinesh D'Souza film.

MaxWilder
Graduate
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Vice reviews

Postby MaxWilder » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:05 am

I really wanted and expected to like Vice (I watched the trailer a dozen times--I think it's superb) but I didn't.

Its take on Lynne Cheney was muddled at best. In exactly one scene she's shown to be social climber ("Half the people in this room want to be us. The other half fear us"), which I didn't buy at all.

The absurdist bits (the "wigs" joke, Alfred Molina as the waiter, the faux-Shakespeare dialogue) were groaners. The halfway-point scene we're not spoiling here went over like a lead balloon for me. McKay tries at least a half-dozen styles. It's tiring.

Steve Carell wandered in from a different movie.

Did you know that Cheney managed the first Gulf War?

A Famous Actress appears in explainer segments, but not as herself. Or anyone specific. Distracting.

Christian Bale is astonishing, but I can't see him winning best actor. If Bradley Cooper loses, it will be because the populist/low-brow Bohemian Rhapsody movement is stronger than we think.

User avatar
Precious Doll
Emeritus
Posts: 3691
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Vice reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:15 am

Just chiming on this thread so say I didn't like the film and its failures for me were glaringly obvious.

For something that is meant to be a satire its largely unfunny and lacks any insight into recent past events. McKay uses some of the show off techniques that he used in the better though vastly overrated The Big Short. Only the 'menu scene' raised a chuckle from me. The problem is Adam McKay is pretty much a hack filmmaker and simply doesn't have the ability to pull off what is to be fair very difficult material. He has never been known for displaying any subtle traits.

There really is nothing funny about politics in the 21st century and this is certainly hammed in by McKay with various title cards reminding audiences of the large numbers of casualties post 9/11 they Cheney was effectively partly responsible for. That was also one of the failings of The Big Short - nothing funny about the 2008 GFC either but at least McKay was working off better material than this which he wrote all by himself.

The best things is Bale's make-up and the gradually ageing but makeup alone (and weight gain) does not make a good performance if the actor his virtually nothing to work with.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One


Return to “2018”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 0 guests