Other Movies Seen By This Director (15)
- Born on the Fourth of July
- The Hand
- Heaven & Earth
- Natural Born Killers
- South of the Border
- Talk Radio
- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
- World Trade Center
|10.23.07||DVD|| I'm trying to remember where I heard Stone mention his planned trilogy of presidential pictures (I bet it was the JFK commentary) and who his last subject was to be, but whoever it was it sounded very interesting and I'm sad he never got a chance to make it.|
Nixon... I don't like Nixon as much as JFK. Maybe it's just a tougher story to tell or maybe it relies too much on Anthony Hopkins (who I never completely buy into although I do think he does a good job here), or maybe because Stone goes a little too far with the birdshot approach to editing (superimposing the Chinese and Russian words on the screen while Nixon talks with Mao and Brezhnev are a bit much if you ask me) or maybe it's just because JFK is a better movie. For whatever reason, it falls a little short in my eyes. That said, I still like it and continue to like it MUCH more than I thought I would (it actually took me a long time to see because I was so uninterested when it came out and a 3 hour movie about him was not my idea of a good time). Again, the technical craftmanship of the picture is top-notch. The size and caliber of actors he got to fill the many many roles is great (I think maybe between this and JFK every recognizable face in early/mid-90s character acting is covered (in particular Sam Waterston playing the CIA director (and evil incarnate) is fantastic, not something I'd say about his work on Law & Order)), and I admire the novelistic fluidity of time (bouncing back and forth through Nixon's life to draw more dramatic connections).
I also like how archive footage of Castro and Cuba in general is so tightly wound into both these films. It's pretty fitting that he'd finally get to talk to Castro years later and fill in the other side of the story.
And one other thing. I noticed Sam Waterston's credited on IMDb as having his scenes deleted. I'm a really big fan of Oliver Stone's director's cuts (pre-Alexander, I can't vouch for those). First off, the scenes he restores are actually worth watching, and secondly they're usually like 20-30 minutes longer and not just tacked on to the end but new material interspersed throughout the entire film. I'm actually really surprised that Waterston's stuff was cut for the theatrical run because his one or two scenes are so strong and give strong insight into the predicament Nixon found himself. So if you already like a movie like JFK, the difference between 3 hours and 3 and a half hours isn't much and you get a whole lot more. And with a movie like Natural Born Killers, I feel the director's cut makes the film MUCH better. I've always been a fan of the film but the last time I saw it I mistakenly watched the theatrical cut and found it strangely messy and unimpactful. all the little bits and pieces put back in for the director's cut actually makes that movie feel tighter to me so... there you go. Check out Oliver Stone director's cuts.
Nixon was good too by the way, but I can see how he didn't have the numbers to make a third installment. The end of this film really peters out and leaves you exhausted. It does _kind of_ feel like a second-in-a-trilogy film (ok i'm probably projecting most of that) and it would've been nice to see some more of this kind of exploration behind the doors during a real dark spot in American government but... oh well. I can live with what we've got.