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
|06.15.17||Internet|| Showtime is running Stone's Putin Interviews docuseries and he's making multiple strange appearances on TV coming off as pro-russia (which isn't going over so well), and I realized that I had never gotten around to seeing this.|
A couple things. One: I remember how Controversial Stone came off in the 80s and 90s when The Doors and JFK and Nixon were released. His reputation was such that he even made a (great) cameo in that movie Dave playing up that perception. Given his recent political stances and more reason interviews I think he isn't acting so different today, it's just that the subject matter and political climate has changed. What's weird is that he's seeming to hold his tongue more these days and not speak is entire position. It's weird to see him dodge "easy" questions like "Isn't Putin an evil guy" but then not go right out and say that he agrees with the things that Putin says and thinks that Russia is being made into an enemy by the American military, industrial, and political leaders. Maybe he's suffered enough defeats in his career just to be happy to keep working and doesn't want to stir that much shit? Or maybe i'm reading him wrong and he just really doesn't want to put his opinion out there... but this is like the fifth project that he's done now where he goes and talks to US-maligned political leaders to get their sides of the story (His Two Castro interviews, Persona Non Grata where he talks to Arafat, and South of the Border where he tours South America talking to leaders of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba,Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil) so it definitely seems like he has something on his mind.
A second thing. I watch these projects because I like Stone's steadfast point of view and willingness to go against the grain to do his own thing, but the movies/shows just aren't that good. His Other Showtime series, an Untold History of the US, I thought was really good, but this other stuff feels like he's trying to be Nick Broomfield but with a softer touch in the interviews. Say what you will about the stories but The Doors and JFK and Nixon was some FANTASTIC filmmaking.
Which leads me to Snowden. Let's just say for a minute that body snatchers are real and they've infiltrated Hollywood. I put Stone and Michael Mann at the top of the list suspected of being pod people instead of their former selves. I really don't know what happened to eye behind Any Given Sunday and U-Turn and Natural Born Killers. Did he stop doing coke? I thought that was his whole thing with Scarface in the 80s? Did he get bored (or too tired) to keep the whole mixed media collage style going? Wanted to point toward something more conventional? One too many projects killed by studios? For whatever reason, his last half dozen narrative features have been boring and run of the mill, which is something I never thought I'd say. Maybe he's too close to history with all these projects? I dunno... but it seems like he has more interest in the documentary work than the narrative stuff. Which is fine; look at Werner Herzog for proof of that. But it also makes me sad, because I really loved 80s and 90s Oliver Stone.
Here, I thought Gordon Levitt was great (much like Josh Brolin nailed W), and he had a great supporting cast and went to all the locations but it just fell flat. Citizenfour is SO MUCH more gripping. It's just a shame...