Friday, October 17, 2008

A Quick Rant on Oliver Stone

I wrote this all out as a series of comments related to a link I posted about the move "W" by Oliver Stone.

Since I've already basically written this whole rant, I figure I may as well just throw it up as a note, preceded by the following disclaimer:

***I dislike Bush, neo-conservatism, "National Greatness" conservatism, religious fundamentalism... no, religion at large, and I hate corporatism (which some call "crony capitalism" although it's really a variety of socialism of the type employed by Mussolini & Franco). I think virtually every decision Bush has made, every idea he espouses, every core belief he has is wrong.

But that's it. He's wrong. He's not evil, he's not cynical, he's not malicious. Stone seems to believe that Bush agrees with everything he says, and just does the opposite to screw up the world. It's clear to me (and it would seem to everyone else) that Bush is a true believer... he believes what he's doing is right. (It isn't.)

Oliver Stone, on the other hand, is amazingly cynical and malicious and doesn't seem capable of pluralistic thought or even the ability to entertain a thought that doesn't fit his pre-conceived notion of the world. His movies clearly demonstrate this little character/intellectual flaw.

And frankly... Oliver Stone is a mediocre film maker. His skill at crafting coherent narrative is shoddy at best and I rarely see any spectacular performances elicited from actors or crew... Alexander ring a bell?

JFK (and probably "W", which I haven't - and won't be seeing) is my primary example of why Oliver Stone sucks balls as a human being and is, as far as I'm concerned highly overrated....

Platoon is pretty good.... but that, for me, centers largely on the strength of Willem Dafoe. Fortunately, it's a war movie, and people don't usually take them that seriously or mistake them for being documentaries unless the name "Ken Burns" is attached. JFK on the other hand influenced a huge resurgence in stupid in American culture. Mostly, I have a problem with him packaging his horseshit as "true events".

So here's the thing we all need to learn - no matter how many times Stone tries to present his vision of the world as "truth", here's the reality:

JFK - Pure nonsensical crap, easily disproved by physics, and contains zero evidence for a massive conspiracy and instead presents the *lack* of evidence as if that in itself were proof enough of just how big and evil the conspiracy is.

Nixon - Justified by Stone by saying; "(the) purpose in making the film, Nixon was neither malicious nor defamatory," and was an attempt to gain "a fuller understanding of the life and career of Richard Nixon — the good and the bad, the triumphs and the tragedies, and the legacy he left his nation and the world." Riiight..... he didn't portray Nixon as a raving alcoholic (who by all accounts... wasn't) to be mean, Stone just understood him and knew Nixon's most securely kept secrets better than his close friends, family & biographers... without ever actually talking to them.

And of course.... who can forget:

The Doors - Where virtually every person who knew Jim Morrison and who had discussions with Stone about the man disowned the film immediately.


Ray Manzarek had hours of discussion with Stone about Morrison then later said "none of the content of the discussion - such as details on important events in the history of The Doors and Morrison's personal life - was present in the film... (and) that Stone's film was highly inaccurate..."

and Morrison's wife, Patricia said, "that Stone ignored everything she told him and proceeded with his own version of events."

Then of course...

Natural Born Killers - A film which so offended Quentin Tarantino (who wrote the story) that he asked to have his name removed.

Have I made my case that Stone is a mediocre hack, an asshole and a terrible human being yet?

Cause if I haven't, the best story of all is why HBO pulled the original release of the film...

Comandante - Stone's "documentary" about Fidel Castro where he went to Cuba for a few days and shot the breeze with the villain about everything from movies & baseball to Che Guevara and other mass-murderers. The film was all set to air on HBO, but then... a group of Cubans hijacked a ferry, holding the passengers hostage and demanded that they be taken to America for asylum as they were desperately trying to escape the socialist "utopia". The refugees' plan failed, and instead were returned to Cuba & summarily executed just days before the film was set to be broadcast. Miami-Cuban expats protested... so HBO bumped the air-date.

Stone sucks up to every major tyrant, distorts reality to an unimaginable degree - largely to suit his own solipsistic conspiracy theories which basically hold out the world as a place where the people who's views he disagrees with are evil lurking in the shadows, controlled by mysterious corporate/secret society interests, and where thugs and dictators are down-trodden rebels fighting "the man".

Yes... this turned into a serious rant. But you know what? Repeat after me: "I have seen my LAST Oliver Stone movie."

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