From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Bush's Brain: my review of the Karl Rove doc

August 13, 2004 1:21 AM

I saw the Karl Rove documentary, Bush's Brain tonight at the Egyptian in Hollywood. It's based on the book of the same name by James Moore and Wayne Slater, who are prominently featured in the film.

HUGELY disappointing. It was clearly a very small budget so it was almost entirely talking heads. Which I understand; I've been there, but they could have tried a bit harder. It felt too much like the only research they did was the book. Research for a book, and research for a movie are very different things. I've done both the last year, and they need to be approached in different ways.

Where the film completely lost me was when it started giving the biography of a soldier who died in Iraq. A really, really long section with lots of tears from the wife, and even a tombstone. The entire time I was waiting for the punchline, assuming this guy was Rove's illegitimate son or something. Nope. It was a random soldier who died in Iraq -- no relation at all to Karl Rove. The entire third act was spent trying to pin the Iraq war on Rove, and by extension the tragic death of this soldier. It was a cheap ploy to pander to the audiences emotions, and I just shut down.

It should have ended with the point that was made by one of the directors in the Q&A afterward. The tactics used here are the very same tactics that are being employed in this election. The only way to win against a Rove campaign, is being able to spot his signature. Even a postscript could have shown this. Or a five minute web movie used as a viral tool to get people into the theaters.

Anyway, because the third act was so silly, I was left with a profile of a geeky guy with a dark side and a lot of enemies. Not the ultimate villain that he could have been.

More from the archive in Bush, Movies, Politics.

Bush's Brain: my review of the Karl Rove doc (08.13.2004)

Next Entry: Bush's nominee to head the CIA: "I am not qualified" (08.13.2004)
Previous Entry: The Culture of We (08.12.2004)

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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