HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » I watched Vice last night...

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 04:56 PM

I watched Vice last night...

It's an interesting movie that blends near surrealism with real-life biography. I felt Christian Bale did a fantastic Cheney and Amy Adams was great as Lynne. I wasn't as impressed with Sam Rockwell's Bush, as I felt Josh Brolin did a much better job in W. from a few years ago. But the movie overall was devastatingly bleak.

I'm not sure how much of it was real but at the end of the day, I've concluded Dick Cheney, and subsequently the Bush presidency, was no different than our current situation - except Bush and Cheney were disciplined enough to keep everything they did behind the scenes. Trump, maybe even foolishly, if not ineptly, has a penchant for telegraphing every awful move he's going to do - maybe it's just out of pure hubris?

Either way, Dick Cheney is an evil man who saw the presidency as a dictatorship and was ruthless enough to position himself up the political ladder to eventually become the de facto president under Bush.

The only positive I will say about Cheney, which is lost at the end when Liz decides to run for Wyoming senate, is that he truly seemed to care enough about Mary being gay to put his political aspirations on the back burner (Lynne...not so much). Of course, he eventually disregards that, too, when he all but condones Liz's coming out against gay marriage during her primary.

Ultimately, this movie is unsettling because it really shows how we got to this point with Trump in the first place. It started with Nixon and the ruthless, awful secret deal-making he did as president (there's a scene where Cheney and Rumsfeld (played by Steve Carroll) are outside Henry Kissinger's office and Nixon is meeting in there to draw up their secret plans to bomb Cambodia since everything said in the Oval is technically on the record (and as we found out, Nixon had voice-activated tapes to record every conversation in the Oval). Moved on to Ford and then into Reagan and eventually H.W. Bush before settling in with W. Bush who was too stupid to care or too ambivalent to the presidency to want to even do all the work, so, he ceded pretty much the entire executive branch to Cheney.

The movie opens on 9/11 and Cheney being taken into a situation room where he orders Rumsfeld to shoot down any plane that isn't grounded...except I am pretty sure that is only the authority of the president. I am not sure if this was an accurate portrayal of those events but it shows just how much of a grip he had over Bush's White House. He was, in effect, the President.

The story goes into Cheney's past, his multiple DUIs, flunking out of Yale and his time working the oilfields (crazy how it mirrors Bush) before Lynne basically tells him she's going to leave if he doesn't get his shit together. So, he gets a congressional internship in Washington and during orientation, Rumsfeld, who's a congressman from Illinois, speaks to the interns and Cheney likes his style. He's abrasive, lewd and kind of endearing (though, that just may be Carroll). After the speech, another intern approaches Cheney and asks if he could intern with the Democrat from Wisconsin and Cheney thinks about it ... then asks what party Rumsfeld is from and the intern tells him he's a Republican, so, Cheney agrees. I think the point here is to say, back in the 60s, Cheney wasn't about politics - but maybe about maneuvering for power. Had Rumsfeld been a Democrat, well, maybe Cheney would've been a Democrat.

That's an alternate history for you.

And the rest is history.

A scary history.

It was a good movie. How much of it is true, I don't know, but I'm sure a bulk of the tone is true - Cheney sought power and achieved what he sought. No surprise there.

Anyone else see it - thoughts?

6 replies, 672 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply I watched Vice last night... (Original post)
Drunken Irishman Apr 5 OP
sfwriter Apr 5 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 5 #2
northoftheborder Apr 5 #3
Jimbo S Apr 5 #4
Drunken Irishman Apr 5 #5
Lionel Mandrake Apr 5 #6

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 05:01 PM

1. I really enjoyed it.

Having lived through that presidency here at DU, I knew all those stories!

I thought they did a great job of illustrating that horror show in an entertaining way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 05:23 PM

2. We watched it too, very recently!

I like your synopsis. I was trying to figure out how to do that, but you've done it well. And ahead of me, thank goodness.

GREAT movie. I remember those days so well. The movie-makers plopped us down in that reality and I felt it. All-absorbing.

I recommend that everyone, young and old, see it. Superb performances on the whole. I liked the voice-over.

It also made me sad AND angry. So much of what we're suffering now started back then. DAMN those people.

I also loved the humor! There were a couple of places that really made me laugh and those were welcome breaks from the high tension.

Thanks for the thread!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 05:29 PM

3. It did have it's funny moments...

....but Cheney as creepy shadow President was unsettling. The make-up of Cheney was terrific. It is true that he ordered the shoot down of any planes not grounded...fortunately that didn't happen...but that was NOT his prerogative...it would have been the President's.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 05:35 PM

4. I've wondered as well how much of it is true.

I consider myself open-minded enough, so I sought any online rebuttals from the right and all I found was "they were mean to Dick".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jimbo S (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 05:40 PM

5. Which is funny because the initial portrayal of Dick is pretty forgiving...

A fuck up but someone who definitely loves his wife and family and is just looking to get positioned well enough before he's befriended, and essentially corrupted, by Rumsfeld.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2019, 07:42 PM

6. I also wonder, as I do of every ostensibly biographical movie:

How much of it was true? A large dose of skepticism is appropriate, for the movie business is all about entertainment, not education.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread