Long ago, in another time, a corruption scandal went all the way to the top and there were consequences. This is the story of what was happening in the White House as Nixon’s power and psyche crumbled.
As interesting as the intrepid reporting profiled in All The President’s Men was, it’s a story told from the outside. It’s a mystery, but one where every reader will know who did it, just not the path the sleuths took to figuring it out. As I watched that movie, and more so as I read the book, I was more interested in the legal and political processes that, as the story went on, seemed increasingly out of focus as Woodstein followed the money. So I was glad to find that their followup book was a reconstruction of what was happening in the Nixon White House as everything fell apart, put together from interviews with basically everyone involved except Nixon himself. The Happily Never After of the political fairy tale.
Before watching the movie:
I’ve heard many references to the “Miracle on Ice”, but only ever the broad strokes, that the US men’s hockey team in the 1980 winter olympics was not expected to beat the Soviet team, but they did.
Those broad strokes leave out why anyone would still care about what happened then, and the closest I’ve seen to any explanation past the cold war rivalry has been “it’s an underdog story. The Russians were known for fielding dominant teams.” So here’s an underdog movie.
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Way back in the beginning of this blog, when I was still feeling out what it was and what it covered, I reviewed one documentary. And in the years since, I have had one lonely post in the Documentary category (and one in Mockumentary, which I made a subcategory, but that’s another story). I like documentaries. I’m just never in the mood to watch them, and I swiftly came to the idea that this blog should only cover scripted films. Maybe I’m better equipped to discuss scripted cinema, maybe it comes more easily. But lately documentaries have become a bigger part of my life, and I’ve been piling up docs in my to be watched list. I decided it was time to do something about it. So this month, not only am I reviewing four documentaries on this blog, I’m also trying to watch a total of at least 20 in the entire month, which I’m keeping track of on Tumblr.
I should probably discuss a little bit about this particular movie, even though I’ve gone on about the theme of the month for one whole Schwarzenegger. I get the sense it probably would have been forgotten if it hadn’t been the screen debut of a model about to become an actor known for being buff and not saying much. I don’t think I knew before now that it also profiles Lou Ferrigno, who also transitioned into acting in roles on his physique. It sounds like Arnold is more of the bad boy superstar of the movie, while Ferrigno has a more, perhaps sympathetic portrayal. They might be positioned as rivals in the narrative, or they might just be competitors in the same circuit, but the former seems more likely unless I’m missing an option for how the narrative may be constructed.
This Film is Not Yet Rated is a documentary about how the MPAA works. I think I’d heard about it before, but what brought the movie to my attention was when Mugglecast discussed the announcement that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince received a mere PG rating. Host Andrew Simms gave a summary of how the MPAA rating board operates, citing from this film. I understand from him and from the box that it’s an exposè of MPAA corruption.
I’d also like to say hi to my parents at this point, who will probably be among the first to read me write about watching a movie that got an NC-17 before appeal. Fun fact: I spent an extra minute finding a work-safe picture.