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Casino Jack and the United States of Money
DVD disk
Oct 8, 2010 By: Aaron the H
Casino Jack and the United States of Money order download
Director:
Alex Gibney

Actors:
Jack Abramoff
Tom Delay
Bob Ney

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A documentary about Jack Abramoff, one of the most famous (and most corrupt) lobbyists in U.S. history. The man who "bought Washington".
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Casino Jack and the United States of Money is the kind of movie that makes you want to stab America in the face, due to how easy it was for Jack Abramoff and other shady Washington suits like him to stab our political machine in the back. Because this informative little flick is the type that attacks America and shows how fucked up we are, it's not my kind of documentary. That's not to say it's a bad film, it's not at all. No, it's only because I'm a slouch and don't have the drive to get up and fly to Washington and open up a proverbial can of whoop-ass.

If you, however, are the type that wants a little education of the curtain-lifting kind, Casino Jack may be right up your alley. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) has made it clear with previous films that he's got a thing or two to say about the way our nation handles its business. He's certainly skilled at it, and far more prolific (if not quite as humorous) as of late than counterpart Michael Moore. In Jack Abramoff, Gibney's found the perfect narrative thread to weave together all the corruption amongst DC lobbyists, politicians and political aides. Just as a little background, Abramoff, who gives a very bad name to my Jewish brethren, rubbed shoulders and did business with most of Washington's Republican elite, all the way up President Bush, while manipulating and stealing from some well-funded and uninformed special interest groups.

The journey of corruption moves fast and furious, as Gibney (who should have had somebody else narrate) is in comfortable waters, and forgets at times that we the audience may not be so hip to the lingo and backgrounds of these heavy hitters. That's not to say its hard to follow, but since he covers so much ground, the film moves at a rapid place and never goes TOO in-depth into any one subject. Gibney divides the film into about ten parts, each introduced with it's own Hollywood-esque title, which is appropriate given Gibney's attention to style. It may not be as colorful and animated as Moore's famous films, but there's enough clever editing, graphics and ironic music to keep things visually and aurally interesting here. The fact that Gibney's cameras are able to take us all around the planet doesn't hurt things either.

Gibney isn't afraid to make it clear that he's not an objective filmmaker. He has an agenda to push, but hey that's OK, these conservative Washington-types are such money-hungry hyenas that there's not really much to debate anyways.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes (7:42) - More footage of Abramoff and Delays shady maneuvers.

Extended Interviews - If you thought one of these shady political dudes was oh-so-dreamy, heres your opportunity to catch even more of their interviews. Five different Capitol Hill hunks to choose from.

I'm Just A Bill (2:05) - An animated PSA that tells you (in a fun musical way) how much $ lobbyists and govt blow on stupid things and how you can do your part to fix it.

New York Premiere Q & A with Alex Gibney, Bob Ney, Neil Volz and Adam Kidan (9:50) - Gibney shares some interesting insights about his conversations with Jack Abramoff, and the others reflect on what theyve learned from the whole experience. Worth a watch.

A Conversation with Alex Gibney (8:15) - A videotaped radio interview with the writer/director, another pretty interesting listen.

Webisodes (26:53) - 6 different webisodes that sorta function as previews for the movie. Not bad, but just watch the movie.

Lobbying 101 - Some quick but helpful definitions on some of the terms thrown around in the film. Maybe woulda helped to read these BEFORE viewing.

In case you didn't get enough Gibney in this film and in the special features, he also provides a Commentary Track.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
An above-average documentary that exposes the methods of one of the greatest con men to ever hit D.C. and all his dirtbag cronies, this is either your kind of film or it ain't. Actually, I found myself somewhere in the middle. So there goes that theory.
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