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Death of a President
DVD disk
05.08.2007 By: Quigles
Death of a President order
Director:
Gabriel Range

Actors:
Hend Ayoub
Brian Boland
Becky Ann Baker

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A hypothetical look at the assassination of President George W. Bush, presented in documentary form.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This faux documentary may be sporadically interesting, but it certainly isn't as thought-provoking as it needs to be. The movie spends much of its time piecing together parts of a non-existent whodunit (solving the mystery of who killed Bush, and what were their motives), when it should really be focusing on creating a "what if" situation regarding the fate of the world if Bush were taken out of the picture. In other words, the movie stirs controversy where its not needed, all the while failing to incite any where it actually should.

Almost all of the political commentary (the surprisingly little that there is) has practically nothing to do with Bush (or Cheney, for that matter), so making him the focus of the terrorist attack was unnecessary. Sure, showing the death of our current US leader guarantees a stronger emotional response from viewers (because of its potential realism), but there's not enough justification for it. Any other type of terrorist attack would've served the film's purpose just fine.

Where DEATH OF A PRESIDENT shines is the filmmaking. It mixes both real and newly filmed archival footage, artificial news segments, and talking head commentary (all from actors, most of whom are excellent). In this respect, the movie is an admirable effort. The technical proficiency with which the documentary is handled marks the most interesting thing about it. It's just too bad they couldn't lend some actual meaning to the rest.
THE EXTRAS
There are nothing more than a couple of repetitive commentaries and interviews. I really would've liked a behind-the-scenes look at how they created the documentary, as well as blended the various new and old footage, but there's no such thing here.

Audio Commentary (with director Gabriel Range): A somewhat compelling but very repetitive look at the film, and the events that inspired it.

Audio Commentary (with director Gabriel Range, screenwriter Simon Finch, editor Brand Thumim, and line producer Donall McCusker): An even more repetitive commentary, this time because it revisits topics discussed from the first one. Sometimes even word-for-word. But at least the fact that it's a group discussion livens things up a bit.

Interviews (18:29): These interviews with filmmakers Gabriel Range, Simon Finch, and Brand Thumim pretty much just repeat what was already said in the commentary tracks. But seeing as though the commentary tracks are pretty repetitive themselves, you may as well save yourself the time and watch only this.

Also included is the film's Theatrical Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
DEATH OF A PRESIDENT is much ado about nothing. Upon its release, there was all this controversy regarding the subject matter, and while it is a bit in bad taste, the real problems lie in how little the movie does with the concept. It seems the entire production exists simply to say that if there's an attack on America, the first finger to be pointed will be at a Muslim. Thing is, I don't need a documentary to tell me that. Especially not one that's fake.
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