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Frost/Nixon
DVD disk
04.20.2009 By: Jason Adams
Frost/Nixon order
Director:
Ron Howard

Actors:
Frank Langella
Michael Sheen
Sam Rockwell

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A behind the scenes glimpse at the famous series of 1977 televised interviews between David Frost and recently resigned President Richard Nixon.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Despite the pedigree behind and in front of the camera for FROST/NIXON, I had no real desire to see it. After Oliver Stoneís NIXON, I figured the 37th President had been covered enough as far as films were concerned. While Ron Howardís portrayal of Nixon as a somewhat tragic figure is similar, he (and playwright Peter Morgan) manage to set the film apart enough to make it work for me overall.

It helps that FROST/NIXON takes place after Nixon leaves office in shame and presents a different viewpoint on the troubled politician. The almost commercialism of an ex-President as a paid celebrity is something you donít often see. The nostalgic mockumentary style of the film is also interesting, if not a little tricky. Couple with some surprisingly funny moments, itís almost as if Howard is trying to do his best Oliver Stone impression of using the pseudo realism to reshape our view of history. Although I guess the style does fits considering the entire film revolves around an interview, and itís definitely helped by the interesting cast, including Sam Rockwell, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon. Then of course thereís the title characters, played by Michael Sheen and Frank Langella. Langella may not look anything like Nixon, but heís got the mannerisms and voice down beyond the point of impersonation.

The film, based on Peter Morganís Tony-winniing played, is an ntriguing cinematic story made more fascinating because itís true. Itís almost too perfect; Nixonís actual speech from the interview sounds like an overwritten screenplay. Unfortunately, the film also suffers for that same reason. I always say that a movie based on a famous event can only be so good, since knowing what happen kind of short changes the expectation and build up of tension throughout, and FROST/NIXON is no different. It was hard to be really wowed by the flick because Nixonís final admittance is so well known. Itís still well done and entertaining, but not truly great. There was also the filmís way too obvious parallel to modern times, especially with the last presidency and its controversies. Itís a good and valid connection to make, but Howard seems to really hit you over the head with it, which is not what this movie needed.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by Ron Howard: A good, informative commentary, but at this point itís nearly impossible for me to hear Howard narrate anything without thinking of ďArrested Development.Ē

Deleted Scenes (22:06): Mostly extended versions of some scenes rather than full new ones. I always find it annoying when they donít have menus for the deleted scenes and just throw it all together in one giant chunk.

The Making of FROST/NIXON(22:57): A brief history of the project and everyoneís take on it, along with approval by the real David Frost himself. No word from Zombie Nixon.

The Real Interview (7:29): Itíd be great if they gave you the full 1977 interview in its entirety, but you just get snippets of it in between people talking about it. Still, itís easy to see how eerily similar it is to the filmís portrayal.

The Nixon Library (6:23): A look inside Nixonís Presidential Library and Museum and the people who work there.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Itís almost like FROST/NIXON picks up from where Oliver Stoneís take on the disgraced former President left off. Itís a good film with good performances, but suffers a bit from the true story syndromeÖaka you already know whatís going to happen.

Extra Tidbit: Ron Howard voted for Richard Nixon in the 1972 election.
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