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  1. #1

    "Game Change" on HBO

    Just finished it.

    Good film for sure, as one would expect from HBO. Great job from Moore and Harris...Woody was good as well, although a bit subdued at times. Definitely interesting to see how the portrayed the McCain campaign handling of Palin, and how Palin really struggled at one point. It made Palin a rather sympathetic character... She just felt like someone who was way out of their depth.

    Overall a good watch... And I am looking forward to "Veep" as well!

    Anyone else see it?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Just finished it.

    It made Palin a rather sympathetic character...

    Anyone else see it?
    i felt sorry for her for about 10 seconds....the rest of the time i felt the movie truthfully showed what a horrible mistake it was for the mccain campaign.

    i wonder how she became governor of alaska...
    "One POSSIBLE future. From your point of view... I don't know tech stuff.".... Kyle Reese

  3. #3
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    Moonpie:

    The people of Alaska voted for her, that's how.

    Given the stong feelings exist towards Ms. Palin, it may not be possible to discuss this particular piece of HBO entertainment without delving into PPB territory, however, if possible, could we discuss the merits of the show rather than the merits (or lack thereof) of the former Governor/VP candidate?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by davekay1971 View Post
    Moonpie:

    The people of Alaska voted for her, that's how.

    Given the stong feelings exist towards Ms. Palin, it may not be possible to discuss this particular piece of HBO entertainment without delving into PPB territory, however, if possible, could we discuss the merits of the show rather than the merits (or lack thereof) of the former Governor/VP candidate?
    Dave makes an excellent point.

    It is worth noting that the movie does explain that the McCain camp felt they needed a "game changer" to have a chance in the election. Palin was certainly that and she gave them a nice boost for a time until the wheels came off. But, they should be credited for rolling the dice and trying to find something that would allow them to win, as opposed to just going meekly down in defeat. The selection of Palin only looks bad in retrospect. At the time, it made perfect sense. Sure, it was a risk, one that did not pay off for McCain, but most of his other options were losers as well. He went for it, which is very much his style.

    -Jason "I wonder if HBO is at all concerned about turning into the 'Liberal' movie network... Game Change and Recount certainly seemed to be democratic-leaning" Evans
    Why are you wasting time here when you could be wasting it by listening to the latest episode of the DBR Podcast?

  5. #5
    All by himself Al Swearengen makes up for any "liberal" leanings of the network

    I wonder how accurate the whole "She is losing it" bit is? I never read the book, but the movies depiction of how Palin "turned off" to her handlers seems pretty extreme. Do you think that is literally how it went?

  6. #6

    the gamble

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    It is worth noting that the movie does explain that the McCain camp felt they needed a "game changer" to have a chance in the election. Palin was certainly that and she gave them a nice boost for a time until the wheels came off. But, they should be credited for rolling the dice and trying to find something that would allow them to win, as opposed to just going meekly down in defeat. The selection of Palin only looks bad in retrospect. At the time, it made perfect sense. Sure, it was a risk, one that did not pay off for McCain, but most of his other options were losers as well. He went for it, which is very much his style.
    I think that was the essense of the movie -- we have a situation when you have to win to accomplish what you want as president ... but what kinds of compromises do you make to win?

    I think the movie framed the issue well -- McCain's best -- and most honest -- line of attack in the campaign was the Obama didn't have the experience to be president. But he noted early in the film that they were losing with that line of attack. Hence they had to find something else -- and Palin certainly did give them a chance.

    But if McCain honestly believed that Obama wasn't qualified to be president (and I believe he did -- with some justification) how could agree to put a far more unqualified person just (as they said in the movie) "a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency?"

    Whew, it is hard to talk about the film without getting into PPB territory. I do think the producers treated McCain with kid gloves, but were brutal to Palin. She was sympathetic at times -- her love for her family ... her pain at some of the attacks directed at her -- but she was also roasted en toto for her cluelessness and her growing ego.

    Again, that's the film's depiction -- how much is true and how much embellishments, I don't know. I did read one review that suggested that the weaknesses were in the book -- which amounted to a huge cover-your-butt speil by the Palin/McCain handlers. But they don't come off too well either -- the one aspect of the story that I think is undisputable is what a lousy job the McCain staff did in vetting Palin as a candidate.

    I enjoyed the film. I couldn't help thinking, when did Woody Harrelson become such a fine actor (if you haven't seen him in "Defender" you ought to check it out for his performance)? Nice job by Julianne Moore as "Just Sarah" and Ed Harris as McCain.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    All by himself Al Swearengen makes up for any "liberal" leanings of the network

    I wonder how accurate the whole "She is losing it" bit is? I never read the book, but the movies depiction of how Palin "turned off" to her handlers seems pretty extreme. Do you think that is literally how it went?
    I have read the book and that is very much how it went. The book is said to be quite accurate -- although I think it gets most of its info from a few well-placed sources who may not have been big Palin fans. 95% of what they said appears to have been true and accurate, but there is no telling if they exaggerated a bit about some of Palin's problems.

    -Jason "a former Palin adviser says the whole thing was 'scary accurate'" Evans
    Why are you wasting time here when you could be wasting it by listening to the latest episode of the DBR Podcast?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I have read the book and that is very much how it went. The book is said to be quite accurate -- although I think it gets most of its info from a few well-placed sources who may not have been big Palin fans. 95% of what they said appears to have been true and accurate, but there is no telling if they exaggerated a bit about some of Palin's problems.

    -Jason "a former Palin adviser says the whole thing was 'scary accurate'" Evans
    I'm not sure how much we can take from the fact that the well-placed sources that offered some of the juicier anecdotes for the book are now attesting to the accuracy of the adaptation of that book.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    I'm not sure how much we can take from the fact that the well-placed sources that offered some of the juicier anecdotes for the book are now attesting to the accuracy of the adaptation of that book.
    Steve Schmidt (sp?) and the woman who had to prep Palin (sorry, forgot her name) were both on MSNBC last night and said it was accurate from their perspective. FWIW. (And SS is now a paid talking head on MSNBC, IIRC, FWIW2).
    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Steve Schmidt (sp?) and the woman who had to prep Palin (sorry, forgot her name) were both on MSNBC last night and said it was accurate from their perspective. FWIW. (And SS is now a paid talking head on MSNBC, IIRC, FWIW2).
    Nicole Wallace, who was the Communications Director for the GWB reelection campaign and White House Communications Director during part of the second term. From what I have read, she was much more forthcoming last night than on This Week last Sunday and in prior interviews I have seen where she has largely deflected. She has always struck me as a reasoned voice and one of the adults in the room.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Steve Schmidt (sp?) and the woman who had to prep Palin (sorry, forgot her name) were both on MSNBC last night and said it was accurate from their perspective. FWIW. (And SS is now a paid talking head on MSNBC, IIRC, FWIW2).
    Sure. But it's widely believed that the Schmidt/Wallace camp was the source for a number of the embarrassing stories about Palin after the campaign.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I think that was the essense of the movie -- we have a situation when you have to win to accomplish what you want as president ... but what kinds of compromises do you make to win?

    I think the movie framed the issue well -- McCain's best -- and most honest -- line of attack in the campaign was the Obama didn't have the experience to be president. But he noted early in the film that they were losing with that line of attack. Hence they had to find something else -- and Palin certainly did give them a chance.

    But if McCain honestly believed that Obama wasn't qualified to be president (and I believe he did -- with some justification) how could agree to put a far more unqualified person just (as they said in the movie) "a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency?"

    Whew, it is hard to talk about the film without getting into PPB territory. I do think the producers treated McCain with kid gloves, but were brutal to Palin. She was sympathetic at times -- her love for her family ... her pain at some of the attacks directed at her -- but she was also roasted en toto for her cluelessness and her growing ego.

    Again, that's the film's depiction -- how much is true and how much embellishments, I don't know. I did read one review that suggested that the weaknesses were in the book -- which amounted to a huge cover-your-butt speil by the Palin/McCain handlers. But they don't come off too well either -- the one aspect of the story that I think is undisputable is what a lousy job the McCain staff did in vetting Palin as a candidate.

    I enjoyed the film. I couldn't help thinking, when did Woody Harrelson become such a fine actor (if you haven't seen him in "Defender" you ought to check it out for his performance)? Nice job by Julianne Moore as "Just Sarah" and Ed Harris as McCain.

    Both the book, IIRC, and the movie contend that McCain was shielded from Palin's lack of qualifications and the inadequate vetting process until it was too late. In an interview on Sunday, Schmidt suggested that the selection of Edwards in 2004 was a similar case of political expediency. Not trying to take this to PPB territory. His point was that the drive to win the WH has, at times, over taken good judgement on both sides.

  13. #13
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    Unfortunately, there is so much political dynamite regarding Palin, it's difficult to get a clear bead on things. I've seen some recent excoriations of both Wallace and Schmidt as being folks who delightedly told juicy gossip/stories to make their own name and further their own career. Then there are plenty of folks who say the book is accurate. I honestly wouldn't know what to believe.

    As for HBO, it definitely has a reputation, in it's political features, of skewing left. Bill Maher, a rather unflattering Reagan documentary, Game Change, By the People, Recount, etc. That's okay. It's an independent network and has the right to skew its commentary/entertainment however it likes.

    And I love me some Al Swearengen.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by davekay1971 View Post
    Unfortunately, there is so much political dynamite regarding Palin, it's difficult to get a clear bead on things. I've seen some recent excoriations of both Wallace and Schmidt as being folks who delightedly told juicy gossip/stories to make their own name and further their own career. Then there are plenty of folks who say the book is accurate. I honestly wouldn't know what to believe.

    As for HBO, it definitely has a reputation, in it's political features, of skewing left. Bill Maher, a rather unflattering Reagan documentary, Game Change, By the People, Recount, etc. That's okay. It's an independent network and has the right to skew its commentary/entertainment however it likes.

    And I love me some Al Swearengen.
    HBO did a great documentary a few years ago about Barry Goldwater -- "Mr. Conservative" -- well worth finding.
    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    Sure. But it's widely believed that the Schmidt/Wallace camp was the source for a number of the embarrassing stories about Palin after the campaign.
    If you were helping to run a campaign that just got steamrolled by almost 200 electoral votes, I think you might look for someone to scapegoat too

    -Jason "it is probably impossible to know the truth about this stuff as everyone who would know the truth has a reason to fudge it in some way" Evans
    Why are you wasting time here when you could be wasting it by listening to the latest episode of the DBR Podcast?

  16. #16
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    my apologies dave. It's difficult to discuss JUST the movie....

    one thing that struck me was how a chosen candidate was absolutely carbon-bonded to the campaign....i mean, how would one rid oneself of someone chosen for the VP when it became clear to to them that there were severe underlying problems that were going to be exposed daily?


    Mccain and company were in a very tough spot...
    "One POSSIBLE future. From your point of view... I don't know tech stuff.".... Kyle Reese

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