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Video Picks

Politics leave a bad taste in the mouths of many Americans. With the recent election of Republican Michael Bloomberg as mayor of New York, thanks in large part to the endorsement of “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani, even my mouth harbors a sour taste.

Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman, defeated Democrat Mark Green even though (despite pouring $50 million of his private fortune into the campaign) he was a double-digit underdog in the polls just a few weeks ago. Who says money can’t buy everything? Alas, videos are obviously much more important than politics, so in honor of this event rent a few films that show the backside of the political process, hair and all.

The film “Wag the Dog” starring Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Anne Heche is a perfect depiction of the fleecing of America as Tom Brokaw calls it. De Niro and Heche play political spin-doctors hired to cover up a presidential sex scandal on the eve of a re-election.

Hoffman is a Hollywood producer they employ to manufacture a diversion. He creates a fictitious war with Albania. The matching of Hoffman and De Niro is great and a lot of fun. This movie is one of the few that Anne Heche is bearable in. Maybe that’s because it was filmed during the time she thought she was a god named “Celestia” and that she had superpowers. If you don’t believe me, read her book “Call me Crazy,” because after you do, you will.

John Travolta plays a “Bill Clinton” character in the film “Primary Colors” based on the book of the same title. This film was slightly controversial because of the similarities between Emma Thompson’s character of the first Lady and Hillary Clinton and Travolta’s connection to “Slick Willy.” Kathy Bates is wonderful as the campaign manager who gives her whole life to the couple because she believes so strongly in her candidate. Her eventual disillusionment and demise is very meaningful and she plays it with a lot of heart. The whole film is worth watching just to see my secret crush, Billy Bob Thornton, who holds some sort of sick attraction for me.

The best political movie ever made is “All the Presidents Men” starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. The film is a depiction of the Watergate scandal with Redford and Hoffman playing Woodward and Bernstein, writers for the Washington Post, as they follow the trail of a seemingly unimportant break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters that eventually brings the Nixon administration to a fiery end.

So don’t be disillusioned with the political process, just sit back and watch movies.