Casino Jack and the United States of Money
The body of Casino Jack and the United States of Money (not to be confused with the upcoming feature version starring Kevin Spacey) is an op-ed account, albeit with solid journalistic bona fides, of the rise of Jack Abramoff. While Gibney doesn’t seem to want this to be a Robert Greenwald-style partisan pie-throwing—there’s a serious effort to make this a more well-rounded effort—he also can’t resist playing to the balcony at times; thus the clips from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. But the result is closer to the stringent analysis of Gibney’s Taxi to the Dark Side than his more comic Gonzo…
Casino Jack and the United States of Money is playing now in limited release. You can read the full review at Film Journal International.
When You’re Strange
Like all the better ones, The Doors were an odd band, an encapsulation of their time’s cultural tumult and also an apposite rejection of the period’s values — both mainstream and counterculture. It’s fitting, then, that Tom DiCillo’s documentary about them should arrive as such a curious artifact. The film opens with what appears to be a stiff reenactment of some Jim Morrison fever-dream, with a bearded actor vaguely resembling him driving around in the desert, listening to radio reports of his own death. The fact that it’s actually from a film Morrison shot himself in 1969, two years before the onetime film student’s death, makes the sequence more haunting than it otherwise would be, but no more convincingly dramatic…
When You’re Strange is playing now in limited release. You can read the full review at filmcritic.com.