Client 9 – The Rise & Fall Of Elliott Spitzer (2010/Magnolia Blu-ray + DVD) + Inside Job (2010/Sony DVD) + Kennedy: Robert Kennedy & His Times
(1985/TV Mini-Series/Sony DVD)
C+ (Client DVD: C) Sound: B- & C+/C+/C Extras: B/A-/D Main Programs: B/A-/B-
the reason things have gone so badly in the U.S. is because people have been
lied to in such complex ways that they do not understand how bad things
are. Many have operated well into the
1980s as if the good will prior to that was still being practiced by most
people in government and business, but that illusion is quickly fading. Three new releases show us how and remind us
about which direction we should be going into.
Gibney’s Client 9 – The Rise & Fall
Of Elliott Spitzer (2010) tells the amazing tale of how when Republicans
would not regulate Wall Street, one New
York politician would and that man was Elliott
Spitzer. Before Obama was elected, he
was considered a potential presidential candidate, effectively going after
corruption and becoming a hero to some, while the enemy of others.
some remarkable success, the retaliation silently began and the hunt was on to
dig up some dirt on a man who seemed invulnerable, but it turns out he enjoyed
having sex outside of his marriage with very expensive hookers and they turned
out to be some of the same females Wall Street types were paying top dollar to
see. This excellent work shows us how
people who wanted him out of the way politically and financially started to
come back at him and eventually succeeded in getting rid of him.
course, the huge economic meltdown soon followed and you can see all involved
may have had more to hide than Spitzer and the American people could have ever
imagined. It is a remarkable story, but
the events are so huge that documentaries like this and Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story (reviewed
elsewhere on this site) are not enough to explain it all.
Ferguson (No End In Sight) has
created a brilliant documentary with Inside
Job (2010), which shows how the big crisis that caused the largest economic
U.S. disaster since The Great Depression was caused by massive greed,
recklessness and how this was decades in the making. Mr. Spitzer is even interviewed, but this
Academy Award winner for Best Documentary (even with all the amazing
competition including the not-nominated Tillman
Story) is a brilliantly constructed piece about the bubble that was too big
for people to ignore this time when it burst.
in Iceland where the banking
system and economy was regulated against failure and how the undoing of those
standards caused a collapse, which becomes a microcosm and variant of what was
ahead for the U.S.
and world economy. This is the most
painstaking, boldest expose of what has happened to date with implications that
go far beyond its subject. A financial
sector out of control, politicians not acting in the voters best interest,
economic and journalistic scholarship trashed, innocent people unaware and
extremists all over the place, the most amazing thing about the many interviews
is the massive denial so many of the parties (guilty and otherwise) were in
throughout to the point that they were on the border of being sociopathic and
psychotic if not totally so and you don’t have to have a college degree to
Damon does an ace of a job narrating and I was constantly amazed on how sharp
and pronounced this work was throughout.
It is an all-time classic documentary and is a must-see that also turns
out to be one of the best film releases of 2010. If you don’t see it, you’ll be denying
yourself key information that can only help you out and understand what is
really going and still going on as
you read this. It is not pretty. Stunning!
all this bad news, I watched the 1985 TV mini-series Kennedy: Robert Kennedy & His Times with a sense of irony. When you finish watching some of those
documentaries, you ask yourself where did we go wrong. The more bad things happen, the more we
realize that the loss of Robert Kennedy changed history for the worst and
continues to be a disaster, also proving that (unlike what some Right Wing
types try to say) that the Kennedy idea and legacy is built on myth, but this
comes from the same people trying to get us to forget FDR.
gives one of the better performances in the title role and let’s face it,
playing any Kennedy is very difficult, but he pulls it off and this series
traces the family from one triumph and assassination to the final set. With writing by Walon Green (The Wild Bunch, Friedkin’s Sorcerer) and insider Arthur Schlesinger Jr., it is a
good series that holds up pretty well and is a work sadly loss in the blur of
the early Reagan Years. Nice to have it
supporting cast is also really good, including Veronica Cartwright, Ned Beatty,
Beatrice Straight, G.D Spradlin, Cliff De Young, Harris Yulin, Joe Pantoliano,
Jeffrey Tabor, Jack Warden, Mitch Ryan, Walter Gotell, Jason Bateman, Natalie
Gregory, River Phoenix and even Shannen Doherty make this more interesting than
your usual TV mini-series. It is worth
your time to catch, including if you had seen it and have not seen it for
1.78 X 1 image on the Client Blu-ray
is such a mix of rough video, low def video and second generation video that it
does not look as good as the format would have otherwise allowed it, though the
anamorphically enhanced DVD is the most faded-looking of all the releases
here. The anamorphically enhanced image
on the Inside Job DVD also has varied
shots, but is more consistent throughout since the footage was a little less
degraded. The 1.33 X 1 image on Kennedy was all shot on film and looks
good for its age, but can be soft more often than expected and a little
inconsistent between episodes.
sound, the Client Blu-ray has a DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix that is the best by default with the warmest
sound and most consistent soundfield, though we get plenty of mono, simple
stereo and location audio issues as one would expect from such a
production. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on
the Client DVD is not as good and on
par with the Inside Job DVD (wonder
how that sounds on Blu-ray), but the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Kennedy is more
constricted and compressed throughout sounding more dated than expected.
Kennedy has no extras, while the rest
have feature length audio commentary tracks by their respective directors and Deleted
Scenes. Client adds an HDNet look at the documentary and Extended
Interviews, while Inside Job adds a Making Of featurette.
- Nicholas Sheffo