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| Some dare call it|
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you to know!
- 1 Filmography
- 1.1 The Vietnam Trilogy
- 1.2 The President Trilogy
- 1.3 Wall Street
- 1.4 The Doors
- 1.5 Natural Born Killers
- 1.6 Alexander
- 1.7 World Trade Center
- 1.8 Snowden and Cancelled MLK Project
- 1.9 The Putin Interviews
- 2 References
The Vietnam Trilogy
A fictional story based heavily on Stone's experiences during the war, the 1986 film centers on a Marine (played by Charlie Sheen well before he lost all grip on reality) who quits college and serves in the war to escape expectations his family puts on him, only to be flung into situations that work to destroy his innocence. The film is quite masterful, showing the talent Stone undoubtedly has for narrative and symbolism, and even appeals to viewers of all political leanings.
Born on the Fourth of July
Based on the memoir of the same name by Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, the film portrays Kovic (played by Tom Cruise in saner days and in what is arguably his greatest ever performance) serving in the war, his guilt from killing a fellow Marine in a friendly fire incident, his being paralyzed by Viet Cong fire, and his struggle to find meaning and reconcile his youthful enthusiasm with mature disillusionment, resulting his becoming and antiwar advocate. Kovic co-wrote the script with Stone, and the film only takes two real liberties with the truth: giving Kovic a girlfriend who never existed and creating a scene where he spoke to the family of the man he accidentally killed, which never took place. Though it is tame compared his later fast-and-loose portrayal of the facts, these deviations were very controversial at the time of the film's release in 1989.
Heaven & Earth
The President Trilogy
In 1991 Stone released JFK, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy based on the book On the Trail of the Assassins by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison. The film suggests a vast conspiracy carried out by our military industrial complex, Secret Service, Mafia, CIA, FBI, NSA, Teamsters, Freemasons, and LBJ. He also lionized Garrison as a hero and loving if absentee family man, when many, including books such the 1998 book False Witness, show that Garrison was a zealot who broke the law, abused his wife, destroyed lives, ruined the credibility of the conspiracy movement — and who did the investigation to deflect from his softness to the Mob. (Stone, for his part, defends the film and his portrayal of Garrison). Public reaction to the film caused Congress to enact the JFK Records Act and establishing the Assassination Records Review Board which will release all records of the investigations by October 2017.
Four years later Stone released a follow up about Richard Nixon. Taking even more liberty with facts, the film implies Nixon was an alcoholic pill popper who felt responsible for the assassination of JFK that led to the Watergate scandal. This Nixon incarnation is also portrayed as paranoid over the idea that the CIA may assassinate him like (he thinks) they may have with JFK.
The last entry in the trilogy is the 2008 film W., based on the Saturday Night Live sketch starring Will Ferrell about George W. Bush. The film received mixed reviews and did poorly at the box office. Bush reportedly liked the film.
The film came to embody the excesses of 1980s Corporate America, in Michael Douglas' portrayal of Gordon Gekko, who tells everyone the mantra of "Greed is good." A later, unnecessary sequel did not fare as well.
Released the same year as JFK, the film is the first of Stone's many inaccurate biopics, in this case about Jim Morrison, the frontman of The Doors. Starring Val Kilmer as Morrison, the film portrays him as a drunken asshole with an incredibly sick and perverted imagination, out of which happened to come out poetic songs. It also takes an incident Morrison recalled about seeing dead Native Americans on a highway (and the parenthetical statement that a shaman's soul entered his body and became his muse) to ridiculous levels, including scenes of said shaman standing next to him on stage or running away when his body dies in a Paris bathtub. The other three members of the band spoke out against the film to differing extents, most notably keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who spent various sections of his 1998 autobiography venting against Stone.
Natural Born Killers
Starring Woody Harrelson, Natural Born Killers tells the story of a severely twisted couple going on a violent murder spree and subsequently becoming a media sensation. Because of the many violent stories that dominated the media in the early 1990s Stone altered the original story to become a satirical attack on modern media. The film caused a moral panic and has been accused of inspiring no less than a dozen copycat acts including Columbine. Stone called it a "very optimistic film about the future. It's about freedom, and the ability of every human being to get it."
Like his other biopics, this film of the life of Alexander the Great missed the mark wildly, especially about his family and his personal life. Unlike the other ones, which were compelling and incredibly well-assembled, this film was notorious as a bloated and dull exercise in filmmaking, with performances that didn't stand out (except for Angelina Jolie attempting in vain to speak in an accent that has not existed for millennia). Stone has re-released the film on DVD and Blu-ray several times in several "Director's cuts" in an attempt to rehabilitate the film.
World Trade Center
Strangely, Stone's film about 9/11 was not a conspiracy rant, but a focus on two firemen trapped below the rubble of the Twin Towers, waiting to be rescued, and reminiscing about their personal lives up to that point. Critics and audiences alike were dumbfounded at a film about the biggest attack in American history and not making it the focus, or giving an impression of what that day meant. It fared poorly against Paul Greengrass's universally praised film United 93.
Snowden and Cancelled MLK Project
Stone's upcoming 2016 movie "Snowden" sees him returning to his controversial roots; in order to make it, he scrapped another of his projects, a biopic about Martin Luther King. The movie is based on two books: "The Snowden Files" by Luke Harding and "Time of the Octopus" by Anatoly Kucherena.
The Putin Interviews
- Thanks to the Onion, Americans already knew this
- "Director’s Commentary (DVD Extra)
- Oliver Stone defended Vladimir Putin to Stephen Colbert. The audience laughed at him by Stephanie Merry (June 13 at 9:54 AM) The Washington Post.