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Wag The Dog [DVD] 
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DVD Special Features:
Interview: Macy about Mamet, From Washington to Hollywood
Letterbox Ratio 16:9
Dolby Digital 5.1
Wag the Dog (1997) is a rarity: an intelligent, sophisticated and very funny film about American politics. Just before an election the President--in an uncanny anticipation of real life--gets sexually involved with a young woman, leaving spin-doctor Robert De Niro to think of something quick. He enlists Hollywood producer Dustin Hoffman to help him concoct a war against Albania to take the public's mind off the President's peccadilloes. Both stars are in top form, with Hoffman particularly funny as the larger than life producer. Scripted by David Mamet (House of Games, Glengarry Glen Ross) and directed by Barry Levinson, (whose previous comedies include Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams and Tin Men with Danny De Vito) Wag the Dog manages to make you laugh even while you're thinking about how true the insights are, and how politics is getting more like the media every day.
On the DVD: The so-called platinum DVD is packed with features. There is a series of production shots, assembled in no particular order, some showing the director watching filming on his monitor. There are interview clips with Hoffman, De Niro, Anne Heche, William H Macy and Barry Levinson talking about the film, plus scrolled filmographies. There's an audio commentary on the whole film by Levinson and Hoffman, occasionally rambling but with some interesting insights. In another feature, Macy talks at some length about David Mamet. There are extensive scroll-down production notes giving useful information (such as the film's budget), and finally a 50-minute documentary in which producer Jane Rosenthal talks about the relationship between the film and real-life politics. Her comments are supplemented by such luminaries as writer Budd Schulberg, director John Frankenheimer, newscaster Tom Brokaw and Dee Dee Myers, former White House press secretary. The Dolby Digital soundtrack is good quality, as is the image in 16:9 ratio. --Ed Buscombe
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Top customer reviews
It basically anticipate the dynamics and intelligence behind our more recent wars (from Afghanistan on).
And it is so linear, clear and smart in telling how media and political manipulation works, that I guess it might have been a reason of embarassment for Hollywood Studios so that's why it was never re-release so far. So basically get this film and hold it tight, because I guess we might wait years before they show it again.
Just watch it and think if it does not resemble what keeps on happening with us about fake revolutions and western wars: here it shows how it is all a Hollywood-style operation, where you play with clichè and script a story to appeal audience and make it support whatever you want. It just takes a far away allegedly oppressed people, some heroes, a captivating supporting campaign talking about freedom, maybe a song to represent it, and some good old rethorics. And the war is won....
In places you could say that this film is slightly far-fetched, but wait... no, you can't! The spin that we see come out of this country let alone the number one country for media-savvy!
The amazing thing about this film is the premonition that DeNiro's character makes at one point whilst riding in a limo about 'America's next war'. If you want an idea of a worst case scenario for the background operations of an American administration this is the film for you.
I would say that the only thing that could be perceived as being 'unfunny' is the idea that this could be what has happened with the "War on Terror". Watch this film, know what could be happening in "the land of the free".
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