Vice (2018)

Vice © Annapurna Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
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Released:  Tuesday, December 25, 2018  
Length:  132 minutes
Studio: Annapurna Pictures
Genre: Drama/Suspense
Rating: Vice is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


Synopsis

VICE explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.

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Vice images are © Annapurna Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

 

Vice Blu-ray Review


Dick Cheney (Christian Bale; The Dark Knight) spent much of his political career flying under the radar despite the fact that he held some of the highest political offices there are in Washington, D.C.  Perhaps that is due to the fact that the man himself was very secretive - a trait that would serve him well in his later years.  After leaving public office, Cheney became CEO of Halliburton only to return in 2001 as Vice President under President George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Vice, written and directed by Adam McKay (The Big Short) tells the story of his beginnings in politics and the unprecedented power he wielded as Vice President of the United States.

As the film opens, we see Cheney's less than impressive beginnings as he is arrested for DUI after being kicked out of Yale. He cleans up his act after his wife Lynne (Amy Adams; Arrival) threatens to leave him and eventually lands as a Congressional intern under William A Steiger but ends up working with White House Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell; The Office).  Over time, with Rumsfeld's tutelage, Cheney becomes very politically savvy and works his way through Washington jobs including United States Secretary of Defense and a Congressman from Wyoming.

After giving up aspirations of becoming President himself, Cheney left Washington and took a job in the private sector at Halliburton.  When Bush asked him to be his running mate, Cheney was hesitant but after brokering a deal that would afford Cheney more power than previous Vice Presidents had, he agreed.  It was this flagrant use of power that was evident on 9/11 and that permeated Bush's two terms in office.  His lack of transparency was also very contentious and begged some to question his motives.  Cheney did not seek the presidential nomination in 2008, thus ending his political career.

McKay wrote and directed a terrific script and assembled a superb cast.  The pacing and flow of the film make you forget it is over two hours long and the use of the disjointed timeline actually works well here.  Bale is Cheney, plainly stated.  Between his portrayal and the makeup, you genuinely feel you are watching Dick Cheney.  Adams is a force to be reckoned with in this role and she plays Lynne as an intelligent and powerful woman.  Carell also is outstanding as is Allison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and Lily Rabe (Miss Stevens) as Cheney's daughters, Mary and Liz respectively.

The 1080p resolution and 2.39:1 aspect ratio are terrific and offer strong picture quality.  The colors aren't muted in any way and the details are sharp. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is a solid transfer with a nice balance between dialogue and ambient noise.  The combo pack includes the Blu-ray, DVD and a digital download code.  The extras are on the Blu-ray and include Deleted Scenes, Gaming the System: The Making of Vice, The Music of Power (a deleted musical number explaining how Washington works), Gallery and Theatrical Trailer.  I can understand why the song was cut but it was cute nonetheless and worthy of watching.

There is a reason Vice was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won for best achievement in makeup and hairstyling.  It is a well-told and interesting story and includes a terrific and accomplished cast who are made up and dressed magnificently.  The story offers some insight into a secretive human being as well as the inner workings of a rather corrupt political system but is enjoyable and entertaining while evoking feelings of angry all at the same time.

While not the most flattering portrayal of the former Vice President, it does portray him as a powerful leader who did what he felt was necessary.

Grade: A-

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  • 12/7/2018 9:39 PM EDT

    Trailer


    VICE explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most pow...
     

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