"But I have
Samuel J. Bicke (Penn) had always wanted to live the American
dream. To have a good job, a decent home and a loving family wasn't much
to ask but things don't always work out how you played them. His wife Marie
(Watts) has left him and taken the kids with her, the banks refuse to lend
him any money to start up his tire business with his black friend Bonny
Simmons (Cheadle) and his sales job makes a lair of him every day. When
his wife files for divorce, he snaps and plots to assassinate the man he
thinks is responsibly for all his problems, the President of the United
States, Richard Nixon.
Arguably one of the best actors of his generation, Sean Penn
is always captivating in whatever he does but is 'The Assassination of Richard
Nixon' another example of his genius?
Based on real events, the story of Samuel J. Bicke's disillusionment
with 1970s American is one that still rings true even today. The American
dream is dying in Sam's eyes as his world starts to fall apart in front
of his eyes. His wife has left him, taking the kids with her. The racism
in the country doesn't allow him to get a loan to set up a business with
his black friend Bonny. But the thing he really hates is that fact that
he has to lie constantly in his job. Now he wants to reclaim the American
dream but he will have to go to extreme measures to achieve this.
This story of a man's disenchantment with the American government
and its figurehead President Richard Nixon, is very similar to what many
US citizens are feeling today but the extremes that Samuel goes to would
not really happen in today's anti-terrorism climate. The 60s and 70s were
a turbulent time for the US with no one safe, not even presidents and this
is reflected in this powerful story of the failure towards the average man
in the US at the time.
Bringing this intriguing and engaging story to life is a reverting
performance from Sean Penn. He is arguably the best actor working in Hollywood
today. A method actor in the extreme, the man totally becomes the character
making him completely believable. The film charts Sam's fall into complete
disillusionment with his life and Penn brings his retribution towards the
powers that are determined to bring him down extremely truthfully. This
is not calculated but a desperate man who has lost everything, who gets
an idea that he thinks will change America for the better. Penn drives the
movie and it is the power of his performance that makes the movie so watchable.
Naomi Watts and Don Cheadle provide good support to Penn's
driving performance. Watts plays Sam's wife Marie who sees his life falling
apart before her eyes but thinks that it is his own doing as he won't comply
how the US is now. All she wants from him is money for their children and
Sam's problems are making this a real problem. Watts and Penn have great
on screen chemistry and continue to work well together. Don Cheadle is as
good as ever as Sam's best friend Bonny Simmons, being Sam's conscience.
'The Assassination of Richard Nixon' is a fascinating insight
into the mindset of a disillusioned average America during the early 70s.
With riveting performance from Sean Penn, the issues that his movie raises
is still relevant today and this is what makes the film so watchable.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
sound, the movie is presented very well.
Commentary by Director Niels Mueller
The man behind the helm talks about the four-year journey the movie went
through to hit the silver screen. Revealing background of the story and
talking about the real Sam Bicke, the director also discusses the influences
behind the film and how it is different from many other movies released
at the moment. He also talks about the more technical aspects of the filming
process to provide a fascinating insight into how a more character driven,
smaller budget movie is made.
Behind the Scenes Documentary (10.54 mins)
Director Niels Mueller, writer/producer Kevin Kennedy and cinematographer
Emmanuel Lubezki talk about the true story of Sam Bicke that influenced
the movie that turned it from a fiction piece to a dramatisation of actual
events. Taking you behind the scenes of the airport shoot, the featurette
shows you how the film was shot and how the 70s time period was reproduced.
Deleted Scenes (8.04 mins)
These five deleted scenes have optional commentary by director Niels Mueller
and show more of Sam at work, working with the sales tape, watching his
family disintegrate, his reaction to Nixon on TV and Sam's tape to Marlon
US Theatrical Trailer (2.26 mins), UK Theatrical Trailer (2.22 mins)
and UK TV Spots (0.30 mins)
Watch the promotional trailers for the North American and British releases
of the movie Sean Penn's Toronto Press Conference (4.07 mins) A text presentation
of the question and answer session attended by the star of the movie in
A montage of behind the scenes and promotional images for 'The Assassination
of Richard Nixon'
Read text biographies for Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Don Cheadle, Jack Thompson,
Michael Wincott, director Niels Mueller, producer Kevin Kennedy, cinematographer
Emmanuel Lubezki, production designer Lester Cohen, editor Jay Cassidy
and costume designer Aggie Guerard Rodgers.
The Real Sam Bicke (A Profile)
Read about the actual Sam Bicke and how his story influenced the movie
For a lower budget movie, this is a good DVD package. With an excellent
commentary and some good featurettes and informative support material,
fans should be very pleased with this package.
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