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Wag the Dog
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, Andrea Martin, Kirsten Dunst
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: New Line Cinema
Web Site:
Kiddie Movie: It's got lots of adult jokes, some of those bad swear words, and the younger group might not get it and be bored. It's rated R, maybe go see it once and decide if your kids should go with you when you see it again.
Date Movie: Yep, laughs for the guys and gals. Bring them along.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah.
Gratuitous Violence: Just hints of it.
Action: Some subtle suspense.
Laughs: From start to finish.
Memorable Scene: Brean and Ames are being detained by the CIA and Brean convinces the agents to let them go.
Memorable Quote: A bunch of them. Some of them go something like this: Motss on initially learning of the president's roving hands - "Whoo, this guy is fucked!"; Motts exclaims, after Senator Neal announces the war is over - "He can't end the war, I'm producing this!"; and Brean replies to Motts - "It's over - I saw it on television."
Directed By: Barry Levinson
Produced By: Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, and Barry Levinson

Wag the Dog
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 1:40 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
What kind of movie can you make in under a month and for around 15 million bucks? Well, if you do it right you make one of the freshest comedies to come along in years. You make "Wag the Dog."

"Wag the Dog" pulls in a whole bunch of big name people to make a refreshing bright look at a government cover-up. See, it's re-election time for the president, only he's allegedly been a naughty guy with a little girl, and the news is about to hit the press. Guilty or not, it's sure to cost him a second term, so they need some help. Who do you call? You call Conrad Brean (Robert DeNiro), the Mr. Fix-it of government scandals. He knows that the press and the American people need a story larger than the president feeling up a little girl, he knows he needs a war. And who do you call when you need a war? You call Hollywood, and Hollywood is producer Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman).

Now, Winifred Ames (Anne Heche) is the president's aide, and she is somewhat skeptical of this entire plan, but as long as it gets her boss re-elected she could care less. So, Brean and Ames head to Motss' place in California and they all get to work. Motss brings in his crew of cronies, not the least of which are Fad King (Denis Leary), who has an uncanny knack at knowing what the next hip fad will be, and Johnny Green (Willie Nelson), the quirky songwriter (because every good war needs a theme song).

What ensues is the largest manipulation of the press and American people that has ever hit people's televisions, stirring American pride, and bringing in the involvement of the CIA and the president's foe, Senator Neal (Craig T. Nelson). For eleven days Brean, Ames, Motss, and a cast of characters start a war, have to contend with Senator Neal proclaiming the war is over, find a war hero (Woody Harrelson as Sgt. William Schumann), encounter a problem with said hero, and approach election day with one hell of a landslide in the president's favor. They have their war, their hero, their song, their fashion fad, and most of all, they have the American public forgetting about the president's roving hands. Their job is done.

"Wag the Dog" is hilarious, ludicrous, and actually a little scary, kind of making you wonder, just a little bit, if something like this could really be pulled off. In the movie the best laid plans for Brean and Motss don't always go as planned, but as everyone feared the worst when problems arose, it was Motss who always proclaimed "This is nothing," and adjusted his "war" to Brean's latest solution. The public stayed fooled.

It is easy to see the chemistry that can be achieved when a batch of the most talented actors and actresses get together to have some fun. DeNiro is marvelous as Brean, being the idea man, able to come up with a solution to everything. Hoffman plays the nutty producer, Motts, to a truly comical height. Combine the both of them with Heche, Leary, Nelson, and a delightful cast of characters and you get one marvelous film. You get "Wag the Dog."

It's 4 1/2 stars out of 5 for "Wag the Dog."

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right! L8R!!


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