| Thumbs down: President George W. Bush isn’t looking
forward to a sequel to Death of a President.
| Death of a President
Dir. Gabriel Range; writ. Simon Finch and Gabriel Range; feat, Hend Ayoub, Brian Boland, Becky Ann Baker (R)
When Laura told me about the movie, she said it was distributed by this Newmarket Films, the same guys who put out the greatest movie I’ve ever seen, The Passion of the Christ. I just love Mel Gibson, you know. He’s got such a good, moral heart in him. So when I heard Newmarket, I thought, “Hot damn, maybe Mel Gibson is playing me.” No such luck. Still, I decided right then and there — because that’s what I do, I make decisions — I decided, “George, you’ve got to see this movie.”
So I did. And you know what? It’s terrible. When Donny and the Rover came into my office the next morning, the first thing I asked them was what we could do to stop its distribution. After all, I was its star and they killed me halfway through the film. It makes no sense. Who would want to kill a president of the United States? Who? No one, except maybe those evil al-Qaeda terrorists who want to blow up the planet. If that’s not confusing enough, I really couldn’t tell you who any of the people in this film are. Like this Eleanor Drake, a speechwriter I’ve never met. All through the film, she’s pretending like she knows me and Laura, but she don’t know me.
Dick’s in it, but he’s the only one I recognized besides me. Personally, I’m not even sure how I got in it. My advisors tell me technocological gizmos digitally stamped my face onto some actor’s body, but I don’t buy it. It looks just like me. Sounds just like me. I think someone must’ve cloned me, which is pretty scary when you think about it, henh-henh-henh.
This is what I’ve been told the movie’s about, since mostly I just saw it as a horror film: Condy says it’s about the political fallout that could follow someone knocking me off. Donny says it’s proof al Qaeda is out to get me, and it’s kind of like a warning, a shot over my bow. I don’t have a bow, so I don’t know what that means. Now, Gonzo, he’s got a whole other take. He thinks this document-movie — this “documentary,” he’s calling it — amounts to anti-American propaganda and might even be illegal in some way. He thinks we should put the kebosh on it now, nip it in the bud, make sure these al-Qaeda operatives we know are hiding in every city around America don’t get it in their head to take me out. Now, I’m not a constitutional expert, but I said, “Gonzo, what about these filmmakers’ right to free speech. Wouldn’t we be impeding it?” But Dick — he was there, too — he says, “Mr. President, don’t use words you don’t understand.” He likes to joke with me, and say I’m not the book-learnin’ president. But he says I shouldn’t worry about free speech. This is America, and we’ve got to protect ourselves anyway he can. That’s why he said this Patriot III act the documentary says is passed after I get shot is such a good idea. He thinks we should pass it now.
I don’t know. I’m not sure what to think of this Death of a President, except maybe that I just don’t get what the big deal is. I hear people are upset cause the movie was made, but who cares? It’s a terrible movie anyway. So I told Dick, I said, “Dick, let’s let them have their movie. Let them think they have the freedom of speech. What’s it going to hurt?”
Dick didn’t disagree with me. Maybe that’s cause I think he secretly likes the movie, despite how it put me to sleep. Dick becomes president in it, and I think that made his heart skip a beat, henh-henh-henh.