TV Party Tonight! #45

TV Party Tonight! #45

Friday, 27 April 2018

The Post
[Blu-ray/DVD combo]

Manufacturing Consent, a book by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman should be required reading for every person living in the United States. Among the many subjects it covers are how the media, while loving to pat itself on the back for swaying the course of the Vietnam War, was in fact very much in favor of it when it first started. In fact, it misreported, ignored inconvenient facts, and straight up lied to the public in order to build support for it. Knowing that, your perspective on the Post changes a bit. That’s not to say this isn’t a good movie. It is. It also unabashedly and relentlessly proud of itself for 116 minutes. The setting of a suppressed news outlet is relevant these days, and the Post serves as a great reminder of what a positive role the media can play in public opinion. Really, the whole thing is a mixed bag.

First let’s start with the bad, which has to do with casting. It seems like we live in an age where there are no small roles. Every miniscule role in the Post seems to be played by someone with an extensive resume, and this can be distracting when the audience wonders if a character will have a significant role or is just there to deliver lines that will move the plot along. What Zach Woods brought to the role of an attorney who has only four lines, I don’t know. Then there are the choices some of the actors like Tom Hanks were allowed to make. To say he hams it up with is an understatement. Hanks’ performance here is straight out of the Ham Hole. It’s more like Tom HAMS. Then, there’s the issue of Spielberg refusing to let his audience put the pieces together themselves. The integrity of the newspaper is paramount here, and the audience is spoon-fed facts about courtroom decisions in prolonged sentimental speeches as well as facts of where the events are taking place. That’s the WATERGATE HOTEL IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING.

But there’s plenty of places where the Post shines also. One, strangely enough, IS the casting. Meryl Streep plays the role of Katherine Graham with subtlety and in a captivating way. Then there are David Cross and Bob Odenkirk: a surprising casting choice and an absolute delight for a Mr. Show fan like myself. Also, there’s the pacing of this movie where not a shot or line is squandered: the Post moves through its story in a remarkable and engaging way. This movie is like plot points rapid fire as it builds suspense.

So, The Post has flaws, but these are easily overlooked for the damn fine movie that’s still left. And, I discovered that I could easily look at footage of type being set for an hour straight.

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