(Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Jon Lovitz, Ruth Marshall, Graham Greene, et al / DVD / R / (2010) 2011 / Fox Home Entertainment)
Overview: Spacey stars as Jack Abramoff, the real-life Washington power player who resorted to jaw-dropping levels of fraud and corruption. High-rolling excess and outrageous escapades are all in a day’s work for Abramoff, as he goes to outrageous lengths to promote the Indian gambling industry, earning him the nickname “Casino Jack.” But when Jack and his womanizing protégé Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper) enlist a dimwitted business partner (Jon Lovitz) for an illegal scheme, they find themselves ensnared in a web of greed and murder that explodes into a worldwide scandal.
DVD Verdict: A Jack Abramoff film had the real potential to become an A film. Something happened on the way to the theatre. The story is one that needs to be told, good actors, but it is a film that is too outlandish and too over the top. This is probably the real Abramoff. The man who gives lobbyists a really bad name. He put Tom DeLay into the eyesight of the real world, and DeLay was found guilty at his trial.
The dirty tricks and murder and mayhem attributed to Jack Abramoff and his ilk is so messy and so ugly that comparing it to the Watergate may seem second rate. All of the power in DC it seems, was beholden to Jack Abramoff. Money was given and spent freely to win elections. Abramoff says plainly that without the money he spent in Florida on Bush's behalf, Bush would not have won the Presidency. I agree with him that our country may have been a better place.
What seems to me to be the best of the film, is a scene in a Senate hearing with John McCain presiding. Some of the Senators present were given money by Abramoff and yet, here they were berating him for his practices. The real hearing with McCain present is interspersed with actors. It is quite extraordinary. Real names are used, and the actors portraying them are very much like them. This part of politics that we seem to see more of on a daily basis is abhorrent to most of us. To the politicians who inhabit DC, it is business as usual.
Jack's family stood by him. He is portrayed as a man with an ego bigger than he is. A little off center and downright crazy at times. Someone who spent money literally like water. He bought and sold and then bought and sold some more. Little thought to anyone but to his need to be the biggest man. Well, he failed! Sorry. [PP] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
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