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Onion parody game more satisfying than Oliver Stone’s combined work

Last night I watched two things on TV.

First, I caught up with some of The Onion’s news clips. One was a report about a video game — “Close Range — that consists of nothing but shooting people in the face. Although the “news” item wasn’t The Onion at its hilarious best, it was at least brief.

Then we watched Oliver Stone’s “W.”

When will I learn? Stone continues to be the worst major director of his generation. Perhaps we can quantify this by saying that he’s the worst Academy Award-winning director in my lifetime. That’s not to say that everything about every movie he makes is awful. But it doesn’t matter, for all of those good moments put together are washed away by the mighty river of awfulness that goes by the name of “Alexander” [My review and followup]. So, yes, “W” has some ok moments. Well, actually it doesn’t. It has a good vocal impersonation of Bush, and the humorous revelation that Richard Dreyfuss actually sort of looks like Cheney. But otherwise it’s made out of 100% cliche and cardboard. It also has two more of Stone’s signature qualities: It goes on too long (it should have stopped when Bush wins the presidency) and it uses embarrassingly failed tropes that Stone thinks are arty. (In “W,” he cuts to Bush alone in a baseball field, as if in a dream. Or something.)

My conclusion: The four minutes parody news report from The Onion, of average quality, is far superior to all of Oliver Stone’s work put together. Especially if you were to put all that Stonage together and actually watch it.

PS: The Onion lets you play “Close Range” for free.

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