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HBO's JOURNEYS WITH GEORGE!!

Published at: Nov. 5, 2002, 1:05 a.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!

It’s a busy busy election day, what with the new “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Smallville, “24,” “Life With Bonnie,” “Frasier,” “Real World,” “Fear Factor” and the thing and the other.

At 10 p.m., most channels (at least here in Los Angeles) are going with election coverage. So at 9:30, before “24” and “Smallville” finish up, Herc’s switching over to HBO’s “Journeys With George,” a documentary he’s been hearing about and wanting to see forever.

TV Guide says:

This lighthearted 2002 documentary chronicles George W. Bush's road to the presidency. Written and directed by then-NBC producer Alexandra Pelosi, the film captures long days and even longer nights on the campaign trail. Footage of speeches, rallies and primary whistle-stops is intercut with playful chats between Bush and Pelosi, who is the daughter of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) and an unabashed liberal. Pelosi also turns the camera on her fellow journalists, who offer tongue-in-cheek ruminations on spending 18 months cooped up in buses, planes and hotels. The film, which is not rated, concludes with Bush's inauguration as the 43rd President of the United States.

Entertainment Weekly gives it an “A” and says:

Alexandra Pelosi's almost disturbingly intimate video diary of George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign catches the candidate off guard as he cracks cornball jokes, washes down Cheetos with non-alcoholic beer, and does a ''YMCA''-like victory dance. Whether such frat-house antics are appropriate for a future Prez may be a matter of debate, but there's no denying that Dubya makes a charming traveling companion, as does Pelosi.

Variety says:

Alexandra Pelosi's casually astonishing "Journeys With George" is that rare breed of documentary that could forever alter public perceptions of its high-profile subject. It's difficult to predict what future historians will make of Pelosi's mini-DV "home movie" (her own description) about George W. Bush's eventful 2000 campaign for the U.S. presidency. But it's even more difficult to see how any future biographer -- or, more important, any contemporary pundit -- will be able to write anything truly informed about the 43rd chief of state without taking a close look at Pelosi's revealing portrait.

The Hollywood Reporter says:

[Bush] projected himself as loose and amused by the young reporter and even used the camcorder back on her. But we can tell that Bush, constantly aware of himself in the pursuit of some big beans, could be annoyed. "Stop filming me," he once demanded. "You're like a head cold!" …Bush got some shots back at her by teasing about her relationship with one Trent, a Newsweek reporter in the press troupe. Did he see her holding his hand? Were they discussing news? (Well, there were some sparks. Pelosi acknowledges in her narration that she was considering Trent, then found that he already had a girlfriend.) … In the tradition of the press corps, the journey was full of some extra-crispy cynicism. The main loyalists upholding this tradition were R.G. from the Houston Chronicle, Wayne from the Dallas Morning News and Richard from the Financial Times.

Ain’t It Cool News says:

Where Pelosi's film really succeeds is shining a light on the political use of the media. All the while that Bush is running for the office of President of the United States, the only info on the campaign comes from this corps of reporters who depend on the man for their livelihood. As Bush tells Pelosi, it's in her best interest to vote for him. Other reporters express deep concerns that Bush may lose the election simply because their job would then be over. At one point Pelosi asks Bush about his support for the death penalty, a good thoughtful question any candidate should be answering while running for the office of President. Bush gets miffed and in the ensuing days gives Pelosi the cold shoulder. She quickly learns that in order to stay and maintain her access to Bush, she must play by his rules. … It makes one shudder a bit to realize that for the most part, all we know about some of our political leaders is only what they tell us.

9:30 p.m. Tuesday. HBO.

(If you can’t drag yourself away from “24” and “Smallville,” HBO repeats “Journeys With George” Saturday 2:30 p.m. when you know nothing better will be on.)

I am – Hercules!!





Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 5, 2002, 1:09 a.m. CST

    saw this at a documentary fest

    by Guerilla_Films

    HILARIOUS! Bush acts, and looks like such a fool in this. Eating with his mouth open! It's THAT'S MY BUSH mixed with THE OSBOURNES!

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 1:44 a.m. CST

    well theres Miami Tennesse around that time

    by douglassirk

    well theres Miami Tennesse around that time

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 8:16 a.m. CST

    This film may say more about US than the subject

    by the G-man

    The interesting thing about the documentary itself, and how the perceptions of a viewer can color any work, is the fact that I keep reading that republicans view this film as pro-Bush, while democrats view it as anti-Bush. While this is also a testament to the objective nature of the piece, it leads one to ponder on a number of questions, including: has our nation grown so partisan that an objective profile of a president is immediately internally propagandized into what each of us wants it to be?

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 10:53 a.m. CST

    It's Simple

    by Beddy Sidious

    If you're a friend of them long-haired hippy-type pinko fags, you'll think this is anti-Bush. If you're a steely-eyed chisel-chinned defender of American freedom, you'll think it's pro-Bush. By the way, how can anyone call himself "anti-Bush" and keep a straight face?

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 11:43 a.m. CST

    i agree

    by wolfman911

    In fact I couldn't agree with you more Gman. I am an unashamed conservative (which i am sure will have me attacked in a high volume soon after my post) yet I understand the strengths and weeknesses of our president. Yet we listen to diatribes about the "cokehead" president who is a "boob" after 8 years of absolute hell with a pothead backwoods hillbilly who was no smarter than Pres. Bush and couldn't keep his dick in his pants. But I digress. I think that this film should be looked at for what it is, an honest look into the mechanizations of the candidacy and the first and best chance at understanding how and who helps us elect our government.

  • This movie seems to have a Rashomon (sp?) appeal to it.

  • And when he questioned the definition of the word "is" - very classy, much like a used car salesman.

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 11:52 a.m. CST

    interesting theory g-man

    by rightynotlefty

    I'm more likely to give the current president the benefit of the doubt (no kidding, look at my name!). As such, I find that I often have to check myself to make sure I don't have a knee jerk reaction to something based on my own political worldview. I probably won't be able to see this (don't get HBO) but it looks interesting. I guess it points to the need of us all to kind of fall into self-fulfilling or self-reinforcing stances, or some such. I note that a few of the lefties in this talkback have already resorted to the smarmy, aren't-we-so-clever, sarcastic criticism of the subject of the piece, President Bush. I thoroughly disliked Clinton and opposed most of his policies (those that he actually implemented instead of talked about), but I certainly recognize his political acumen and ability to "connect" (for whatever reason!) with the "average" American. Can't say I admired him, but I certainly respected his intellect and political ability. Doesn't mean he made a great President. So, to sum it up, sometimes we try to make things a bit too black and white (conservative/liberal) and get so caught up in it that we don't step back and appreciate some of the qualities that one of the "opposition" may have which we otherwise may consider admirable in one of our own "kind". Did ya get all that?

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 2:05 p.m. CST

    A few clarifications

    by GhostJax

    In fact I couldn't agree with you more Gman. I am an unashamed conservative (which i am sure will have me attacked in a high volume soon after my post) yet I understand the strengths and weeknesses of our president. Yet we listen to diatribes about the "cokehead" president who is a "boob" after 8 years of absolute hell with a pothead backwoods hillbilly who was no smarter than Pres. Bush and couldn't keep his dick in his pants. But I digress. I think that this film should be looked at for what it is, an honest look into the mechanizations of the candidacy and the first and best chance at understanding how and who helps us elect our government. First, would the conservatives on the page please stop crawling into their whiny fetal positions about being picked on. If you count, you'll see the conservatives and liberals go about 50/50 as far as who has posted. Second, just in terms of fairness, why whine about the "aren't-we-so-clever" comments of the left and then turn around and make jokes yourselves? rightynotlefty, that was real clever how you put parenthesis on "cokehead" and "boob" but not "backwoods," "pothead" or "hillbilly." Also, as far as Clinton not being any smarter or a good president, lets look at the record. Clinton: Rhodes Scholar. Bush: 2.3 average from Yale, which lets be frank the legacy factor got him in to. Clinton: 8 years of unrivaled peace and economic growth. Bush: Um... yeah. You know when Big Oil takes a header during a Republican administration, something brown and sticky has hit the fan. Clinton: one of the best speechmakers out there. Bush: couldn't get through a speech with out stumbling if he was reading "Cat in the Hat" off the teleprompter. Face it, kids. Bush Sr. was 10 times the politician his son is, and even he got kicked out of a second term. Oh, and by the way, I love how you never hear Rebuplicans bandy around draft-dodger as an insult any more. Huh...weird.

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Yep, doing the YMCA dance is a presidential disqualifier, but us

    by BannthisUcommies

    I wonder if Herc was as interested in the Dateline interview (circ 1999) with Junita Broderick? If so, was he equally disturbed by the rape account as he is by the press coverage in this case?

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Come ON!! You forgot that on CNN you can watch Judy Woodruf cryi

    by BannthisUcommies

    Course you can watch Frequency Dan, or Uber-Canuck Petey or "I'll pretend I'm a war hero by hanging out with them" Tommy go through their own nervous breakdowns at 10. Pass the popcorn Hillary!!

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Let the America-bashing begin!

    by NeofromtheMatrix

    Actually, you don't have to be a Canadian, or one of the other 5.7 billion non-Americans on earth, to hate, or at the very least ridicule, George Dubya Bush. That shifty little daddy's boy keeps digging his own grave with every mispronounced word and misformulated sentence he utters. I mean, seriously, all that mofo has to do is read whatever is written, and he can't even do that? It reminds me of a SNL sketch, with Dana Carvey as Bush Sr and Will Farrell as Bush Jr. Senior tells Junior: "I know that it must be hard to concentrate on your work because of your DYSLEXIA. Of course, when you were young, we just call that MENTAL RETARDATION..."

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Walrus

    by Toby O Notoby

    Working in advertising and knowing more about foreign policy than the president probably go hand in hand. I work in advertising and I have more free time than any other person I know. Hey, I gotta read *something*. (Who are you with, btw?) As far as the docu goes, I'd pretty much guess that you take out of it what you put in. Some people couldn't look at Clinton without being repulsed, some feel the same way about W. So your reactions to it will probably be based on your personal point of view. If you can put them aside for an hour or so, however, it should be an interesting look at a world that most of us never see. (Although I do wonder about the morality of actually showing something that was never meant to be aired. Take that much footage of *anyone* and you're going to have the ability to make him look like either a King or a Jester.)

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Conservatives?! They are the maters of marketing..

    by Bman0429

    It absolutely amazes me when I here people call themselves conservative. Anyone ever look up that word in the dictionary?! Let us face it rethoric is was got us GWB in the first place. People buy it and W can sling it cause he talks from the "heart". Of course the guy inn charge of the worlds most lethal and powerful military force and the guy who has his finger on the button for all of our nuclear might, should probably have a good head. W doesn't and this Doc. shows that he is just like everybody else. Frankly I don't want the guy next door deciding if we send me and my friends to war. I want someone a whole lot smarter than me making that decision. I am a liberal till I die. Nothing in this world was ever changed by conservatives, it is thier nature. The only thing they know how to do is fight for what they believe in. Even if that belief is wrong, immoral, or evil. "off my soap box now"

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Conservatives?! They are the maters of marketing..

    by Bman0429

    It absolutely amazes me when I here people call themselves conservative. Anyone ever look up that word in the dictionary?! Let us face it rethoric is was got us GWB in the first place. People buy it and W can sling it cause he talks from the "heart". Of course the guy inn charge of the worlds most lethal and powerful military force and the guy who has his finger on the button for all of our nuclear might, should probably have a good head. W doesn't and this Doc. shows that he is just like everybody else. Frankly I don't want the guy next door deciding if we send me and my friends to war. I want someone a whole lot smarter than me making that decision. I am a liberal till I die. Nothing in this world was ever changed by conservatives, it is thier nature. The only thing they know how to do is fight for what they believe in. Even if that belief is wrong, immoral, or evil. "off my soap box now"

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Conservatives?! They are the masters of marketing..

    by Bman0429

    It absolutely amazes me when I here people call themselves conservative. Anyone ever look up that word in the dictionary?! Let us face it rethoric is was got us GWB in the first place. People buy it and W can sling it cause he talks from the "heart". Of course the guy inn charge of the worlds most lethal and powerful military force and the guy who has his finger on the button for all of our nuclear might, should probably have a good head. W doesn't and this Doc. shows that he is just like everybody else. Frankly I don't want the guy next door deciding if we send me and my friends to war. I want someone a whole lot smarter than me making that decision. I am a liberal till I die. Nothing in this world was ever changed by conservatives, it is thier nature. The only thing they know how to do is fight for what they believe in. Even if that belief is wrong, immoral, or evil. "off my soap box now"

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Clinton & The Use of Force

    by Beddy Sidious

    For the record, President Clinton used military force to resolve more situations than any of his predecessors. Military deployments skyrocketed during his administration. He was a good speaker generally, but he came completely unglued in front of military audiences. He didn't make eye contact, and he never deviated from his notes. W. isn't a genius, but I'm confident he won't send me into battle just to distract the world from a blowjob.

  • Nov. 5, 2002, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Hey, when is "That's My Bush" coming out on DVD?

    by chickenmonkey

    Oh yeah, when hell freezes over. Right after that little nukular winter.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 2:08 a.m. CST

    I love it when elections piss off Babs and Sorkin

    by Anyawatcher

    I might actually watch the West Wing when they do an election episode to see his wet dream of America. Even though having the Elephants controlling everything may not be the best thing, It puts a smile on my face when Jeb kicks ass in Florida and shuts those cry babies up in Hollywood who have no idea what America thinks. Can't wait till Bush vs. Clinton(the bitch not the male slut) in 2004. btw not republican voted Donkey in most Illinois races so no conservative crap here. fuck Aaron Sorkin!!!

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:15 a.m. CST

    The attraction of Bush...

    by Agador

    I just don't see how illicits such strong emotions from either side. When he speaks, he doesn't inspire me(like Reagen or even Clinton could sometimes do) or anger me (like ASHCROFT always does). He's just kind of a dopey void who seems genial and virtually harmless. He's like potato chips without the salt.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Pelosi

    by BigAssScar

    Man, is this chick the most annoying woman i have ever seen. she was on Conan O'Brien the other night, and you could tell that Conan wanted to f'n strangle her.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Just Saw It

    by Beddy Sidious

    And man, I want to vote for W all over again.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Hey King Tut Lives

    by Manos

    I'll be happy to wave goodbye as you leave our shores. Don't let the door hit you in your brain when you leave. Belive me, the US is better off without you.

  • Nov. 6, 2002, 9:58 p.m. CST

    More pissed Democrats...I love it....Proving the Libs lost thier

    by Why_Dammy?

    Proving the Libs lost thier asses...they are coming HERE to bitch....

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Bman0429: "Nothing in this world was ever changed by conservati

    by mr stay puft

    Funny how the 'liberal' Democratic Party opposed tax cuts, school voucher programs, any change in Social Security, and trade liberalization. So which party is for 'change', again? How many of these items would the 'conservative' Republican Party like to change. Now tell me again why the Democrats lost their majority on Tuesday.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Hey King Tut Lives

    by Manos

    If that is truly your world view, then you have my pity.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 10:31 a.m. CST

    thejester is a moron

    by Damer1

    I hate conspiracy theorists. Stop being a blow hard.

  • Nov. 8, 2002, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Must just gall the hell out of the liberal geeks here...

    by RickP66

    ...that the majority of Americans support W and reject the idiotic liberal slander that gets thrown around about him. That fat fuck Michael Moore must be suicidal right now after Election Day...damn, I wish Kevorkian weren't in jail, I would set the two up.

  • Nov. 9, 2002, 2:23 p.m. CST

    JWG sounds interesting. By the way, as a former Democrat...

    by JohnnyTremaine

    ...my biggest criticism of the party is that if you uttered the words "foreign policy" to a room full of Democratic politicians, they would all reach for a dictionary. The last Democrats with a coherent foreign policy that I can remember are Truman and JFK; the party ceded foreign affairs to the Republicans years ago. In a time where parts of the world are in turmoil or undergoing radical change, Democrats will not have a leg to stand on for the forseeable future.