27 December 2010

Hit The Road Jack!

Casino Jack and The United States of Money - Alex Gibney

With the recent release and critical acclaim for Casino Jack, the re-telling of the story about Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist, business man and con man, who is sentenced to prison after many cases about him around corruption in the White House, this documentary won’t get the same amount of press or acclaim and it’s a shame as this new piece by the popular Alex Gibney is interesting and entertaining even to a British person like myself who doesn’t know a single thing about US politics. Seriously, i know nothing about what happened by the way the documentary is put across, it covers all the important areas and includes interviews that keep the details short and precise whilst at the same time explaining the overall story. It’s a great tale, and if your fan of these types of documentaries, like the Michael Moore types, looking at an error in the US government or about a smaller subject you may know nothing about you’ll enjoy this. I also like Gibney’s past documentaries: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Freakonomics, all of which show a particular style and each acclaimed as much as the others.

Jack Abramoff is basically a right bastard who lobbied money in congress to make sure himself and his friends would benefit, getting tonnes of money from backhand deals with dodgy characters and involving businesses wrapped around money like casinos. He was found guilty of trading holidays, expensive gifts and other items for favours and especially involving Indian casinos in which laws were meant to be made to make sure they weren’t ripped off but because of this pressure by Abramoff, the casinos just seemed to have continued trouble especially in paying millions in fees to Abramoff. It’s a horrible story to hear about, just one man ruining so many other lives and continually you really see how slimy and fucking selfish the guy is. Along with a core group of friends who help him out when he needs it, it just shows the rich winning over the poor. The well educated pissing all over the regular Joes.

A great little documentary about the whole saga, and not having seen the latest Casino Jack film, I’ll be recommending this before i say about how great Kevin Spacey’s performance of Abramoff is in the other film. I’ll look forward to Gibney’s next big film!


Simon Childs

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