Bobby (2006)

Genre(s): Drama
Weinstein Company || R - 120 minutes - $28.95 || April 10, 2007
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2007-04-09


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Emilio Estevez
Writer(s): Emilio Estevez (written by)
Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Elijah Wood, Joshua Jackson, Ashton Kutcher, Freddy Rodriguez, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Mary Elizabeth Winstead


Theatrical Release Date: November 23, 2006


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Bobby: The Making of an American Epic
  • Eyewitness Accounts from the Amabassador Hotel
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

In a nutshell, Bobby is writer/director Emilio Estevezís attempt at making a film about the night Senator Robert Kennedy was shot (and ultimately died) at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968. Instead of taking a more traditional route and having the story follow an actor playing Kennedy that night, Estevez instead focuses on the various people who were present that day and their lives and how the shooting impacted that day for them. To bring his script to life, Estevez casts a veritable whoís who of Hollywood both young and old. Appearing in the film are Harry Belafonte, Joy Bryant, Nick Cannon, Estevez himself, Laurence Fishburne, Brian Gereghty, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Joshua Jackson, David Krumholtz, Ashton Kuthcher, Shia Lebouf, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Svetlana Metkina, Demi Moore, Freddy Rodriguez, Marin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, Jacob Vargas, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Elijah Wood (phew!).

Itís a great idea in theory but ultimately, having such a cast where 90 percent of your talent is either a big name celebrity or fairly recognizable makes the film a mixed bag. For starters, the first 30 minutes all I could think about as I watched was, ďHey, look itís Laurence Fishburne! Oh my, Itís Pacey from Dawsonís Creek. Oh my god, Itís Demi Moore and whatís this? Ashton Kutcher as a stoner!Ē And it just goes on like that. Estevez, in my opinion, put so many stars in this movie that itís very distracting for a good chunk of the filmís running time. Now, as the film goes on, that fact bears less and less of an impact and I started to get into the movie.

Then the film hit another problem: some of these stories werenít very interesting. For every couple that worked (Rodriguez, Fishburne, Vargas in the kitchen, William H. Macy and his interactions with Slater and Stone who played his wife), there were others that didnít work at all(Sheen and Huntís rather dull marriage, Hopkins and Belafonteís snore of an interaction), and others that were neither bad, nor good but justÖ.there (Lebouf, Gereghty, and Kutcherís sojourn into Acid trips, Cannon and Jacksonís roles as a whole). Itís all frighteningly uneven.

The film does have itís strengths. The acting is almost across the board good (even great at times. Except Nick Cannon. Sorry Nick but I just wasnít buying it). Fishburne, Stone, and Moore are all particularly great here. And the directing was good as well. Iíve never seen Estevez do it before but heís not bad at it.

The other strengths the film has is itís emotional resonance. Even though I didnít dig all of their storylines, the point where all of these collide (once Kennedy is shot) is heartbreaking and quite a spectacle to behold that hits all the right buttons and I have to admit, got me pretty misty. This was also helped by a very strong score by Mark Isham.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Bobby: The Making of an American Epic is a 30 minute making of doc where Emilio Estevez and various members of the cast and crew are interviewed about the film. We get to see how and why Emilio decided to make the picture -- I had no idea so many of the characters in the film he made up. I thought they were all true stories until I saw this -- and how it came together as well as an in-depth look at the music used throughout the film. Not a bad making of but nothing mind-blowing. Worth a watch or two (if youíre a Kennedy buff).

Eyewitness Accounts from the Ambassador Hotel is a 30 minute panel discussion where a moderator interviews some of the people present at the shooting that evening including a doctor who arrived at the scene, a campaign worker, and a couple of other Kennedy supporters who were there that night(one of whom was even shot at the scene). Itís an interesting but dull at times discussion that felt a bit short. I keep feeling like there was much more shot for this than what we got to see. For me, it was fine but if youíre a real big fan of the film or really interested in Kennedy history, itís way too short.

The original theatrical trailer is also available.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The audio on the film was great but not gut busting as it is a very talky film. The video was good for the most part except things looked a little red to me during a scene where Jackson and Cannon were confronting Geregthy and Lebouf in front of a school bus. I think it mightíve just been sunlight interfering with the camera work but Estevez shouldíve found a way to fix that cause I found it a little distracting.



.::OVERALL::.

Bobby is a decent historical drama filled with some big names and pretty good performances. If you love the film or are hardcore into Kennedy stuff, itís a buy and for everyone else, itís a solid rental.