Wag the Dog

( 1 )

Overview

New Line Cinema's DVD of Wag the Dog could possibly be the most cerebral DVD ever produced. The digital transfer is good, the film presented in either 1.85:1 widescreen or full frame. The commentary track features director Barry Levinson and actor Dustin Hoffman, although the two were recorded separately and edited together. Levinson's commentary is dry and very matter of fact, but it is worth it to hear a great actor like Hoffman frankly discussing his craft. Few will have the patience to read the essay "The ...
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Overview

New Line Cinema's DVD of Wag the Dog could possibly be the most cerebral DVD ever produced. The digital transfer is good, the film presented in either 1.85:1 widescreen or full frame. The commentary track features director Barry Levinson and actor Dustin Hoffman, although the two were recorded separately and edited together. Levinson's commentary is dry and very matter of fact, but it is worth it to hear a great actor like Hoffman frankly discussing his craft. Few will have the patience to read the essay "The Line Between Truth and Fiction," presented in chapters from the bonus materials menu. "From Washington to Hollywood and Back" is an incredibly informed documentary on the history of journalism, politics, and entertainment, and features interviews with Levinson, John Frankenheimer, Dee Dee Myers, Tom Brokaw, and others, while including some candid footage from a documentary about the 1992 presidential election. Finally, the disc features a short segment with actor William H. Macy discussing the genius of writer David Mamet that will probably only appeal to fans of the writer's work. Wag the Dog is a stunningly frank and informed platinum edition DVD from New Line, another reminder of what the format is capable of at its best.
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Special Features

Widescreen and full-screen versions of the film; Audio commentary by Barry Levinson and Dustin Hoffman; "From Washington to Hollywood and Back": a featurette including interviews with Barry Levinson, Jane Rosenthal, Tom Brokaw, John Frankenheimer, Dee Dee Myers, Budd Schulberg, Chris Hegadus, and D.A. Pennebaker; "The Line Between Truth and Fiction," essay on politics and the media; Theatrical trailer; Cast and crew biographies and filmographies; Animated menus
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Barry Levinson filmed this dead-on political satire in a mere 29 days, working from David Mamet and Hilary Henkin's smart adaptation of the Larry Beinhart novel American Hero. Wag the Dog came out not long before the nation found out about its own President's sexual misconduct; the prophetic script gets its laughs not from outlandish fantasy, but from the realization that it's only marginally removed from plausibility. The fake war the movie cooks up, for example, is set in the real nation of Albania, and the viewer is challenged to accept the characters' convictions that the American public doesn't know or even care where Albania is. The cast is excellent, led by Dustin Hoffman's hilarious send-up of a Hollywood producer and Robert De Niro's devious spin doctor. Even the minor characters entertain: Willie Nelson is great in his small role as a songwriter, and Woody Harrelson makes an appearance as a crazy-eyed vet.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/29/1998
  • UPC: 794043465826
  • Original Release: 1997
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1), Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Pan & Scan
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:50:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,069

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dustin Hoffman Stanley Motss
Robert De Niro Conrad Brean
Anne Heche Winifred Ames
Woody Harrelson Sgt. William Schumann
Denis Leary Fad King
Willie Nelson Johnny Green
Andrea Martin Liz Butsky
Michael Belson President
Suzanne Cryer Amy Cain
John Michael Higgins John Levy
Suzie Plakson Grace
Kirsten Dunst Tracy Lime
William H. Macy Mr. Young
Jason Cottle "A D" (Assistant Director)
Merle Haggard Himself
Roebuck "Pops" Staples Himself
Technical Credits
Barry Levinson Director, Producer
Steve Cantamessa Sound/Sound Designer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Michael De Luca Executive Producer
Robert De Niro Producer
Robert Greenfield Set Decoration/Design
Hilary Henkin Screenwriter
Mark Knopfler Score Composer
Stu Linder Editor
David Mamet Screenwriter
Claire Rudnick Polstein Executive Producer
Robert Richardson Cinematographer
Jane Rosenthal Producer
Rita Ryack Costumes/Costume Designer
Amy Sayres Asst. Director
Ezra Swerdlow Executive Producer
Wynn P. Thomas Production Designer
Mark Worthington Art Director
Debra Zane Casting
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Scene Index

Menu Group #1 with 23 chapter(s) covering 01:36:51
1. Logos & Main Credits "What gets out of this room...." [7:37]
2. The Apperance of A War. [4:04]
3. The Tanning Salon. [3:48]
4. War is Show Business. [5:08]
5. "I'm glad your momma's not here...." [3:19]
6. Albania Is Hard to Rhyme. [2:18]
7. Going to War. [3:08]
8. The Digital Kitten. [9:59]
9. Private Party. [4:48]
10. There Comes a Time. [2:59]
11. Good Old Shoe. [6:40]
12. The 303 Speech. [4:14]
13. Courage Mom. [4:54]
14. Jim Belushi, ALbanian. [2:59]
15. No Business Like It. [4:48]
16. A Walk in the Park. [6:31]
17. Homecoming. [4:17]
18. Shotgun Wedding. [2:43]
19. So Close and Yet So Far. [1:33]
20. "Best work I've ever done....." [5:19]
21. The Hollywood Page. [1:55]
22. This Just In-Credits. [3:42]
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Menu

Side #1
Side #1
Side #2
Side #2
Spoken Languages.
Subtitled Languages.
The Cast.
Commentary.
Original Theatrical Trailer.
The Line Between Truth And Fiction.
From Washington To Hollywood And Back.
Macy On Mamet.
Menu Group #1 with 23 chapter(s) covering 01:36:51
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Outstanding Political Satire, Or Is It A Satire?

    This movie shows us what just might be happening in the government right now. It's a political satire involving a president caught in a sex scandal less than two weeks from the presidential election. A political spin doctor (Robert De Niro) is called in and creates a fake war with Albania to overshadow the scandal, with the help of a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman). This movie is very funny but somewhat disturbing in that it makes you wonder if the government really works this way. I'd heartily recommend this movie to conspiracy buffs, anyone who is critical of our current government (you'll quickly notice some parallels to the war in Iraq), or anyone who likes political satires. Dustin Hoffman should have won an Oscar for his performance in this movie; he was funny but at the same time very real. Enjoy!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews