Posts Tagged ‘Mary Mapes’


Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 2.25.14 PMRichard’s alter ego Zomald Trump reviews the teenage Halloween freak-out “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,” and some more adult fare in the ghostly form of “Our Brand is Crisis,” “Truth” and “Suffragette.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 11.24.05 AMRichard’s alter ego Zomald Trump reviews the teenage Halloween freak-out “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,” and some more adult fare in the ghostly form of “Our Brand is Crisis,” “Truth” and “Suffragette.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro Canada: Robert Redford as Dan Rather brings home Truth

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 8.39.34 AMBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Who do you get to play an icon? If you are James Vanderbilt, director of Truth, you hire another icon.

The story of 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes and legendary news anchor Dan Rather’s journalistic examination into President George W. Bush’s military service features Robert Redford as one of the most famous reporters of the twentieth century.

“The movie’s big buy is, ‘Are you going to see Redford all the way through or are you going to see Rather?’” says Vanderbilt. “Redford is a phenomenal actor but what he brings into a scene by just being present (is a) gravitational pull. The room turns toward him. Getting to know Dan, that’s what Dan Rather is like. When Dan Rather walks into a room, the same thing happens.

“Everybody turns into, in a good way, a teenager, because those are both voices who have been in your living room for 30 to 40 years. It’s a voice of God thing they both have and that’s why I really wanted Bob to do it.”

Vanderbilt says the legendary actor is “very easy going, the nicest guy you’ll ever meet,” but nonetheless made people on the set nervous.

“We had heads of departments who had been working in film for 30 years who couldn’t call him Bob. He would say, ‘Call me Bob,’ and they would say, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that Mr. Redford. I’m very sorry that is not going to happen.’”

Vanderbilt is best known as a screenwriter, penning the scripts for The Amazing Spider-Man, Zodiac, White House Down and the upcoming Independence Day 2. His screenplay for Truth is based on Mapes’ memoir Truth and Duty and reveals a time before journalism was driven by ad sales and click-throughs.

“It was pre iPhone,” he says. “It was a year before the iPhone came out and that is such a big thing in terms of how we connect to one another now. How we relate to each other. Journalists and everybody. It felt like a fulcrum point, kind of where we had been, journalistically, and where we are now.”

His research into the story gave the director a new respect for journalists.

“I think it is a very noble profession but maybe I’m a very pie in the sky guy,” he says. “I think the more young people who grow up and go, ‘This is what I want to be. I want to ask questions of power,’ the better. I think we, as a society, are better that way.”

TRUTH: 3 STARS. “a murky investigation into an even murkier story.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 8.30.03 AMMade at a time when big stores are broken on Twitter truth set at a time when journalist did work the old-fashioned way, following paper trails and working the phones, “Truth” tells of murky investigation into an even murkier story.

Based on the nonfiction book “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power” by Mary Mapes, the film begins with Mapes (Cate Blanchett) having just broken the story of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Her hard-hitting approach made her a journalism superstar at CBS and “60 Minutes,” the show that ran the story. Gearing up for the next season meant finding an even bigger story. Mapes put together a crack team of investigators—the jaded but idealistic Mike Smith (Topher Grace), army insider Colonel Roger Charles (Dennis Quaid) and journalism professor Lucy Scott (Elisabeth Moss)—to examine President George W. Bush’s military service. The theory, supported by the so-called Killian documents, was that Bush had received preferential treatment to avoid fighting in the Vietnam War.

The seemingly airtight story falls apart the day after airing on “60 Minutes,” calling into question the reputation of CBS News, Mapes and her team and costing anchor and news legend Dan Rather (Robert Redford) his job.

For a movie that is all about bias, or the lack thereof, “Truth” is certainly in the corner of its journalists. The much ballyhooed fair and balanced approach is largely absent as the movie paints Mapes and Company as warrior journalists on a search for the truth while everyone else is painted with a big bad Republican brush.

As Mapes Blanchett plays a scapegoat, a mix of steely nerves and vulnerability, who will do what she thinks is right no matter what the consequences. In real life Mapes was fired and hasn’t worked in television news since even though her Abu Ghraib story won a Peabody Award.

Redford brings gravitas to the role of Rather, reeking of old school trust. Rather was a link to the past, to a time when journalism wasn’t driven by ad sales or click throughs. “Why did you get into journalism?” he’s asked. “Curiosity,” he says, “that’s everything.” He viewed asking the right questions and passing along the results, pro or con, to his audience as a trust. Times changed around him and Redford captures Rather’s resignation to the new world of news with equal measures of sadness and outrage.

“Trust” is a compelling story told with a heavy hand. A slow-motion shot of Mapes’s hand, holding a remote, and turning off the TV after Rather’s retirement announcement is a bit much and some clumsy foreshadowing— just before the troublesome “60 Minutes” story airs a commercial for “Survivor” screams, “Somebody’s going to get burned!”—adds unnecessary melodrama to what should have been an even-handed look at the inner workings of the fourth estate.