Disc Jockey: Woodward and Bernstein bust Nixon all over again

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in "All the President's Men." Credit: Warner Home Video
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in “All the President’s Men.”
Credit: Warner Home Video

‘All the President’s Men’
Warner Home Video
$19.99

It only took four years for the Watergate scandal to be immortalized on movie screens, complete with two of the era’s biggest stars — Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman — playing the only somewhat good-looking Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. But the results were anything but a triumphant reminder of corruption semi-recently vanquished.

“All the President’s Men” may have jam-packed journalism schools with wannabe heroes, but it’s a warts-and-all study of professionalism taken to an absurd extreme. Woodward and Bernstein have no lives outside work, nor personality attributes beyond “driven.” They ignore vague (and sometimes not so vague) threats as they pursue the truth. And neither they nor we get to celebrate their victory, with the movie cutting out on a minor note. Not all Hollywood films of the 1970s have happy endings, but even the one that does doesn’t revel in it.

As has been drilled into our heads, Hollywood was making stripped down films like this all the time during this period. Even for the era, Alan Pakula’s drama is stripped-down. It’s a dispassionate, just-the-facts-ma’am study of process that resembles Britain’s “The Day of the Jackal” from three years earlier, and whose influence today is felt in “Zodiac” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” which also bury viewers under an avalanche of facts and dead ends. A new, feature-length retrospective documentary exploring the legacy and perhaps correcting some misconceptions about Watergate and Nixon is appended onto this splashy set.

‘As I Lay Dying’
Millenium Entertainment
$28.99

Actor, director, screenwriter, author, student, teacher and painter James Franco has been made light of for doing a lot lately, although the problem is not that he’s become Robert Pollard-level prolific. It’s that he’s been making films of unfilmable novels. There’s no reason to turn William Faulkner’s landmark into a movie, as there’s no cinematic equivalent for the writer’s dense, streaming prose. (Ditto Cormac McCarthy’s “Child of God,” which he also made this year.) But good intentions count for something, and there’s evidence that Franco could one day blossom into a terrific filmmaker — maybe one who knows not to adapt Faulkner.

Also out:

‘Man of Steel’
It took 25 years, but Superman appears to have been successfully relaunched, complete with Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner as his two dads. Too bad it devolves into noisy nonsense.

‘Frances Ha’
Hot couple Greta Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach had a nice indie hit with this acerbic, black-and-white portrait of a late twentysomething caught in arrested development.

‘Nosferatu’
F.W. Murnau’s triumph of German expressionism was in fact an unauthorized adaptation of “Dracula,” which amazingly survived almost being sued out of existence by Bram Stoker’s widow.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…