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
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.