In 2003, the Bush White House sold America on the Iraq War under the pretense that Iraq was harboring weapons of mass destruction. Not long after, we all learned that claim wasn’t true, but at the time, most journalists didn’t seem to realize the truth. Shock and Awe is about a two journalists who did. Watch the Shock and Awe trailer below.
Shock and Awe
The Post was the first “hero journalist” movie of the Trump era, but it won’t be the last. Rob Reiner‘s Shock and Awe looks like it wants to be the All the President’s Men of the 21st century, with a pair of journalists crusading for the truth. And even though this film is focused on the Bush administration, it’s clear that Reiner and company are more than ready to draw parallels to the current administration of Donald Trump. A scene in this trailer seems to underscore that in big, bold strokes when someone shouts, “The president is lying!”
Shock and Awe is based on the true story – although probably heavily fictionalized for the film – of journalists at the Knight Rider newspaper who were among the only reporters to “get Iraq right.” When interviewed about this subject, John Walcott, McClatchy Newspapers Washington Bureau Chief, told Huffington Post:
“Well we certainly didn’t see anyone doing the same kinds of stories, with the exception of some stories by Walter Pincus at the Washington Post, and much, much later after the Los Angeles Times got onto Curveball. But during the period when I guess, arguably, it mattered, when it could have and should have been a debate about whether to engage in this war, I think we felt that we were fairly lonely.”
Walcott added: “There wasn’t any reporting in the rest of the press corps, there was stenography. The administration would make an assertion, people would make an assertion, people would write it down as if it were true, and put it in the newspaper or on television.”
I’m sure that statement will sound familiar to anyone following politics in the year 2018. It’s almost as if we as a nation haven’t learned a damn thing or something…but I digress.
Shock and Awe has a lot of potential, and Woody Harrelson and James Marsden are both strong actors, and co-star Tommy Lee Jones is one of the best in the business. The wild card here is director Rob Reiner. I like Reiner, and he’s made a few fine films in the past. But he’s had far more misses than hits in the last few years. His most recent movie, LBJ – which also featured Harrelson and Marsden, and was written by Shock and Awe writer Joey Hartstone – was kind of terrible. That doesn’t inspire much confidence here.
Shock and Awe will play exclusively on DIRECTV from June 14 to July 11, before opening in theaters July 13, 2018.
The film is based on the true events of Knight Ridder journalists who were the only ones who “got it right” in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War when they questioned the true nature of the Bush White House’s justification for the conflict.
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