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  • Original, daring, and funny, one of the best movies ever.
    Here is a movie that you will either love or hate but it certainly won't leave you indifferent.If you dislike Bulworth you most likely either can't stomach the film's left-wing political ideology or you find some aspect of the film offensive.But the willingness of the film to offend is the very thing that makes it so compelling to others.If you don't hate the movie for the above reasons you'll be able to appreciate the just how risky and original this movie is.As Bulworth campaigns,offending everyone and their mother while telling it like it is,you can't help but share in his giddy exhileration and you'll laugh your behind off at the same time.This is the essential theme of the movie and,just to keep things livly,Beatty introduces a variation as Bulworth begins to rap.On these scenes alone the film succeeds as a comedy though there are other very funny scenes(often involving Bulworth's campaign aids).Generaly I'm not a fan of rap but the film's music sets the tone nicely. The cast is universaly excellent,everyone seems to fit their part perfectly and Nina (Halle Berry) looks absolutely gorgeous.At one point, Bulworth is dancing with Nina in a Compton after hours club and,to roughly quote an internet reviewer,"this must be the most erotic scene involving two vertical people in all of cinima."What works in Bulworth works so well that the holes and improbableties inherent in the storyline seem beside the point.They certainly don't detract from the overall effect of the movie.I'm every bit as liberal a Warren Beatty and there is no doubt that your politics play a role in how you respond to the movie but I recomend this movie to everyone,you just might find it enligtening....more info
  • Warren Beatty IS Bulworth
    An incumbent Senator from California, on the eve of reelection, finds himself at loggerheads with his own conscience, on the verge of a nervous breakdown and unable to play the political "game" any longer. And he decides to take drastic measures to do something about it, in "Bulworth," one of the finest political satires ever made, written and directed by and starring Warren Beatty. Once he makes his personal commitment to "change," J. Billington Bulworth (Beatty) hits the campaign trail and wreaks havoc as he levels the playing field by introducing a unique concept into the political arena: Truth and honesty. He proceeds to single-handedly give political incorrectness new definition; and no one is safe as he launches his barrage against every possible bastion of former untouchables, from big business, big money and the entertainment industry, to invasive, unethical media, to unemployment and welfare. Before he's through he gets up close and personal with his constituents in South Central L.A., gets down with the brothers (not to mention the sisters) and, much to the chagrin of his campaign manager, Murphy (Oliver Platt), he begins to "rhyme" (rap) his speech. It's politics like you've never seen it before, in fact or fiction, and it's an exhilarating sight to behold. Beatty really hits his mark as the politician whose monumental decision to play a reversal of "Faust" gives him new energy and new life, the only downside being that he must also deal with consequences of the inevitable outcome of the "Weekend research project" he has so (as he begins to think) imprudently initiated. It's a dynamic performance underscored with nuance and infused with Beatty's own charismatic personality, which he successfully gives over to the character entirely. It's tough not to like Bulworth; he has flash, a winning smile and almost a sense of wonderment that carries him along as he addresses issues head-on and dead-on, like what is more obscene, the four-letter words he uses to make his point, or the ever widening gap between the rich and the middle class, with rising unemployment caused by big-moneyed conglomerates locating on foreign land in order to jack up prices and profits, while decimating the economic base of the working class here at home. It's a full-out frontal assault, and Bulworth pulls no punches as he manages to insult and alienate just about everyone around him; and overnight, he gains in the polls like never before. Beatty the actor "is" Bulworth the politician, and you've just got to like this guy. Oliver Platt, who has emerged as one of the finest character actors in recent memory (in the same company as William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Corrigan and Steve Buscemi), plays the young, upwardly-mobile professional Murphy to the hilts; he plays it straight, which makes his confused reactions to Bulworth's sudden change in direction very real and absolutely hilarious. He makes Murphy a truly memorable character. Halle Berry (Nina) is outstanding as well, giving a performance of sultry intensity that makes the screen sizzle. There's real chemistry between her and Beatty, and the intelligence she brings to the character of this young woman from the `hood is refreshing; it avoids any hint of stereotype, which adds to the overall credibility of the proceedings. A supporting cast made in cinematic heaven includes Jack Warden (Eddie), Christine Baranski (Constance), Sean Astin (Gary), Don Cheadle (L.D.), Nora Dunn (Missy), Paul Sorvino (Graham), Isaiah Washington (Darnell) and Laurie Metcalf (Mimi). With "Bulworth." Beatty proves himself the consummate artist (if there was ever any doubt); he makes you laugh till you cry while delivering an entertaining, moral tale without any preaching or pretentiousness whatsoever. This is a gem of a movie that will make you think and feel good at the same time. Warren Beatty and the entire cast and crew should get a standing ovation for bringing this one to the screen. Regardless of your own political preferences, this is one movie that should be seen by all....more info
  • Bulworth for President!
    So, Warren Beatty was toying with the idea of actually running for president! Well, if he's as sincere and as straight-up fun as his character in the film, I'm all for it! One reviewer called Beatty's performance as a manic political candidate (and if you're interested in abnormal psychology, he plays a manic episode DEAD-ON!) "performing without a net." That's such a perfect description. Sure, most of the other characters are two-dimensional (if that!). But because they are so immediately identifiable by us, it makes it easier to like them. There are in fact, no "bad guys" in this flick. Only the feel-good hope for more love in the world. And a kickin' sound track. (I watched the film with my 80-something white middle-class mother; SHE even loved the music!) If you don't buy it, at least rent it. Either because it's a joyous, rollicking good time, or because there are lots of people who really think this way!...more info
  • Very smart and funny but also very frustrating
    Weeks away from his imminent re election Jay Billington Bulworth (Warren Beatty) hires an assassin to take him out. He has lost his faith in politics and can't bring himself to appear before his supporters and spout the same old speeches full of lies. Knowing that his time is limited Bulworth feels invincible and starts telling his version of the truth at his last few campaign stops. First up for the Senator is an all black church. He gets up to the pulpit reads the first sentence from his prepared speech and then goes hilariously off the script. What he says is both hilarious and shocking. One of the women in the crowd the beautiful Nina (Halle Berry) can't believe what she's hearing and waits for the Senator as he's leaving. Her and her two friends want to be campaign volunteers. His top advisor (a hilarious Oliver Platt) hesitantly gets their information and by the time Bulworth arrives at his next stop they are already working as valets. His next meeting is with Hollywood insiders and that ends by the Senator chastising them for wanting so much money and making so much crap. He also calls them a bunch of Jews. Bulworth is having the time of his life but his aides are besides themselves. They go into serious crisis control and begin issuing statements about the Senator's poor mental health. Bulworth spots Nina and offers her and her friends a ride. Nina decides to take the Senator to a hip hop club. After they go through the metal detectors Nina takes off leaving Bulworth to wander around on his own. He smokes a joint, gets mistaken for George Hamilton by a bartender, and starts rapping. From this point on Beatty raps all of Bulworth's speeches. After Nina gets back her and Bulworth dance into the early morning hours when he realizes that he has to give a speech at a lunch. When a rumpled Bulworth shows up at the banquet and delivers a tirade about big oil, health insurance, and the media in a rap that he made up on the spot everyone thinks he's lost it. The raps are clever and often funny but the joke gets old quick. Beatty is brave to go all out for this role complete with hop hop clothes knowing that some people will find it an embarrassing move by an old white guy. This is the film's biggest problem. It is an uneven mix of political satire and a man's immersion into black culture that feels awkward and potentially offensive whenever the jokes don't pan out. Beatty throws a very questionable character into the mix as well. He is a homeless black man that magically appears at all of the Senator's campaign stops and mutters some gibberish to Bulworth. He's hilarious don't get me wrong but why is he here? The last act of the film is more of the same. Nina takes Bulworth to South Central where she hides him with her family. In South Central his eyes are opened to kids as young as 13 walking the streets with guns and selling drugs. Bulworth learns that they work for a neighborhood dealer named L.D. (Don Cheadle). When Bulworth confronts him he explains to the Senator that he is doing these kids a public service since no one else would take a chance on them and give them a job. He laments the lack of education in public schools and how they are underfunded and says that that is why so many kids are choosing an easy life of crime. Bulworth takes these words to heart as they appear in his next rap on his final campaign stop an interview on live T.V.. Valid points are being brought up throughout the film although the message is lost in their questionable delivery. The other distracting problem is the identity of the hit man. At several points we see a gloved hand spiking drinks or loosening balcony railings. When the real hit man is identified it doesn't add up. The ending is a major disappointment and an easy way out. Beatty even has the audacity to stage it like a political assassination of the 60's. This film has a lot that works however. Beatty and Berry have a terrific chemistry between them. This is in evidence during their hot dance in the club. Oliver Platt is so entertaining as Bulworth's top adviser who is losing his mind. Fed up and unable to cope he starts snorting coke and lashing out at the press and anyone else who questions the Senator's behavior. According to IMDB West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and writer/director James Toback (a very close Beatty friend) did a lot of uncredited rewrites to the script which was Oscar nominated. Bulworth is a great movie that just leaves a few too many loose ends and that let's the gimmick go on a little too long. ...more info
    Now I know there are a lot of you out there who found this movie silly. Who found it full of "stock characters," but unfortunately if you write it off at that then you have missed the entire point. This isn't about a senator or the corruption of government. It isn't about insurance companies cleaning up. It is about the American people. It is about apathy and not caring. It is about the truth. If you want to be blind then you will be, but if you want to see and try to see then you will have to face the truth and this film is full of truths. Check it out and ignore "film" critics....more info
    Who can say that motion pictures are not a mirror of the society ? When Frank Capra, during WW2, presented MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON or MR DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, it wasn't necessary for this director to give an explanation of the deep motivations which lead his heroes. Gary Cooper and James Stewart were idealistic guys whose actions please the audience's thirst for social justice. Now when Warren Beatty desires to shoot BULWORTH, he has to present a comedy if he doesn't want that the public considers his movie as a Disney product destined to the 10 years old audience.

    Jay Bulworth is going nuts because he hasn't anything to lose anymore. So why not tell the truth to the californian voters. BULWORTH is a public confession : Warren Beatty confesses to the world that he has always lied, that politics are made of this. BULWORTH is a bitter-sweet comedy : american people don't care. BULWORTH is a tragedy : he will be reelected.

    For sure Warren Beatty has had a great time writing BULWORTH. Who wouldn't have ? To tell, under the veil of a comedy, what you have kept hidden in your mind during years must be a real pleasure. Just think of the scene at the Hollywood moghuls' house. In my opinion, BULWORTH deserves to be considered as the best american movie of 1998 for his critical vision of a society looking for a lost ideal.

    A DVD zone your library....more info

    I saw this movie on video the year it was released and still I remember how AWFUL it was. Warren Beatty and Halle Berry trashed themselves in this movie.

  • An Obnoxious Film From an Obnoxious Hollywood Schmuck
    How disappointing it is to see a good idea turned into such bogus garbage. A politician, having put a hit out on himself, figures he has nothing to lose and decides to drop all the phony campaign rhetoric and actually say what he really thinks -- sounds like a pretty good film, right? Not when jackass Warren Beatty is involved. Gets 2 stars only because it is such a good idea for a film and it does have a few funny moments. Otherwise, this is a gigantic turkey of a movie. Just how long can one put up with the spectacle of Beatty rapping? What a sickening display. Not only that, but the film is also drenched in Hollywood's typical socialist prejudices. Beatty whips out the usual leftist claptrap about race, class, and privilege. Nothing is quite so precious as watching super-rich, limousine leftist-types preach to the rest of us about what an unfair society we live in. More proof that Beatty hasn't done anything worthwhile since Bonnie and Clyde.
    ...more info
  • A flawed gem
    Warren Beatty's Bulworth is an ambitious, slightly muddled satire that bears the earmarks of a labor of love. Beatty co-wrote, directed, co-scored, produced, and starred in this 1998 Twentieth-Century Fox film about a disillusioned, Democratic California senator who puts out a hit on his own life. The film features a fine ensemble cast, with many of Beatty's Hollywood acquaintances filling the ranks. Familiar faces like those of Jack Warden and Josef Sommers make up some of Bulworth's friends, while Oliver Platt provides some comic relief as Bulworth's piggish chief of staff. More stars make appearances throughout the movie.

    One of the movie's faults is its poor editing. The audio is terrible--some of the dialog is inaudible--and much of the film is very dark. I believe some of the quick edits and scene jumps were intentional, but it is actually difficult to see what is going on some of the time, let alone keep up with the frenetic plot. Because of the difficulty I myself had in following the movie the first time I saw it, I have summarized its basic driving events here.

    As our story opens, we find Bulworth sitting alone in his office, at night, watching videos of his campaign's television advertisements over and over. He weeps and sobs during the opening credits, and in the morning, the office comes alive. Oliver Platt bursts in, beginning his stream-of-consciousness chatter that continues almost ceaselessly throughout the film. Bulworth is being inspected by his doctor, who questions him about his eating and sleeping habits. Bulworth stares at the television, practically catatonic, flipping channels. A deal sealed later in the morning reveals that Bulworth is taking out an enormous life insurance policy, and plotting his own death.

    Bulworth boards a plane to Los Angeles and gets very drunk. When he arrives at the airport, he begins to become afraid. Second thoughts about his impending death crowd into his head, and he ducks and covers at every loud noise.

    Bulworth's campaign managers take him to a church in south central L.A., where he faces a huge crowd of loud, stirred up black people. The senator decides to let it all hang out now that his future is sealed. He frankly and without bias states the nature of politics, and of the Democratic party's neglect of the southern California black communities in their times of need. The people in the church shout so angrily, and Bulworth says such outrageous things, that Platt's character, Dennis Murphy, pulls a fire alarm in order to escape the building. While sitting in the car before pulling away, Bulworth is accosted by two twenty-something girls from the church, who ask for jobs on his campaign. In the crowd, Bulworth spots Nina, portrayed to devastating effect by Halle Berry, and he is smitten. Nina and the two other girls enter the limo and accompany Bulworth to his next stop.

    Bulworth, exhilarated by his confessions and by the presence of Nina, suddenly regains his appetite, which he had lost for several days. Munching from a bucket of fried chicken, he arrives at the home of a rich campaign contributor and proceeds to wolf down the delicate hors d'oeuvres while laying bare the true motivations of everyone in sight.

    This time, Murphy and the rest of the white staff--including the cameraman (Sean Astin) of a CNN news team that is following the senator "on the campaign trail" for 24 hours--end up in Bulworth's limousine with all of the black women. They proceed to a nightclub called Frankie's, in Compton, where all sorts of interesting things happen. Bulworth dances wildly with Nina and others until the early morning. He is coming alive again, energized by the new crowd he has found, feeling his manhood reawaken, and practicing his new favorite form of expression: rapping--well, sort of.

    In the morning, Nina skips out of the club early, and the others proceed to a large hotel, where a giant campaign breakfast is being held for Bulworth. He strides in late, his shirt stained with food, misses his cue, and blows off his speech. Spotting Nina in the crowd, he starts rapping again, accompanied by a handy small tape player carried by one of the other black girls from the church. Bulworth spills his guts on all the bigwigs in the room, and they look daggers at him. It's not long before all hell breaks loose, but Nina pulls Bulworth aside and asks him to take her up to his hotel room. The campaign staff prevents this, and Bulworth and Nina end up back in the limousine.

    With the prospect of sex with Nina ahead of him, Bulworth's one idea is to cancel the hit on his life. He now wants to live, but he cannot make contact with the man who arranged the killing. He drives the limo away with Nina in the back, and they hide in a friend's garage. Bulworth and Nina sit close and have an intimate conversation--one that reawakens yet another part of Bulworth. Nina is bright and cynical, as well as possessed of mesmerizing beauty.

    The couple is interrupted by Bulworth's friend Davers, who promises to call the appropriate person to cancel the "weekend research project," as he and Bulworth call the murder. Assured of his safety, Bulworth jubilantly drives away with Nina.

    Bulworth's new personality is now off and running, and Beatty is so gloriously affable that it works. Following Nina about like a puppy, he perfectly portrays a man suffering a mental breakdown of some kind, who chooses to follow his heart and not bother about what goes on in his head. In a way, Bulworth has already died, and has now been reborn with a new interest in life. Nina is his angel, and he clings to her desperately.

    In his travels through Nina's neighborhood, Bulworth encounters a drug dealer with a small army at his command, brilliantly played by Don Cheadle. Really, Cheadle steals his scenes, and one might wish there had been a bit more of his character in the movie, instead of the goofy campaign and CNN staff. In any case, Cheadle is the next torchbearer for what Bulworth is preaching (though neither he nor Bulworth realize it then) and he burns with appropriate intensity.

    Bulworth next finds himself being interviewed on national television--the tension between him and the host is delicious--and he regurgitates much of what Cheadle said to him, but is cut off by a real attempt on his life. Fear takes him again.

    Much of Berry's dialog sounds like it has been dubbed, and not too well. Her meek little voice still ends up being swallowed by the pounding cacophony of the rest of the soundtrack. The audio on this film needs to be re-edited--it was poor in the theater and is no better on the current DVD release.

    Nina takes Bulworth to her home again and puts him to bed in a small shed in the garden. Before he can sleep, he tells her about the hit on his own life, and Nina reveals that it was she who was hired to kill him. She needs the money to get her brother out of debt to Cheadle's hustler character.

    Bulworth sleeps for nearly three days, and in the meantime the news tells Nina's family that Bulworth has won the primary race, and is being touted for president. Before long, his whereabouts leak to the press, and television crews surround the house. Before long, Bulworth appears, immaculate in his newly cleaned suit. He prepares to depart, and asks Nina if she is coming. She hesitates, but joins him in the end. They share a kiss, and Nina gets into his limousine. Before he can join her, Bulworth is shot from above, and collapses. Cheadle and his men immediately cover the scene, protecting Nina.

    The film closes with the words of an old man in rags, shuffling along the street and crying, "Don't be a ghost! Be a spirit!"

    In the film, Bulworth gives up on his own life, signing its worth over to his daughter, and begins to purge his soul on the subject of political funding and the priorities of senators. He is brought out of wallowing in his own filth by Nina, who bewitches him. Motivated by Nina, his own newfound power of truthtelling, and exposure to the problems of some of the inner city blacks in Los Angeles, Bulworth is reborn. His death at the end of the film shows what really runs the world, and especially the politics of the United States: money. His new ideas and the spirit with which he injects his supporters are insignificant compared with a threat to big business. However, he began the film as a man sick of the world and of his own role in it, and by the end of the movie he has been reborn, and is killed at the moment that he gets what has driven him on his strange journey: Nina's affection. He dies a perfect being, clean of sin, and being all that he could have been. We should all die so well.

    This film is imperfect, but I love it for what Warren Beatty tried to do. He largely succeeds--the real holes that I found are Halle Berry (model, yes; actress, no), the audio editing, and a little too much of the silly campaign and CNN crews, whose acts wear thin quickly. ...more info
  • Warren Baetty = prick
    Yes back in 2000 I rented this garbage it wasted an hour and half and 18 minutes of my life the only decent film was Dick Tracey anyway a very talentless prick....more info
  • Bulworth - worth the price now even more than then
    So, ever heard of someone who gets in trouble for saying the unpopular thing? What would happen if a politician told part of the truth many people did not want to hear? Outrageous satire of what may or may not be true in politics (you decide), but it's more true in 2008 than in the year this film was made!...more info
  • Tells it like it is
    Films dealing with politics in Washington, DC, don't do well at the box office because, I guess, folks don't want to know what's really going on. But this film tells it like it really is more than any other film ever done. This is a cariacature, to be sure, but it reveals it like it really is. Of all the political films Hollywood has ever made, this is the one to watch. I could have done without the obscentities, but they fit here, because the real obscenity is what the politicians of both parties are doing to this country....more info
  • What were they thinking?
    What were they thinking? Nevermind, it's actually pretty obvious.

    Far from being the deft parody of modern civics that the producers obviously intended, this is an extremely silly movie that trivializes major problems, and frequently borders on being racist, classist, and anti-semitic.

    One problem is that this was Warren Beatty's attempt at being "hip" and reaching out to a whole new generation. Well, I'm part of that generation and let me tell you that it just came out as being creepy and pathetic. Warren Beatty and Halley Berry? "Ew" on so many different levels. Warren Beatty being accepted as some sort of "brothah"? You've got to be kidding me. Warren Beatty rapping? Please, just kill me.

    The other problem is that this movie attempts to address "problems" in a way that does nothing but rehash old stereotypes. This "inner city" was obviously dreamed up by an elderly woman from the midwest who has never actually met a black person, but has read books where she learned that some of them have hearts of gold and everyone else is a dangerous criminal intent on selling crack to five year olds.

    There is a definate generation gap in who likes this movie and who does not. The young, socially aware people that I know think that this movie is paternalistic, insulting, and stupid: and that Warren Beatty should just deal with the fact that he is no longer Hollywood's #1 Heart-throb. My parents and their friends thought it was great and that Warren still has his old spark. Though even they admited that Warren and Halley was pretty "ew."...more info

  • hilarious
    A very different comedy and a stellar performance by Warren Beatty. Never have enjoyed a movie this much!...more info
  • ...
    And now..cue the penguin music...

    Here is mio, Miss Jenny, with a song dedicated to ALL boring movies...which in fact boring discribes "Bulworth"! Okay. Here it goes. *Ahem* (Takes out guitar)

    Boring...Boring...Boring...Boring...Just like the movie itself!

    Boring...Boring...*Goes soar* Ahem. Gee! I HAD to sign that song during the whole two hours of the movie! I am going to lose my voice. Okay. On to the review. First of, the screenplay-can you say "tacky"? Oh! I'm sorry! I guess that was a little off...how about, if you can say "NERDY"?! YES! Nerdy! God, I dipise that stupid rap! Ugh! I HATE IT! I HATE IT! This movie, in my opinon was in the verge of becoming a rap musical! Warren Betty looks like a dork singing rap all the time! Oh God. This is the worst movie I've seen in my WHOLE life. Never has there been a worst movie!...more info

  • Hardhitting Comedy
    "Bulworth" was suprisingly good and entertaining. Beatty gives a first rate performance as Jay Bulworth, a politician who suddenly begins to care for the ignored segments of society who desperately need help. His transformation into a rapping, obsenity spewing, Halle Berry liking guy is actually believable. Excellent soundtrack also, wow! Bulworth makes many apt points about politics, and corporation's influence. I loved this movie, and the ending is truly sad. A must see!...more info
  • Superb movie, lousy DVD. Where's Bulworth when you need him?
    The importance and relevance of "Bulworth" has only grown after the 2000 and 2004 election results and all the hypocritical hoopla about "decency" in the media.

    Jay Bulworth is a man who's willing to speak his mind, truly support humane and democratic progressive ideals, and be offensive to BOTH conservatives and many liberals.

    Bulworth works both as a movie and the image of an ideal candidate because Warren Beatty didn't flinch from taking on sacred cows. He insults African Americans who blindly support OJ Simpson and need to "put down their chicken and malt liquor." He even goes after rich Hollywood Jewish producers. It is highly amusing that conservatives would hate this movie so much. Perhaps it is because Beatty has given us an example of a liberal who could actually win elections?

    In a post 2004 election world Bulworth is a cathartic escape. Forget the slimy politicians of the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) or the blindly ideological liberal activist base who don't have a clue about electoral politics. Here's a man who states the truth and STILL supports progressive goals.

    In one interview after Bulworth was released in theaters Beatty commented that the film had only one ending and nothing else was possible. Ultimately, the old adage: "the charismatic liberal leader will always be destroyed." Given the lack of heroic leadership within the Democratic Party it's hard to say if this the truth or not - we simply don't have any examples!

    Bulworth will no doubt go down in history as one of the best politically progressive films ever made. Yes, it's that good. Not despite Beatty's old white man rapping persona - perhaps because of it.

    While the film is destined to be a classic, this DVD is a severe disappointment. How could a movie with so much social and political importance have no DVD extras? There's not even a commentary track let alone a behind the scenes documentary! It's possible that the studios were simply trying to be as apolitical as possible. A recent re-release of "Three Kings" (another superb liberal film) excluded a documentary by director David Russell because it was supposedly too political. So perhaps the studios are willing to sell us these liberal movies. They just aren't willing to allow their makers to come forward and state their political views. Alas, it makes for a very poor DVD. ...more info
  • We're in real trouble
    Bulworth is ostensibly Warren Beatty's brave political satire in which a conservative senator suddenly starts liberally voicing those opinions that the rest of us are supposed to be thinking but are afraid to say. He tells a black church congregation to, "Put away the malt liquor and fried chicken and stop supporting running backs that stab their wives." If that's what you were thinking, you'll love this movie.
    Otherwise, Bulworth is jaw droppingly bad. To take such a hight position as to attack Beatty for suggesting that black characters need a white powerbroking partriarch to come to his senses before their concerns can be publicly considered is to give Bulworth way more credit than it deserves. It's distinguished from movies that are simply "bad" through its inclusion on the short list of truly dangerous ones. Not content to be racism hiding in plain site, Bulworth's racism is disguised as its own solution. Drug dealers have their transactions justified as the only commercial avenue open to otherwise well-intended African-American youths. Nina (Halle Berry) articulates an informed point, and it's a joke because attractive young black women look funny when they talk smart, like high-grammar versions of Zip Coon. In so doing, Beatty reminds black Americans that no matter what they accomplish, we know who they really are.
    However limited the potential of the opening premise (Bulworth plans his own assassination for insurance purposes before inevitably changing his mind), the film never approaches the kind of Farley Brotheresque world that would have been its natural destination. The sincerity of the politician's catharsis is hidden from us, both because his new outlook is originally motivated only by the insurance scam and because once Beatty starts rapping his lines, he NEVER stops, making the actor (as opposed to the character) look uncomfortable for the duration. That this movie lured audiences and critics into its didactic spell is astonishing.
    The film's ambition to be more than a cute little movie while being exactly the opposite reminds this reviewer of Roberto Benigni's embarrassing "Life is Beautiful" from the year before. Both have to be seen to be believed....more info
  • standing on the doorstep of a new millennium
    What's a Bulworth? Warren Beatty stars in and directed this movie that had all the earmarks of being a tremendous boondoggle. A pork barrel project if ever there was one. The premise is that a Senator hires a hit man to kill himself so his family can collect on the insurance. He has made some bad investments on pork belly futures, and you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Knowing that he is going to die soon, he feels free enough to do something no politician has ever done before: he starts telling the truth. Next thing you know he's fallen for Nina (Halle Berry) and has become the most ridiculous white rapper since Vanilla Ice.

    Sounds like a recipe for disaster? But wait, it is a great movie! Spike Lee WISHES he could've made Bulworth. It is so good that by the time it gets to Warren's Adrian Brody moment, you are actually rooting him on. Nina, played by Halle Berry, is his muse, his inspiration, the object of his desire, and his assassin, all rolled into one. She is smokin' hot, yet never has to even take off her top. She's like a kosher ham sandwich. I don't know how she does it!

    Nina: ...Yo.
    Bullworth: Yo. Yo, yo, yo to you.
    Nina: Later.
    Bullworth: I was, uh, hoping for sooner.

    Christine Baranski is Constance Bulworth, the wife. William Baldwin is Constance Bulworth's Lover (uncredited). Oliver Platt is Dennis Murphy, Bulworth's campaign manager. He has his hands and nose full trying to keep the Senator in line and himself in lines. Larry King is Himself. Though it is quite a stretch, he actually does OK. Same for George Hamilton and John McLaughlin. Don Cheadle is notable as L.D., a drug dealer. Isaiah Washington is Darnell, Nina's Brother. You might not think to look at him, but he was famous long ago, for playing that doctor on Grey's Anatomy who went with Sandra Oh. Jack Warden, who passed away on July 19th, 2006, played Eddie Davers, a spear carrier for the Senator. I remember him from Shampoo, another Warren Beatty vehicle that was also political, in its own little conditioner, rinse, and repeat way, from the pre-bicenntennial year of 1975. Mimi, a television technician who monitors the footage of the Senator's meltdown, is played by Laurie Metcalf. If you wonder where it is you've seen her, perhaps it was on Roseanne, where she was the sister.

    [after watching Bulworth lose it on TV]
    Mimi: Now - would we be eligible for an Emmy, or a Peabody?

    I don't know Mimi. Ask Bill O'Reilly.

    Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth gets away with saying the most outrageous things. He is also like a kosher ham sandwich. I don't know how he does it! I was extremely dubious when I heard the concept and saw a clip of Beatty as Bulworth in his rapper duds. How can this movie NOT suck? Plan 9 From Outer Space move over! Ishtar II, The sequel. But my fears proved to be unfounded. Warren Beatty has really created a classic character, and crafted quite a movie. Senator Jay Billington Bulworth, you have my vote.

    [Repeated line]
    Bullworth: You know, we're standing on the doorstep of a new millennium.

    Career Highlights of Warren Beatty:

    Bulworth (1998) .... Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth
    Bugsy (1991) .... Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel
    Dick Tracy (1990) .... Dick Tracy
    Ishtar (1987) .... Lyle Rogers
    Reds (Special 25th Aniversary Edition) (1981) .... John Reed
    Shampoo (1975) .... George Roundy
    Bonnie and Clyde (1967) .... Clyde Barrow
    Music From The Sound Track Of 'Mickey One' Played By Stan Getz Composed By Eddie Sauter (1965) .... Warren Beatty was Mickey One, title character of this Kafkaesque thriller {Don't know if it's available on DVD, but the soundtrack by Eddie Sauter and Stan Getz is, and it's gorgeous}.
    Splendor in the Grass (1961) .... Bud Stamper
    "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" .... Milton Armitage (6 episodes, 1959-1960)
    - The Fist Fighter (1960) TV episode .... Milton Armitage
    - The Smoke-Filled Room (1960) TV episode .... Milton Armitage
    - Dobie Gillis, Boy Actor (1959) TV episode .... Milton Armitage
    - The Sweet Singer of Central High (1959) TV episode .... Milton Armitage
    - The Right Triangle (1959) TV episode .... Milton Armitage
    (1 more)

    Hit 'N Run Halle's Greatest Hits:

    Monster's Ball (2001) .... Leticia Musgrove
    Boomerang (1992) .... Angela Lewis ...more info
  • Satire at its Best
    Red state or blue state, if you have an open mind, you will enjoy this great satirical film. The laughs keep coming....more info
  • Screwball Tragedy
    Beatty's suicidal Senator Bulworth takes out a contract on his own life, decides he wants to renege, unbeknowingly falls for one of the plotters(Halle Berry)... Etctera, etctera. Beatty even jumps nervously when cars backfire: it's that kind of schtick. But the film's premise does allow Bulworth to sound off on all the most deserving topics (the corporate hegemony, the ghettoization of black Americans). With nothing to lose, he's free to speak his mind, free to blast the mainstream's illusions about an "inclusive America." The observations are short but never superficial, merely concise. Bulworth graduates from soundbytes to a hilarious series of raps -- a conceptual coup, both for Bulworth and for the film.

    The senator's honesty leads to his assassination. We knew it would: Beatty's been gunned down again and again in his films, ever since the big machine-gun finale of 'Bonnie & Clyde.' And not only in films where you'd expect it, like 'Bugsy' and 'The Parallax View,' but even in 'Heaven Can Wait'! Anyone see a complex here?

    'Bulworth' was one of a late-90s trio of savvy political satires (the other two were 'Wag the Dog' and 'Primary Colors'), none of which found an audience. Too bad, because the film's final words, delivered by an elderly transient directly to the camera, should be taken to heart by all Americans: "You've got to be a spirit -- you can't be no ghost."...more info

  • Ghetto Senator
    This movie is about a Senator who gets fed up with lying to the people. However it is a movie that is a matter of taste. If you are sensitive regarding racial issues this is certainly not the picture for you. If you like racially laced humor and politics you will probably like this movie, if not fall in love with it. Warren Beatty is excellent in his role as senator Bulworth and Oliver Platt is a riot as Bulworth's campaign manager. Halle Berry is still the most beautiful women in the world...showing that she can make even a totally straight laced senator turn ghetto. It's got it's ups and downs and craziness...some humor and even some surprises. I thought the ending was somewhat surprising....more info
  • dark and stupid
    this is so stupid. the highlight is ghetto superstar the song which plays for 30 seconds. it was really dumb. i mean who would want to see a old guy rap about politics....more info
  • Common Thread of Disapproval
    Of the reviews highlighted on the Amazon front page for Bulworth, I couldn't help but noticing that the negative ones were predominately from the American South. I, as I also happen to be half black and am from Minnesota, despise rap music, and am often scared by full members of my black half, yet I found this movie enjoyable for other reasons. Bulworth shows shows that the reason so few, if any, movies based on politicians are about Republicans. Some of the greater movies are used to make the masses feel better after watching. If Bulworth was as conservative as he was liberal, he couldn't get away with his polka-fication of a flat tax proposal since 1: Polka is horrible, and 2: same reason for the flat tax. I would rather hear a man rap about the lower cost of government funded health care, Federal funding for candidates so they don't rely upon businesses, and the still visible social and economic restraints upon blacks...even blacks in Minnesota....more info
  • More like 3 1/2 stars
    I read about this film for years before seeing it. Now I understand why there was so much talk about this flick. It wasn't because it's a great film, for it's not. It wasn't because it set some kind of benchmark in political filmmaking.

    Why was it? Clearly, it was because Warren Beatty spoke for all of Hollywoods Democrats in the year this film was released, 1998, which was the pinnacle of then president Bill Clinton's lying, impeachment, and sexual escapades.

    So the contrast of the Beatty character -- a Democrat that suddenly turns around and tells the truth at fundraisers, begins singing in rap, and takes up with black chicks -- is what gave this movie its topicality at the end of the 1990s.

    Seen most of a decade later as art, not current political commentary, this is a funny movie but hardly a great one. The plot, it seems to me, is copied almost completely from the far more successful "Network" of 1976.

    While "Network" lampooned television news, this one lampoons politics. While "Network" featured an overwrought, burned out Walter Cronkite type that turns around, tells it like it is and becomes a national folk hero, "Bulworth" features a burned out U.S. senator that suddenly quits using bull as his message and starts telling the truth. While the hero of "Netowrk" is essentially killed because he got bad ratings, the hero of this movie finds a similar end.

    So this movie, while still somewhat topical, will be completely alien to the political landscape in the next 10 years. At that points it's only interest will be the place in plays in Warren Beatty's filmography. I don't think it will ever be the equal of his better films and it will certainly never compete with his portrayal of Lucky Luciano or his salad day films as sex symbol in the 1970s.

    So watch this one soon before its message becomes completely irrelevant!...more info
  • To Hell With What Spike Says...
    I loved this movie when it came out. saw it and laughed uncontrollably as warren beatty's "j billington bullworth" went from jaded politician to a rejuvenated crusader. ok, so he doesnt rap great and a politican in real life probably wouldnt engage in an interracial relationship(much less go public with it ), but i'm glad he took on such subjects. its about time more filmmakers showed that government no longer works for the people, but for big business and special interests. i personally agree with bullworth that everyone should have sex with each other until we become one color. unfortunately, this movie was too deep and too cynical for mainstream america( it bombed at the box office !) but it deserves a second life on video. an underrated political classic...more info
    Always one to challenge Hollywood convention, Warren Beatty's "Bulworth" could best be described with an abundance of adjectives: brilliant, controversial, confrontational, witty, thought-provoking, offensive, emotional, amusing, and daring. Unfortunately, most of the American film going public, accustomed to safer and lighter fare, did not get it. Hopefully, the future will be kinder and place this one on the pedestal of one of the best films of the 20th century....more info
  • Bulworth
    Bulworth explores the term "politically incorrect" with uproarious results. Beatty takes chances satirizing hypocrisy and insincerity within our political system, but the gamble pays off with a zany film that has something to say. Not for all tastes....more info
  • Beatty stands by his old left beliefs
    Warren Beatty is a curious character. He is that old style, A-list, Hollywood star who can wear his left-wing credentials on his sleeve and still be able to call the shots. Few others would have been in a position to make this movie.

    Senator Bulworth is running for re-election at the same time that he has a nervous breakdown. As corporate America queues up to buy his influence, his liberal past gazes down with disapproval at him from the photos on the wall - Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy. Sickened by the way he has sold out to the power elite, he arranges for his assassination so that his daughter can claim the life insurance. Once this is set up and he is dragged around the election circuit, he feels a great weight off his shoulders and he starts speaking his mind rather than the usual platitudes: He tells audiences that he acts for corporate America because they have the money - the people don't; medicine will never be socialised in America because the insurance corporations want to hold on to their profits; and government will never act on behalf of black people because black people lack all financial clout.

    Pretty radical stuff. Unfortunately, Bulworth is not good cinema. The story is hackneyed and unbelievable. It's basically a third rate thriller with left-wing politics dumped into it. The Battle of Algiers it is not. However, Bulworth still entertains. If the story does not convince, at least the pace never slackens. Certainly, Beatty deserves credit for remaining true to his political beliefs when many others have long since abandoned commitment to anything other than chasing the almighty dollar....more info

  • One of the worst movies I've seen in years
    What a terrible (and painful) experience this movie was. No new ground, just fairly inane political, social posturing and commentary that was done better on All In The Family years ago. Old white guy meets hip black girl, starts rapping at inappropriate places, shouts out bland comments about social justice, learns to party with the "peeps".

    Add that to the forced acting and...oh...nevermind...god...give me back my ninety minutes...or erase this from my memory....more info

  • Critical success?
    We all know that politicians bend to special interests and that many, if not most, aren't guided by principle or morals. We also know that inner-city public education is inadequate, that some minority children face jobs that present no possibility of fulfillment, that cops are sometimes abusive and racist, and that people are hypocritical and power hungry. So with all this to rally around, why doesn't this movie-with-a-message work?

    Well, partly because "Bulworth" isn't funny. We need more than simple shock to make us laugh. And Beatty leans on this crutch heavily. Simply put, a senator yelling obscenities at a fundraiser is old hat. It's been done in movies before, in more imaginative ways.

    "Bulworth" is full of annoyances as well. Beatty's rhyming is supposed to be hip, but is incredibly square and unhip. The result is not something that is "so bad that it's funny," it's just plain bad. And we don't just get a little rhyming, we get a lot. We also have to watch Beatty eat, something that should be included next to the MPAA rating on the package. Fans of this movie who are puzzled by my rant should go back and watch the scene at the Bev. Hills fundraiser. Yes, it's that annoying.

    Finally, the characters are one-dimensional: the cussing five-year-old street toughs, the assassin falling in love with the victim, the estranged wife who repeatedly sighs and rolls her eyes.

    The critical acclaim this film received in 1998 was surprising, given the meandering plot, the tired jokes, and the cookie-cutter characters. The good news: you have alternatives and they're probably all available from Amazon.

    The story of the conformist who snaps and cannot tell a lie is nothing new to cinema; Jim Carrey did it way better in the silly and superficial, but much more enjoyable "Liar, Liar." If you want to see a movie with a political message that seems a little fresher, consider "Traffic" or "The Contender." I would venture to say that these movies, as heavy as they are, actually have moments that are funnier than anything in "Bulworth," and they are both much better. In the department of white-bread rap, a Ronald Reagan sound-alike did "White House Rap." Finally, if you have to watch someone eat like a slob, catch John Belushi in Animal House....more info

  • Imagine...
    Imagine turning on the TV news (CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC) and hearing politicians actually speaking their minds and being absolutely (brutally) honest instead of saying what they're scripted / paid / obligated to say! Imagine the lobbyists and official handlers dropping dead from massive coronaries! BULWORTH is the sort of movie that makes you wish that all politicians were human rather than ideological automatons. We are so bombarded / brainwashed from both right and left that we take sides rather than balance them out! Warren Beatty is a liberal guy. However, this movie is hardly leftist propoganda! It is a cold slap in the face of politics itself, an indictment of a rancid system based on lies and dirty deals. A system fueled by billions of left and right wing dollars, seeking only to maintain the comfortable positions of it's members. BULWORTH takes aim and machine-guns the whole bloody mess! Imagine a world where politicians spoke from their hearts. Imagine them doing their true social duties, while working for a living! In BULWORTH, it takes a total nervous breakdown for his epiphany. If only real politicians had such breakdowns! I highly recommend this movie, but leave your liberal / conservative bias' out of it! They will only cloud things up! This movie would be a fantastic double feature with WAG THE DOG! Enjoy... ...more info
  • Conscience of a Politician Finds its way to the Surface
    What a great movie. Jay Bulworth, a US Senator, has himself a nervous breakdown, and hires a hitman to kill him. . . He dissapears for a few days and emerges with a conscience. He becomes dedicated to fighting poverty, with a twist. What a concept. The cast is great. The character interaction beween Warren Beaty and Halie Barry was wonderful. It is definatly dark, but it is hilarious....more info
  • still funny and true in 2003
    While very funny, and Halle is very sexy, and the song Ghetto Supastar still a classic (so the movie is very entertaining), still the movie's theme is powerful. It motivates one to get up and change the world, rather than letting it decay into crime and corruption. I liked the way that criminals are related to politicians, equally to blame for the mess....more info
  • I can't beleive someone bought this
    there are no words to describe how bad this really is. the only thing I can say is that it has no real plot. The progression of what plot it does have slow paced and it's not even funny not even once and usally if a movies really funny it can make you unaware of a terrible story...more info
  • Scathingly funny political satire
    Once a prolific superstar, the still bankable Warren Beatty had made just nine movies in the last decade. Three of these have earned him three Oscar nominations and one win. In the 1970s and 1980s, he ranked among the top ten playboys in American. His conquests were legendary. Some of his movies were steamy by the standards of their time. Now over sixty years old, he seems more than happily married to Annette Bening. He has reached the point where he can make movies that interest him. Perhaps we should make that ones which amuse him.

    Bulworth may have been the most singularly eccentric big budget movie of 1998. It's about a politician, but whereas Primary Colors stayed within a defined framework, Bulworth is all over the map. Yet, depending on your sense of humor, it may be the funniest political satire you will see for some time to come.

    Beatty is Jay Billington Bulworth, a United States senator from California who is up for yet another term. The time is 1996. As the movie notes, Clinton is running unopposed, and Dole is definitely going to get the Republican nomination. The public is unaroused, which means that the political climate is completely status quo. Meanwhile, Bulworth is about to have one heck of a nervous breakdown.

    The reason Bulworth goes bananas is never specifically stated, but the implication is that the games, deceptions and deceits that make up modern politics have finally undone him. In deep despair, he gets ten million dollars worth of life insurance and promptly arranges for his own assassination. The next day, he changes his mind. He spends the rest of the moving running both for office and for his life.

    He goes to fund raisers and insults his wealthy backers. He attends a church in Compton and tells his black audience that they are never going to get any help from Washington, because lower income people are only exploited by the big businesses that pay to get politicians elected. He becomes outrageously incorrect politically. The media, of course, always looking for a hot story, embraces him.

    There's that hit man to be avoided. We see groups of reporters following Bulworth, who hasn't slept in days. A car backfires. Bulworth starts walking very fast, and then breaks into a run. The reporters run after him. This is a visual sight gag that is hysterical. Sometimes, he makes a getaway by driving off in his big black limo. Such a vehicle looks ridiculous in a chase scene, to say the least.

    Beneath the sometimes dark comedy, Bulworth has a lot of insightful and painful comments to may about our often hypocritical and ineffectual government. These observations are made satirically, but effectively. This is not a heavy-handed work.

    One thing that hampered Bulworth at the boxoffice was its portrayal of the man in the black community. People didn't get it. They were offended, especially many liberal white people. Beatty was in no way making fun of African-Americans by showing a very streetwise group. His point, which I thought was fairly obvious, was that many people will behave in an antisocial way in a society that is largely indifferent and often hostile towards them. I think that's almost a no-brainer. Bulworth is that rare politician who has soul.

    I have never been fond of politics, perhaps because I grew up around a lot of good old boy politicians. I have always enjoyed movies about politics, because they are almost invariably cynical. From 1939's classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to Bulworth, Hollywood has shown that the American people are wise to what really goes on. Why we do nothing about it is another question....more info

  • Horrible
    Simply dreadful. I can usually finish watching most movies even I find them unappealing after I while, in the hopes of finding some redeeming qualities. But I could not finish this utter piece of crap! Beatty rapping is too annoying to be described and the script does little with an idea that could have went somewhere. Yuck!
    ...more info
  • A dirty word: socialism
    This is one of the most bitter, funniest and harshest movies in the 90's. Maybe the most. Warren Beatty, in his fourth film as a director - and his first one as a screenwriter - is great as this democrate, over-exhausted and desperate senator who turns crazy during his campaign and lets down the bla-bla-bla for some real talking.

    The beginning, in Washington, is depressive and real funny in the same time: Bulworth cries but he does it watching his own hypocrisy on the screen ('We stand on the doorstep of a new millenium...'). His marriage is a complete failure. Tired and desperate by his own life, disgusted by the empty, senseless and lying speeches prepared for him, he decides to get over all of this and puts a contract on... himself. Then he starts his campaign and arrives in L.A., first in South Central, the Black ghetto, and falls in love with a real beauty (Halle Berry, lately 'Academy-awarded'). He comes back to life and tries to cancel the 'research' he'd started but his contact has a heart attack...

    This very funny and inventive story was original enough for having being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1998, along with "Saving Private Ryan", "Life is beautiful" and "Shakespeare in Love". The film gives us many great and raving moments, especially that meeting that degenerates into a rap and hip-hop concert, and that broadcasted, hilarating, angry interview ('Obscenity?'). The soundtrack, 'rappy' and agressive (Dr. Dre, Ice Cube...), is quite unusual in a Hollywood great production, even if it mixes with Ennio Morricone's lyrical, superb partitions (what a great idea!) and with the usual political musical stuff.

    On the whole, Beatty makes us laugh as he shoots everything, especially the hard cynicism of the American political and business circles, showing the social and ecological failure of the system ('As long as we can drive a car, the whole planet can die'). He uses comedy and rap music - of course he (maybe) doesn't rap great, Mr. Kelly, but don't forget he's sixty! At his age, he makes a brilliant performance - to get his message through. And he does it so well, with so much strength that the movie was released with no rush and partly censored by the very studio which financed it. In Paris and suburbs, the movie was screened in only six theaters.

    But Bulworth doesn't care. He made it....more info

  • ...AWFUL
    Rates 0 stars (but Amazon can't give a rating less than 1).

    Patently offensive to blacks, whites, liberals and conservatives alike, foul-mouthed and without a single bit of socially-redeeming value....more info

  • Expect a doozy fare, and you'll enjoy...
    ...otherwise, you run the risk of disappointment. The first 10 minutes or so are riveting. A california state senate candidate has a death wish, being disillusioned with the filthy shenanigans of politics. Instead of committing suicide he plots his own assassination. Given his imminent death he gives himself a free reign during his final speech in the african-american rally in LA where he answers a question about "Where are your promises of insurance benefits for us black people?" with an unadorned tirade -- "Why should you guys matter? 50% of your kids are unemployed, and the other 50% are in jail". This is followed by an utterly irreverent anti-Semitic take during a meeting with media barons (all Jewish, of course).

    Such whimsical behavior in fact leaves the senator feeling so liberated that his death wish vanishes, and the movie turns into a frantic chase to track down his anointed assassin and cancel the plans. This lends the movie some of its hilarious moments and what could even have been an adorable pace.

    But the movie and its pace are thrown to the wind as we quickly get swamped with empathetic odes to negro stereotypes -- young black kids under 10 years of age selling dope on the streets using F-words as punctuation, abject poverty (15 people in a small shoddy home for e.g.), rusty cars from 1625 A.D. for the black folk but Rolls limos for everyone else, white cops badgering the afrincan-american drug salesmen and the kids of course replying in an F-laden rants with allusion to parental family members etc etc.

    As though this was not enough, a dreadful overdose of rap music compounds our woes (no no, I love rap music with a capital C) with the possible exception of Ghetto Superstar (yeah). Even the senator develops a rap-tongue and cannot seem to speak in anything but rhyme, whether on TV or in private tete-a-tetes with Halle Berry.

    Beatty's wrinkles show up in this movie but do little to add to his expressionless expressions, although he is convincing in his role. Halle Berry is confident as usual, but in her african-women-can-be-intelligent-too anti-stereotype role, seems to have a medical inability to smile because, clearly, intelligent people are always serious. The senator's chief of staff campaigner has a perpetual frown with all this bizzare callousness, which is somewhat grating. Everyone else does his/her job well - no more no less.

    Overall, a unique theme with a lot of promise that could easily have been a 5/5 material had Beatty not been so smitten with his inane takes on the minority agenda. Still worth a watch if you are interested in (what is almost) a "political satire"....more info

  • Loved it
    This movie joins two other movies I liked a lot, in dubious distinction, EYES WIDE SHUT and A THIN RED LINE. Both those movies' reviews, like the reviews below, are either one star or five star. I guess I like unorthodox, unformulaic movies, because I like all of them. Bulworth is original and resonant and funny. (To the reviewer below who thought Beatty was trying to be hip in his rapping, when in fact he was square and unhip. He was TRYING to be square and unhip. He said so in interviews when this movie was out.) A little side-note, the pulse of this movie, believe it or not, was inspired by a Jules Verne story. Beatty personally asked the Verne family if he could take credit for it as an original story, since the plot had changed so much, and they said okay. But the Verne story was about a man who hired a hit on himself, so to give credit here where it is due. I read about this in the book THE GROSS....more info
  • Not for the politcally faint of heart
    First of all, let me state that while I liked this movie it does have many problems and I agree with the more intelligent negative reviews that it has received. But "Bulworth" appealed to me not so much because it provided the right answers but because it asked the right questions. It did so in a humorous, "no holds barred" fashion that is equally likely to alienate the right wing bigot as the politically correct campus moron.

    "Bulworth" is about a politician whose failed personal life and hypocritical political one compels him to kill himself. He puts a contract out on his life and while he's waiting to be knocked off he's suddenly free to say whatever he wants.

    And so he does. During a 72-hour insomnia marathon, Bulworth ditches his canned speeches, and sound bites and instead says what's really on his mind. He tells a black church that he doesn't really care about their vote because they are black. He tells a Jewish group that you can't run for office without appeasing the Jews. He drinks whiskey during a political debate and explains to the camera that he doesn't care. Sound like Jack Nicholoson is running for office? Not exactly. Bullworth also falls in love with a black woman and becomes exposed to a different world of rap clubs, armed kids selling drugs, and police brutality.

    I can understand where a lot of reviewers got turned off here. Yes, the black gang leader and white racist cops are stereotypes. And yes, Bulworth's journey into this world is just too smooth and easy. But to the film's credit, real issues of racism, crime, and poverty are handled in a blunt unsentimental fashion that somehow avoids the in-your-face brutality that often comes with realism. When Bulworth intervenes to prevent youthful drug sellers from being bullied by the police his actions and motive come from practical benevolence instead of a self-righteous crusade.

    One of the funniest and most powerful moments of the film occurs when Bulworth asks the armed prepubescent drug sellers "shouldn't you be eating ice cream instead of being out here?" In the next scene, Bulworth buys the kids-guns and all-ice cream cones. The film is telling us in the simplest and least didactic manner that these are just kids. They should be leading a normal child's life, not a life of crime.

    Bulworth's relationship with various characters and the events that transpire are unbelievable to a large degree, but this isn't a documentary. It's a film that exposes a problem and raises questions about how to solve it. The problem is political hypocrisy. All of the politicians who are driven by corporate money and surveys have no interest in solving real problems. At the same time, the excuse of the crime boss, that at least he's providing children with some degree of wealth by employing them to sell drugs is exposed for the self-serving lie that it is.

    At the end of the film, Bulworth doesn't save the world and things don't magically work out. Once he comes down from his insomnia and manic speech acts he has to face the world as an uniformed politician again. But his transformation is real. As he leaves the black woman's house looking almost ashamed to be there he turns and asks "are you coming?" Then he explains that he loves her but he's insecure about being White. He isn't' a superman whose been transformed by his experiences, but he has grown and one senses that whatever he does it will be a meaningful compromise between the sellout politics of his past and the shock value activities of his recent experiences. The black crime boss must also compromise if he is to truly change things in his neighborhood for the better. In order to make meaningful changes in his community, he must maintain his ruthless reputation to some degree, but now he dose so as a self-conscious facade.

    I agree that Warren Beaty's rapping was sub par, but who cares? "Bulworth" makes a powerful statement that in order to transcend problems of crime, poverty, racism, and political corruption we are going to have to take a cold hard look at who we really are and what is really happening around us. Accepting other people--particularly from different racial and economic backgrounds--has to be more than just an insincere speech act. It must be an act of good will that is grounded in practical reality....more info

  • Great Movie
    This is a great movie. I remember watching it many years ago and when I wanted to see it again and couldn't find it at blockbuster, I decided to buy it. The one thing that surpised about this movie, when watching it many years later, is how applicable all the policitcal issues are today, from the invasion Iraq to the profit driven health care system. Makes you wonder what progress we've had, if any at all......more info
  • Come on, let me hear that dirty word - SOCIALISM!
    If you like political comedy, this is THE show for you. Beware, it deals mainly with the politics of the mid-1990s, a time when the Democratic Party was trying to develop a more conservative image to recover votes from the Newt Gingrich army. And who better to play senator Jay Bulworth than Warren Beatty, the same guy who directed REDS and played its American Communist hero?

    Basically the idea is this: Democrats are (or WERE as of 1996) taking more and more money from corporations and financial interests in exchange for policies that favored big money over the poor and working class. Senator Bulworth is shown crying in the opening scene, probably in shame and guilt at what he and the Democrats have become. He is so upset that he plots a final effort to extract life insurance money for his family. But then something happens!

    Upon visiting a ghetto in the LA area, Bulworth suddenly develops a brutal honesty instead of the "typical politician" double talk. It is then that he undergoes a transformation, shedding his conservative image for a crass and unabashedly leftist series of rants (and he takes up freestyle rap to deliver the message). Basically he says: Politics is dominated by big money, the Democrats have betrayed the little guy, and it's time for a new grassroots movement. He makes sure to show some support for campaign finance reform and single payer health care (hence the dirty word, "socialism." I wonder if Beatty had fond memories of Jack Reed and REDS when they shot that scene?).

    Interestingly this film came out in 1998, and many of the core ideas it explores became the focus of Ralph Nader's 2000 campaign for President. Today it is John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich who have taken up the role of working class heroes. The next few years will tell whether the Democrats truly can be a party of the people -- or if it is finally time for the masses to break ranks and independently form a real people's movement....more info
  • A sincere movie with no target demographic.
    A politician has nothing left to lose -- so why not speak the truth? Warren Beatty's Senator Jay Bulworth lays down the smack: the reason the working man (in this movie, the working class is cleverly disguised as hip-hop mavens) doesn't have a voice, is he doesn't have the sway or monetary bullocks to *buy* a voice. Words aren't worth a penny unless you're worth billions. And of course, from the first instant, this divine fool's failure is certain and imminent: Big Business, what with its grimy fingers perpetually immersed in the U.S. Government's proverbial tub of crunchy Jif, would never allow a politician like Bulworth to succeed, at the risk of the working class' newfound capacity to leech the power from the insurance companies and tire manufacturers.

    But here's the best part: this poor movie didn't stand a chance of finding a target demographic, just as we know from the first instant Bulworth doesn't stand a chance, either. The movie's occasionally bawdy humor is poised to captivate, paradoxically, *my* demographic (19-year olds who appreciate taboos about racial tension), while its sad, sad message is better suited to working class families who "get it," rather than to, say, people who rent movies all the time, or play the stock market, or capitalize on apathy. In that respect, Bulworth is a sad story, indeed....more info

  • gutter language = gutter movie

    I rented this when it was new. Liked it very much except for the language. It's about as bad as it gets. I've heard and used it all but the constant use of the 'MF' word ruined it. Liked it so well I would have bought it if the language wasn't so stupid. ...more info
  • Could be something if we only knew what it was
    I watched this film,and it seems unclear. You have this senator who puts out a hit on his self. Then tries to changes it. He goes around and raps and take up African American mannerisms. What is his point? Now, I can see that he is tired of his life and the way it's going,but what does it have to do with getting with African Americans? The best part of the picture is when Beatty dogs out these LAPD, and this little kid remarks how this is the best thing he ever saw in his whole life, and he's no more than eight or nine. Imagine that. This could have been a great film if only you knew what it was....more info
  • Ghetto Superstar!
    A senator has lost his desire to campaign for office and to live. He blasts Hollywood, specific communities and the media because he doesn't care anymore. Jay Bulworth (Warren Beatty) raps and declares obscenity a way of life. Listen foo, you got to tell it how it is. You gotta drop the next tizzy on the nizzy. Fo sho. "Bulworth" really is a good movie that expresses freedom of speech and crosses the boundary of unity within other cultures. You feel it dawg? Halle Berry also stars. Children use foul language and eat ice cream. Bulworth raps some more. What more do you want? Funny....more info
  • Absolutely Nauseating!
    I don't care what the Hollywood media machine has told the world about this annoying and worthless film. Every character is a cliche. Warren Beatty and Halle Berry have NO chemistry! If this is what's left of his creative soul, he should just check into a home and get an alcohol addiction -- the anti-depressants are overwhelming his common sense.
    The only redeeming quality is Oliver Platt's natural comic presense. But that does not make up for this film insulting every ethnicity, culture, community, and individual in America, not to mention all of our intelligences.
    I was so disgusted and nauseated by this film's arrogance and hypocrisy that I had to leave my grandmother's house -- she still finds Warren charming! If aliens were to see this movie as a first impression of us, we would all be gone in a flash of brilliant white light, which anyone who likes this movie would deserve. This movie makes me angry for living in Hollywood.
    By the way, Warren Beatty "raps" throughout this film, so have a trash bag and smelling salts handy. ZERO STARS!...more info
  • racist, socialist nonsense
    This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Beatty, a wealthy playboy, tries to paint all whites as willingly racist and stepping on the poor, while at the same time demonstrating anti-semitism. Nice divisive garbage, Beatty. Not funny. Not relevant or at all honest....more info
  • Pigs can't fly and neither can this film....
    This movie is upsetting & putting that into words reminds me of how my neighbor once believed pigs could fly. In other words, there are just too many places I can start & tell you why this is a bad movie.

    Stock characters: We all know them. The alpha bigot white cop, the smirky black street kid, the evil businessman, the black vagrant who knows just a little more about the world than we do..there's more. We never believe them, because cardboard and cliches do not a character make.

    Implausibility: the hit person who forgoes a job for love, the dope dealer who turns good and is 'gonna do good' but we don't know what he means by this & how he would finance it w/out using his lucrative, immoral trade. it isn't discussed because that's a straw on a camel's back and that camel is loaded down with improbability.

    Wasted performances: Beatty, Halle, & especially Platt waste talent in a poor story because even a good actor in a bad movie is still a good actor in a bad movie.

    Warren's raps: ill-informed and generally silly. Serious wincing when watching this.

    Muddleheaded politics: it was a brave movie to make, but its vague politics take the form of socialist/marxist posturing that doesn't jibe with reality. By the way, is Beatty aware in lionizing malcolm x in one photo, it seems, that this same man once held a joint rally with skinheads for an america where blacks would live in one section and whites in another? Also, what's this idea we have to copulate until there are no races? As specific as he is about the problems, they are whipped up into hollywood lather that has no semblance to reality. No wonder the solutions are so dumb. As hard as beatty is on other politicos-& he does have HIS points-his solutions are out of a Peter Pan tale. MOve manufacturing back to US? How about the tech economy or hispanic or asian issues? Also, beatty goes on about violent movies and his Bonnie & Clyde was one of the gatecrashers in terms of movie violence.

    Basically, it gets sloppy very fast and the suspense built is drained away by all the posturing. & that MLK homage was horrid. Was that REALLY respectful to MLK or even restrained enough to merit its inclusion?

    bad movie. Watch @ your own risk. If you take your movies with a little thought, then skip this. It encourages you not to think in order to embrace Harlequin Romance world....more info

  • The gospel of Bulworth
    Most important movie of 1998? Right up there with American History X. Not bad for a comedy. A fictional movie that's honest and truthful about the sad state of American politics, you should watch this movie and give it serious thought....more info
  • Warren Beatty For President!
    Brilliant biting political satire--Beatty nails his character to the cross of truth letting rip a tale that will have you laughing and cheering him every step of the way. As Beatty once remarked, "I'm a traitor to my class." Living up to his word, Beatty shines a light on the corruption that is our status quo. Bulworth is still as relevant today as when it was released over decade ago--see it and see the lies shoveled at us in the mainstream--owned by the rich--media, for what they really are....more info
  • Ghetto-Fabulous
    The star of Bulworth is Warren Beaty. Not only as the title character, but co-writer, producer, and director of a film that for all exstensive purposes, should not get made in today's modern P.C. (pretend un-P.C.) Hollywood climate. As a writer is where Warren really shows his talent, creating a quick, rich, unrelenting script that is at times satire, comedy, and political anthem all at once.

    Bulworth is the name of central character Jay Billingsly Bulworth, a California Democrat who has recently forsaken his long-standing leftist beliefs for the sake of reelection in 1996. When we meet Bulworth, he is suffering somewhere between a nervous breakdown and a crisis of conscious over his new path and life which eventually leads him to arrange his own assasination. When that assasination fails to occur on time, Bulworth, forced to continue his routine, begans to publicly unravel his reputation and political career by speaking truths about the state of modern affirs and politics. Essentially telling a black church that promises made in the wake of the L.A. riots were no more than photo-ops, and that we were unimportant because they didn't contribute money to his campaign.

    Eventually, Bulworth begins to enjoy his new-found frankness, telling a bunch of Hollywood Moguls (in a wonderful scene by a lamenting star from the old system) that they made garbage and were only on his stop because they were "Jews". Thus continues his travels as he makes friends with several ghetto-females from South Central, one of which (Halle Berry) he begins to fall in love with despite her somewhat shady secret. Before long, with a new leash on life, Bulworth regrets the decision to take his life, and tries to undo the assasination, all the while watching his new political approach have a startling positive affect at the polls.

    Bulworth mainly consist of decidly leftist beliefs (almost socialistic) which may turn off political opposites. But the theme of both the failure of modern politics, as well as the aching loss of black leadership is one that should be appreciated by all. When you throw in the great laughs and touching views of an elder statesman of Hollywood, with a wonderful soundtrack featuring Ice-Cube, Public Enemy, Mack 10 and others, what you are left with is a completely unique and enjoyable film experience....more info

  • A DVD review
    A DVD that I got as a gift which I didn't consider adding to my collection. A very funny political satire. The sound and picture were adequate for the style of the film. Not much that makes use of the extra capabilities of a DVD. One trailer and some cast biographies. Overall a slightly below average value if you liked the film....more info


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