Michael Shoob

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Bush's Brain Review


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The line of reasoning goes like this: George Bush is an idiot, yet he's now happily perched in the White House; the only reason he's there has to be the dark, Svengali-like figure who's masterminded his rise to power, Karl Rove. This theory is posed in the opening scene of the nervy documentary Bush's Brain, which shows Bush being treated to all the pomp and circumstance of his office, before plastering a question on the screen: "How did this happen?" What the filmmakers promise is an investigation into the mind and methods of Rove, the GOP puppetmaster, but what is actually delivered is much, much less - proving once again that Rove always wins.

Bush's Brain is based on the book of the same name by Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News bureau chief in Austin and TV correspondent James C. Moore, both of whom are extensively interviewed in the film. Both long-time Texan journalists, they've been covering Bush and Rove for years - the wry Slater is especially engaging and sharp-witted, as he proved before in the documentary Journeys with George - and it's in the Texas-based sections of the film that it's most successful.

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