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Bobby [Movie Review] ^ | Michael Medved

Posted on 11/24/2006 11:01:01 AM PST by Fiji Hill


Bobby uses an all-star cast to follow more than twenty characters through one of the most fateful days in American history.

CLIP: “Senator Kennedy, welcome to the Ambassador Hotel.” “Thank you very much.”

That’s Anthony Hopkins as a hotel doorman who joins Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Lawrence Fishburne, Christian Slater, and many others to dramatize the night of Robert Kennedy’s assassination at his LA victory celebration in 1968.

CLIP: “What if Kennedy loses?” “We can all forget it now. I’m 19, Jimmy, I don’t want to go to Vietnam.” “Do you?” “Now that Dr. King is gone, I don’t have nobody.”

This is a particularly moving film for me because I was there as a young Kennedy volunteer on that June night when Bobby was shot. I can confirm that director/writer Emilio Estevez gets most of the feelings of the occasion right. But, the melodramatic, multi-character format proves somewhat uneven and distracting. Rated R for language, violence, and drug content…

THREE STARS for the intriguing but imperfect Bobby.

That’s a wrap. I’m Michael Medved for Eye on Entertainment.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: California
KEYWORDS: 1968; bobby; kennedy; medved; rfk
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To: FReepapalooza
Although you may have come in thinking you were going to get the story of Robert F. Kennedy on his final day on earth, Bobby turns out to be a sort of Upstairs, Downstairs behind-the-scenes look at that tragic day.

The film’s focus is on the “little people,” who range from the recently retired hotel doorman (Anthony Hopkins), who plays chess in the lobby with a fellow retiree (Harry Belafonte), to the rocky relationship between the headliner in the hotel’s Coconut Grove nightspot, (Demi Moore), who is an abusive lush, and her ever-patient emasculated husband (Estevez), who walks her dog as he rides her gravy train..

Estevez bounces back and forth between these stories. It’s quickly clear that some are meant to underline the events and sentiments that propelled the United States in that era. Thus, there’s the poignant story of a young woman (Lindsay Lohan) who is marrying a longtime friend (Elijah Wood) not out of love, but to save him from what they feel is certain to be a military assignment in Vietnam.

For comic relief, there’s a pair of teenage Kennedy campaign aides (Brian Geraghty and Shia LeBeouf) who, instead of ringing doorbells to get out the vote in the primary, hightail it to the hotel room of a hippie drug dealer (Ashton Kutcher) for marijuana. Instead, they are persuaded to ingest sugar cubes laced with LSD, which sends them on a wild, psychedelic acid trip.

A subplot about the Hispanic kitchen staff seems closest to today’s headlines, reflecting the plight of immigrant workers. Here Freddy Rodriguez plays a young busboy who’d rather be watching a pivotal Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game than following his last-minute assignment to cover the Kennedy campaign dinner. Jacob Vargas is his belligerently angry co-worker, who feels downtrodden by the system. Christian Slater is their slightly bigoted boss. Laurence Fishburne is a cook who turns up to reflect on what is needed to change the less-than-fair racially charged system: Every now and then Bobby pauses to deliver a philosophical message that is supposed to be uplifting, but too often sounds preachy.

These characters are leagues away from the wealthy stockbrocker (Martin Sheen, Estevez’s father in real life) who arrives at the Ambassador with his pretty, pampered wife (Helen Hunt), on their way to what they hope will be that night’s victory party for RFK and a revival of their strained marriage.

Less attuned to the film’s particular focus is Sharon Stone as the hotel’s flashy hairdresser; her purpose in the plot is to steer Lohan’s and Moore’s characters toward the right path. Yet one fears trouble ahead because Stone’s Miriam is married to the hotel manager (William H. Macy), who is having that adulterous affair with the switchboard operator.

Whew! There sure is a lot of soap opera froth to swim through in Bobby, although fortunately much of it is anecdotally interesting, if not earth-shattering...Review

The movie was given the name BOBBY, but it is more the timeframe of events involving the "little people" on the day(s) during this historical event in history. The title leads one to believe it is about RFK; when, in fact, it is not. It is just a piece of fiction..a Hollywood movie..out to make lots of big bucks for your entertainment purpose only.

101 posted on 11/24/2006 3:36:47 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: Fiji Hill; Amish
We elected a conservative governor as late as 1986, when George Deukmejian won re-election.

I have not been to California much, but in my opinion the best way to elect a conservative Republican statewide in California would be to run a conservative Hispanic Republican based on social issues. RINO Republicans would be opposed because of the issues, and the Hispanics may be more concerned about immigration and economic left wing issues at this time, but the day may come!!

102 posted on 11/24/2006 3:47:45 PM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (I went down in 1964 for Barry Goldwater with all flags flying! This is just a blip!)
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To: Arizona Carolyn
As in most conflicts when the adversaries aren't homicidal/suicidal lunatics, the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis gave both sides something they wanted. Nikita Sergeyevitch agreed to remove what he called "the weapons you [the U.S.] describe as offensive" in exchange for our promise not to invade Cuba. To sweeten the deal, Jack had Bobby conduct back-channel negotiations with Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet ambassador to the U.S., the upshot of which was our dismantling of our Jupiter missile bases in Turkey.

In a way, I miss those guys.

103 posted on 11/24/2006 3:54:35 PM PST by Tenniel (For those who govern, the first thing required is indifference to newspapers. -- L.A. Thiers)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Thanks for the enlightening review. I can think of a lot of others ways to spend or waste a couple of hours. I think I'll stick to reading.

104 posted on 11/24/2006 3:57:31 PM PST by FReepapalooza
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To: Fiji Hill

I'm shocked to hear that. /s

105 posted on 11/24/2006 5:34:33 PM PST by Let's Roll ( "Congressmen who ... undermine the military ... should be arrested, exiled or hanged" - A. Lincoln)
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To: Rakkasan1

i never heard WHY rfk got the wiretap on mlk.
do you happen to know what the kennedys were worrying about?

106 posted on 11/24/2006 5:41:07 PM PST by drhogan
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To: fight_truth_decay
Here Freddy Rodriguez plays a young busboy who’d rather be watching a pivotal Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game

The pivotal game was Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale's sixth consecutive shutout, which broke the world's record. I was at Dodger Stadium on May 31, 1968, when Drysdale tied the record. As I entered the stadium, a young man passing out campaign literature asked me, "do you want to vote for Senator Kennedy?" I answered, "no thanks, I'd rather not." I may have been too young to vote at the time, but I was old enough to have an opinion.

107 posted on 11/24/2006 7:11:22 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: Rakkasan1
...what was his stance on the Patriot Act and wiretapping?

He was wiretapping the mob without warrants.

108 posted on 11/24/2006 7:22:54 PM PST by Dan(9698)
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To: Arizona Carolyn

I remember also. I agree.

109 posted on 11/24/2006 8:08:35 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Victory will never be achieved while defining Conservatism downward, and forsaking it's heritage.)
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To: Diogenesis
Good partial list of Islamic/Arab terror attacks.

Add the 1973 murder of US diplomats Cleo Noel and George Moore. The US diplomats and a Belgian colleague were taken hostage/murdered by Palestinian terror group Black September during a reception at the Saudi Embassy in Kharthoum. Among the terrorists' principal demands was the release of Sirhan Sirhan. President Nixon refused to negotiate.
110 posted on 11/24/2006 8:34:49 PM PST by Godwin1
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To: Lexington Green
24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan steps down from a tray-stacker with a "sick, villainous smile" on his face and starts firing at Kennedy with an eight-shot revolver

What is it with recent political assassins choosing 22LR revolvers? Sirhan Sirhan used an Iver-Johnson and John Hinckley, Jr. used a Rohm RG-14 22LR instead of the .38 Spl he also apparently had on him at the time. I feel guilty shooting a raccoon with something so underpowered.

111 posted on 11/24/2006 9:19:36 PM PST by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: L98Fiero
Kind of bugs me in the preview with the whole "the border crossed us" comment from the Hispanic guy. Way to make RFK seem to have a stance on a modern issue.

Well RFK was playing up the Hispanic's during that Cal primary.. I was 12 in 68 and lived in So Cal. RFK did a open car motorcade in the area I lived (Pico Rivera, about 50/50 white Hispanic at the time)

So went out to watch and shook RFK's hand (I was no supporter of RFK but it was a big deal)....

I remember the campaign buttons they were tossing to the crowd...

It has a round Aztec calender on it, with the words "Viva Kennedy"

112 posted on 11/24/2006 9:39:04 PM PST by tophat9000 (Al-Qaidacrats =A new political party combining the anti American left and the anti Semite right)
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To: napscoordinator

Funny. I wasn't even thinking of CHARLIE Sheen.

113 posted on 11/25/2006 4:50:03 PM PST by Melinda
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To: drhogan
"i never heard WHY rfk got the wiretap on mlk.
do you happen to know what the kennedys were worrying about?"

Supposedly, the Kennedys thought he had communist connections.
114 posted on 11/25/2006 5:22:08 PM PST by Andy'smom
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To: Our man in washington

What most people don't realize is that the idea most people have of the Kennedy's was created after JFK's assassination. Jackie admitted to a public relations campaign to create an image. She intensified that campaign when RFK was assassinated. Most people today don't really have an accurate picture of the Kennedy's. At best JFK was a mediocre to poor president who basically had no clue. RFK was so caught up in social issues that who knows what would have happened if he had lived. Kind of Scary.

115 posted on 11/26/2006 8:54:50 AM PST by Ptaz (Take Personal Responsibility--it's not fun, but it's the right thing to do.)
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To: Andy'smom


116 posted on 11/26/2006 10:05:46 AM PST by drhogan
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To: drhogan
the book of bobby kennedy's own words sounds interesting--i've always heard from liberal worshippers of jfk that he would have pulled out of VN.

One worshiper at the Church of Kennedy actually said to me, "And there was no AIDs epidemic or homeless people when he was President."

117 posted on 11/29/2006 7:12:08 AM PST by N. Theknow ((Kennedys - Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat - But they know what's best.))
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To: N. Theknow

yeah, and no people getting abducted by aliens, no terrorist attacks on NYC, no crack epidemic in the inner cities, and no pornography on the internet!

if JFK hadn't been assassinated, we wouldn't have these problems!

(and no Costco or Walmart either! no bad movies with antonio banderas or julia roberts. NONE of these problems started until right-wing elements killed him!)

118 posted on 11/29/2006 4:02:30 PM PST by drhogan
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

Thanks for the ping LtheGOP. Haven't seen you around in a while. Heard Michael Medved talk about this on his radio show. I think Estevez would have done a better job had he consulted Michael about the events.

119 posted on 12/02/2006 11:02:44 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: EveningStar; HitmanLV; grame; SWake; bitt; shoot this thing; RightInEastLansing; itsamelman; ...

Cultural Crusader ping. Anyone want on or off the Michael Medved ping list, please send me an FR mail.

120 posted on 12/02/2006 11:08:12 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: Rosemont

Another Kennedy legend non hero. However, they all got to enjoy Marilyn, probably not fatass though.

121 posted on 12/02/2006 11:10:39 AM PST by dforest
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To: Zionist Conspirator
Contemporary leftists have a bad habit of treating people like FDR and JFK as if they were gay liberationists. However, according to leftist Hegelian thought, the TVA and Peace Corps were the "gay liberation" of their day, and if FDR or JFK were around today they'd be in the forefront of the perversion lobby. And considering the number of fossilized leftists who promote this stuff (or are silent about it), I can't say that they're wrong.

Well, of course in their own day, they weren't. But John Kennedy -- at least in part -- followed the Harvard consensus of his day, and he'd follow that consensus where it went -- though maybe not on all issues. JFK wasn't entirely a liberal in his own time. He certainly wasn't a gay liberationist. But if he were still alive today, I doubt he'd be a part of the Christian Coalition or the Moral Majority.

Moreover, Democratic ex-presidents and ex-presidential candidates, do tend to go left in retirement. At least Carter did. It's the same phenomenon that drives television ex-anchormen like Walter Cranked further left.

The things that kept JFK more conservative than some other Democrats in politics (his Irish background, Catholic distrust of liberal Protestants and Protestant liberals, his father, etc.) wouldn't have been as strong a force on him had he lived out his term.

Kennedy wouldn't have been a liberal saint had he been reelected -- Vietnam and Cuba separated him from his liberal critics -- but out of office he would have done what he could to satisfy the liberal establishment, because as with Carter or Clinton, they'd be the curators of his reputation and the people he interacted with most.

122 posted on 12/02/2006 11:26:15 AM PST by x
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To: headstamp

"Heck, there is a letter floating around on the net that JFK wrote to Colt thanking them for the AR-15 rifle they sent him. He enjoyed firing it when he was out on his boat.

Not sure if it is true or not though."

If someone dug into the Boston Globe's archives, they could probably turn up a photo that I recall from the late 60's:

Ted Kennedy at his desk with a nicely framed display model M-16 on the wall behind him while he's expounding on the associated military contract for his district........

Wonder how long that took to "lose". /mega sarc/

Wonder if the Glob has managed to "lose" all record of that picture and the article. /hyper sarc/

123 posted on 12/02/2006 11:49:15 AM PST by Unrepentant VN Vet (Merry Christmas. (Refer complaints about being offended to your Chaplain...or whatever.))
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To: beaversmom; Fiji Hill

Thanks for the ping, beaversmom. I don't go to the movies anymore; however...

I mourn the loss of the Ambassador Hotel. It was unique and beautiful and a treasured part of my growing up in L.A. Enjoyed lunch at the coffee shop many times and just strolling the grounds.

124 posted on 12/02/2006 12:19:52 PM PST by La Enchiladita (People get ready . . .)
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To: x
It's the same phenomenon that drives television ex-anchormen like Walter Cranked further left.

I thought Cronkite's Leftism was simply because the American Establishment is really secretly behind Communism, making all plans at the annual Bohemian Grove meetings of old Republican money (where Cronkite once served as "the owl").

Hey, that would explain universal Leftist anti-Americanism as a cover for the fact that Communism is really an American plot to take over the world (as well as why there isn't a single "revolutionary" in the world who advocates the armed overthrow of the US government).

But I still wonder who's the secret number one man now that David Rockefeller is ninety years old.

125 posted on 12/02/2006 5:54:38 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator ("Ya`aqov lo' ye'amer `od shimkha ki-'im Yisra'el; ki-sarita `im-'Eloqim ve`im-'anashim vatukhal.")
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To: La Enchiladita
The first time I visited the Ambassador Hotel was in 1976, when I attended a victory rally for Ronald Reagan, who had won the California primary in his second try for the White House. I found myself near the front when he spoke. The actor Jimmy Stewart also made an appearance.

One of my favorite locations to take a photograph in Los Angeles was in front of the hotel looking north. Across the street was the Brown Derby restaurant, which was shaped like a derby hat, and above it one could see the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign on Mt. Cahuenga. Unfortunately this view is gone--blocked by a high rise that stands where the Brown Derby once stood.

126 posted on 12/03/2006 6:35:48 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: x
Conservatives who are considering embracing JFK as one of their own should surf over here before doing so. Nonetheless, JFK was a life member of the National Rifle Organization as well as an Eagle Scout, which would put him at odds with the Howard Dean Democrats of today.
127 posted on 12/03/2006 6:54:45 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: Fiji Hill

My heart aches remembering those old days, the lovely times we had strolling in the area. There was also a hotel across the street from the Ambassador, a bit to the west, where the grounds covered a few acres... there were privates cottages and such. Many VIPs stayed there, even lived there for awhile, and I cannot remember the name.

There were other hotels, large and small, and elegant apartment buildings in the area, with classy restaurants on the ground floor. The Sheraton Townhouse comes to mind. There are several Christian churches in the neighborhood of cathedral quality and the Wilshire Blvd. Temple.

We had I. Magnin department store as well as the incomparable Bullock's Wilshire. Everything had an ambiance that made you want to stay awhile.

But all became shabby 2-3 decades ago, and is now worse than shabby.

128 posted on 12/03/2006 1:10:46 PM PST by La Enchiladita (People get ready . . .)
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