Horns and Halos - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Horns and Halos Reviews

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April 25, 2010
This is a VERY interesting documentary that reminded me of Doubt, simply because you don't know whose telling the truth. Remarkably non-partisan film that explores the truth in an age of mass media sneaks up on you as a snarky underdog story before ultimately turning to an unspeakably tragic conclusion. Smartly made and amazingly honest.
April 14, 2008
Remarkably non-partisan, this examination of truth in an age of mass media sneaks up on you as a snarky underdog story before ultimately turning to an unspeakably tragic conclusion.
½ March 24, 2008
This movie had potential, but fell through the cracks. To bad.
½ December 10, 2007
Smartly made and amazingly honest documentary of a small publishing company's attempt to publish a tell-all book about a pre-presidential George W. Watching what unfolds in this story is sometimes quite heart wrenching.
November 3, 2007
Some of this is true and relevent to the current situation.
½ August 19, 2007
Gripping story of how my publisher (Sander Hicks) took on Dubya.
July 3, 2007
If you don't care for the current administration you'll love this movie.
June 1, 2007
fascinating. both sides are presented-not a "liberal, Bush-bashing" film. the music could have been better.
December 10, 2006
Not very good to say the least.
½ November 6, 2005
While it was at times boring it was wonderful to watch the characters progress through out the film.
July 11, 2005
I have no idea why I never heard of this film.

[u]Horns and Halos[/u] is the amazing story of an indie publishing company attempting to keep alive the unauthorized biography of George W. Bush called [u]Fortunate Son[/u]. The writer of Fortunate Son was an unfortunate individual named James Hatfield (not to be confused with the lead singer of Metallica, James HEtfield ;), who intimated that W, then running for President, had been busted for cocaine posession. This caused a firestorm of controversy that compelled St. Martin's Press, the original publisher, to pull what was on its way to becoming a bestseller. Enter Soft Skull Press, a publishing company ran out of the basement of a building managed by Sander Hicks, a slightly unhinged rabble rouser himself, who pick it up and decide to publish it independently. Their major obstacle? Author Hatfield was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder years prior and refused to give up his sources until much later in the game, sending his credibility into the toilet. In spite of this, several lawsuits, and a nation of millions trying to hold them back, Soft Skull presses on, and... well, I don't want to give too much away.

Here's my dirty little confession: I'd never even heard of this book or this film until now, and IMDB claims that it even won an award! And it's more than a shame, because this is simply one of the best documentaries I've ever seen! I don't know why sad stories like this appeal to me so much, but they do, and the sympathy you feel for Hatfield, the reporter who outs him, and his family (who don't even appear on screen) is painful, but absolutely compelling to watch. SO MUCH can be said about this thing, so thank God I started this website to touch upon them here ;)

I think that had Hatfield given up after being banned, laid low long enough and applied to do some little work here and there, this would have all blown over and he could have resumed his writing career. He may never have written schlock biographies again, but IMO, he would have been better off. But one of the implicit points this movie seems to make, to me, is that you'd have to be a little crazy, as both Hatfield and Hicks are, to put out a book like this, and that in and of itself is compelling. What kind of mind produces this kind of stuff? Fascinating character study, and a fascinating film overall.

For me personally, what was even more fascinating was to see this in the wake of the writer of the Hilary Clinton book appearing on the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio. Franken /proved/ that this person not only embellished all that crap (he describes the appearance of a woman he admits to having never even /seen/ as "mannish", for example), but continues to claim that it's all the God's honest truth, and the majority of this country, I'm sure, believes it. This film reveals that these cheapie biographies that come out when a public figure gets hot are a publishing tradition, rushed out and culled from known facts about said figure, and then given to any hack writer who's willing to do it to string it into some kind of narrative to make money. My first encounter with this was with [u]The Michael Jackson Story[/u] back in Elementary School, which you could get from a book order. These things are not only untrue, but unapologetically so, and yet, hit the media like major events. It's sickening.

But damn entertaining to watch. Great film.
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