Best Of Enemies Blu-ray Review
“Best of Enemies” is a compelling slice of political history.
For those that were born after 1968, the names Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. might not be overly familiar. For those that were around at that time, however, the names are likely recognizable due to their memorable heated debates in 1968. These groundbreaking debates just happen to be what the new 2015 documentary film “Best of Enemies” is all about.
Amidst the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 1968, TV viewers found themselves tuning into ABC in droves to watch an intellectual Republican commentator (William F. Buckley, Jr.) and a calm, Liberal, forward thinking writer (Gore Vidal) engage in 10 overall debates. After they were all over and done with, they proved to be hugely influential and game changing.
In “Best of Enemies,” viewers get a balanced and thorough overview of the now iconic debates that had everything from personal outbursts and smart back and forths to attacks on ideologies and amusing banter. The documentary also explores who these two people are as we learn about their political aspirations, careers, their somewhat elitist attitudes, their general dislike of one another (despite being intellectual equals as pointed out in the film), and the impact the debates had on their lives. However one may feel about them individually, you can’t deny that they were fascinating people. They’re the kind of people that don’t seem to exist in today’s world.
Like with many documentaries, ‘Enemies’ is largely comprised of quote readings, archival footage of debates, news footage, and TV appearances by Vidal and Buckley, as well as interviews with friends, family, writers, authors, and political experts. Everything is blended together seamlessly thanks to directors Morgan Nevill and Robert Gordon.
Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? Since the film is comprised of stock footage and newly shot interviews, the quality is all over the place. For the most part, it’s a good looking documentary.
Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How doe sit sound? In a word, decent.
* Magnolia Pictures trailers and a ”Best of Enemies” trailers.
* Bonus interviews with Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, Dick Cavett, George Merlis, James Wolcott, Lee Edwards, Linda Bridges, Matt Tyrnaeur, Reid Buckley and Sam Tanenhaus.
* “Interview With Directors Morgan Neville And Robert Gordon”- An insightful look at their views on the subjects, behind-the-scenes tidbits, their research, and more.
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