Oliver Stone vs. Spike Lee

I sometimes think of Spike Lee and Oliver Stone as some of Hollywood’s best bad filmmakers. Both of them make a lot of deeply flawed, occasionally even downright repugnant movies, many of which are politically oriented, polarizing, and are the product of beliefs I don’t share. But I can’t bring myself to hate them. In fact, I find myself looking forward to their films, and I root for their work to be excellent. Why? Because both directors are ambitious, politically and socially aware, and technically skilled — and when they hit their marks, the results are pretty amazing. Sadly, both released muddled, messy movies this fall, but if I had to pick between Miracle at St. Anna and W., I’d say Stone’s film fares better. His movie’s rambling and discombobulated, sure, but it’s also freewheeling and zany in a way that political movies rarely are. Would I recommend watching it? Nope. But in a weird way, I’m still glad Stone made it (though I really, really wish he could’ve cast John Spencer as Don Rumsfeld).