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The Big Buy: Tom Delay's Stolen Congress (Unrated)

Release Date: May 26th, 2006 (Quad Cinema)
DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2006 by Brave New Films. Click here to buy the DVD
Directed by Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Texas Congressman Tom Delay who unlawfully took money from corporations to fund his campaign.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Just like Fahrenheit 9/11 bashed George W. Bush, The Big Buy takes aim at bashing Texas Congressman Tom Delay. Directors Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck do a great job of coherently showing Delay’s corruption and greed in different but related ways. For example, while receiving corporate funding, Delay redistricted Texas with Republican zones in important areas. His “plan” was to use the corporate funding along with redistricted zones to aide Republican candidates for the 2004 elections for the House of Representatives. Plenty of footage with District Attorney Ronnie Earle further shows more evidence of Delay’s corruption and unlawfulness. Unfortunately, this documentary becomes redundant in its tirade of Tom Delay-bashing. A less angry and more synthetic approach that shows both sides of the coin, so-to-speak, would have helped to make The Big Buy more fascinating and even surprising. Basically, the directors have already come to their conclusions about Delay at the beginning of the film. Those who strongly agree with their leftist viewpoints will have nothing to fuss about while those who strongly disagree will have plenty to fuss about. Those in the middle, who either are unsure of what to think or know nothing about Delay, will be frustrated and confused by the lack of balanced opinions. On a positive note, the technical aspects of The Big Buy add some entertainment value with some footage presented on computer-animated billboard and buildings. If only directors Birnbaum and Schermbeck had focused more on improving the content rather than the visual style.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Politicians can be corrupt and greedy. Unfortunately, The Big Buy doesn’t get much deeper than that.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Redundant and unbalanced.


IN A NUTSHELL: Milding engaging, but often redundant and unbalanced while suffering from style-over-substance.


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