comedy

The Campaign: Political satire lives up to its promises


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As November looms and the mudslinging has begun between Romney, Obama. Why not, give us a political satire to prep us. The Campaign does it’s job in 80 min or less guaranteed. In fact, it’s one of the best comedies of the year.

Kudos to the casting director, netting Will Ferrell to play Cam Brady, a four term North Carolina congressman of the 16th district. Since Ferrell left Saturday Night Live. I have been chomping at the bit to see him play a buffoonish politician. Wish came true! As he’s about to sign the dotted line for his fifth term. With one chuckle inducing delay turning of the doorknob, the incumbent Marty Huggins enters his name. Huggins is played by a toned down Zach Galifianakis. Huggins is actually a candidate bought by the Motch brothers. Played to a slimy intent by the always game John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd. It’s about time I see Aykroyd play this kind of character, think opposite of Louis Winthrop from Trading Places. Brilliant satirizing of the conservative Koch Brothers. This had to be done after Brady’s unfortunate raunchy misdial to a christian household. Hilarious.

Huggins is probably one of the kind, considerate, compassion small town simpletons you have ever seen. He’s is a family man that is so nervous that he asks his family to spill out all their secrets. Some are funny, some are disturbing but keeps it lighthearted. Then, the Motch Brothers hire a slick campaign manager, Tim Wattley played by a scene stealing Dylan McDermott. McDermott embodies Wattley like an Armani suit at a second hand store. He throws in every change possible to turn Huggins into a no nonsense, punctual candidate. Witness the scene where he changes up the household including the dogs, that alone will make you laugh out loud. He also gets his share of some solid one-liners.

Come on! This is still Brady vs Huggins. At first, Brady has the upper hand basically know when the right time is to put out the same old inspiring speech until Huggins throws him into a holy war. Watching Ferrell improv his way through the Lord’s prayer was classic comedy reminiscent of Chevy Chase back in his Vacation years. They battle each other in everything from Buddhism, Jewish, and even grassroot principles. Satirized to an extreme and sometimes offensive high, but it’s comic timing makes it funny on it’s own. They also make some over the top campaign commercials including when Brady makes one on his own as an act of revenge on Huggins. Hey, not going to give too much away.

Director Jay Roach (coming off HBO’s Game Change) has experience with politics and it’s refreshing to see a political satire that shows a balance of truth and fiction making it one funny cocktail of propaganda and comedy. Roach keeps the two likable mavericks under control long enough and then lets them go wild. Witness a baby punching incident that was perfectly done without being offensive or distasteful. Trust me, you will be crying with laughter. We also get good supporting work by Jason Sudeikis as Brady’s campaign manager, Sarah Baker as Mitzi Huggins, and the always reliable Brian Cox as Huggins’ father. The Campaign is a tight political farce filled with likable performances, great improv, and finally a solid ending to a Will Ferrell film. Now that alone is rare.

The Campaign gets my vote and an A-

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I’m Jake Turner and I approve this review.

The Watch: Jumbled, unoriginal star-studded mess


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Hey, everyone. I got a great drinking game to play, seriously this will be the ultimate drinking game. It’s called The Watch. Its very simple. When it comes to blu-ray. Rent it, invite a ton of friends over, get the best liquor, pop it in. Rules: everytime you hear a joke involving gentalia. You take a shot. When you hear stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn say “The Watch” you take two shots. Caution: you will be in danger of a week-long hangover.  Why?

Because the Watch is one of the most unoriginal, tasteless films you will watch. That you might as well make a drinking game out of it, in fact The Watch is one of the worst films of the year.

Stiller plays Evan, an manager at a local Costco in Glenview, Ohio. He’s the perfect citizen in the community. I know because we are introduced to him in a bland, tired way. Then one night, a security guard is killed by an something…out there. However, Evan believes it’s up to him to catch the killer and starts the Neighborhood Watch! Ok, it’s not as epic as they must’ve thought. Unfortunately, only three people volunteer. Vince Vaughn (where you been?) plays Bob, a lout that likes to spy on his daughter’s Facebook, do his fast talking delivery of his lines, but only rarely did I chuckle. Franklin played by Jonah Hill who is once again doing his living with my mother, overly aggressive self and British comedian Richard Ayodade who gets most of the few laughs. When I mean few, I mean like 3-4 times. Ironically, this was suppose to be called Neighborhood Watch but prior to the Trayvon Martin shooting. They changed the title or better idea should have been to shelve it.

Did you know that it was actually about an alien invasion? Yeah, me neither. It rarely touches on its main subject. Instead we find out that Evan can’t have kids and doesn’t know how to tell his wife. Omg! Really? Bob being overprotective towards his daughter and even stalking his boyfriend who is a bit too cocky for his own good or is he something more? Yes, he becomes part of the story, I don’t know why, because that was one hell of a stupid twist.

Also, this movie was JUMBLED! I emphasize the word because it didn’t know what the hell it wanted to be. Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? Is it an action movie? Is it science fiction? I had no idea. Also, every time I laugh, the movie got worse. I was scared to laugh for the rest of the time. The unoriginality would have made Adam Sandler blush. I was dealt with a 100 minute film packed with a “joke” a minute involving gentalia, masturbation, and even sexual release. Wow. The supporting characters were also paper thin. I have something I have been wanting to say to Will Forte. You are not…FUNNY. Forte plays a small town cop and I seriously don’t understand why people think he is funny. Just because he was on Saturday Night Live doesn’t mean your funny especially nowadays.

Here’s the difference between Ted and the Watch. Yes, they are both crude. Though, Ted knows what their goal is. The Watch has no clue what the hell it wants to be. They are all in paycheck mode, the side stories are lame, the alien invasion is nothing but window draping, the unnecessary crude script by Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg, and Jared Stern is horribly jaw dropping. I believe now that Rogan should stop writing now and the direction by Akiva Scheffer was flat Stick to the Lonely Island, please. There is a funny cameo appearance by a great actor but for his sake, I’ll leave him out of this. If you want a comedy that is smart, crude, sentimental and hilarious. Go see Ted.

The Watch is the worst movie of the year so far…I hate to do this.

I give The Watch an F

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I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely at the theater.

Harry’s Law: How do you plead? Guilty! For enjoyment.


 

From the creator of Ally McBeal, The Practice, and recently Boston Legal. Kathy Bates stars in Harry’s Law as she opens up her own Cincinnati firm and believes in one thing…True Innocence. Comment on the bottom, let me know your take.