warner bros

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.

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Rock of Ages: Long Live Rock and Roll!



Ah, the smell of a grungy, dirty, hole in the wall bar. Inside there are the finest ladies rock and roll has to offer to the rock gods! Cheap drinks a-plenty and Def Leppard rocking the stages. Now, rock fans! Here’s your chance to relive it with ROCK OF AGES! Based off the Broadway hit, Director Adam Shankman makes this one of the most entertaining films of 2012. Maybe one of the best of the year. That’s right, I said it!

All right, we open with an kick ass rendition of Guns N Roses rendition of Paradise City which is perfect to get the audience prepped and be ready for a rocking good two hours of nostalgic rock rebellion. Julianne Hough plays Sherrie, an Oklahoma girl who has dreams of Hollywood that she hops a bus to make herself known. When she arrives, she persuades a job out of Dennis, the owner of the Bourbon Room. Remember the smell, rock fans and that’s the Bourbon Room. Dennis is played with zesty enjoyment by Alec Baldwin. Now in a musical like this, you must have a cliche romantic storyline that will put a smile on your face. Enter the man of her dreams that ironically wants the same thing. Drew, played by Diego Bonata. He can sing, dance and he wants to be a rock star. It suckered me, not gonna lie.

Meanwhile, not everyone embraces it. The new mayor of Los Angeles, Mike Whitmore (played with slimy enjoyment by Bryan Cranston) has a plan to shut down The Bourbon Room and clean up the streets of the city. Although it’s really his wife, Patricia that wants to end this filth. Played by a passionate Catherine Zeta Jones bringing a little Hilary Clinton in the character. She lights up the screen with her rendition of Pat Benatar’s Hit Me with Your Best Shot that would have every male on America wanting her. Trust me, the sex appeal is there.

Now, let’s get to the scene stealer. Ladies and gentleman, Tom Cruise once chews up the scenery and sets the screen on fire with Stacee Jaxx. Decked out in tattoos across a muscular body, greasy long hair and a narcissistic personality, he could be Axl Rose if he wanted. Did you know he could sing? Me neither. His renditions of Paradise City and Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive will have you searching for your lighters to put up to the sky. Cruise brings dynamic flair to the film.

We also get Paul Giamatti as Jaxx’s agent, Paul Gill just relishing in his slick, sneaky character that tries to find the next Stacee Jaxx but without Jaxx finding out. Mary J. Bilge as a strip club owner with a heart of gold, Malin Akerman as a Rolling Stone reporter who has a fling with Cruise’s Jaxx and Russell Brand’s Lonnie that was gifted with the many of the film’s one liners and his passion for Rock and Roll is something to cherish.

I’m glad that they didn’t Glee-ify some of the greatest hits but kept the hard rock soul deep inside especially with music by Def Leppard, Night Ranger, Bon Jovi, Journey, Foreigner, and Twisted Sister. Infused with brisk pacing, a winning cast that looks like they are having a great time making this, and true rock and roll infused within. Rock of Ages is a nostalgic love letter to Rock and Roll that will make you dust off the leather jacket and Def Leppard T-shirt.

Rock of Ages gets an A and a four star rating.

I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely
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Due Date: An enjoyable road trip but it runs out of gas too soon…


Was this a sequel to Planes, Trains,  and Automobiles?