I am a defensive pessimist and I am proud of it. As with most things in life there are pluses and minuses associated to everything. On the one hand I am better equipped to handle deviations from a set plan. The reason being, I look at all the negative options that could happen; so, if there is a change, more than likely I have already prepared for it. On the down side, when I am asked to do something my first reaction is to say no; until I can process the request. I know what some of you must be thinking. Let me just say I prefer to shake hands with my neurosis instead of wrestling with them. I think if the political players on Senator John McCain’s team had my ability, things would have been different. This movie was about John McCain’s 2008 campaign for president. I will not be getting into the political aspect of the story; I am reviewing the film and its screenplay. Ed Harris (A History of Violence, The Abyss) did not necessarily look like Senator McCain, but I enjoyed his performance. Woody Harrelson (Seven Psychopaths, The Messenger) was excellent as McCain’s chief political advisor Steve Schmidt. The best performance from the cast was Julianne Moore (Being Flynn, Children of Men) as Sarah Palin. She had the look and mannerisms backed by her excellent acting ability. Whether the events presented here were true or not, one could not help but see Sarah in a sympathetic light. I found it fascinating to witness the dealings behind the public events surrounding the campaign. If any part of the planning depicted in this film for the Katie Couric interview was true; all I have to say is, “Wow.” By the director inserting actual footage into this movie, it added validity to the story. This DVD could be used as an example to show people the pitfalls of being an optimist–in my opinion.
3 stars — DVD
I make it a point to never talk about religion or politics in my classes. Having been a witness to verbal assaults between people of opposing views, I find such behavior silly. In this age of reality television shows, how long before you think we will subject political candidates to a televised obstacle course or quiz show format? In this political year, here are two candidates who certainly would add some spice to any election race. Cam Brady, played by Will Ferrell (The Other Guys, Blades of Glory), was running unopposed for reelection. Two CEOs from a large corporation, looking for someone who would be in favor of legislation beneficial to their company, threw their money behind local tourist guide Marty Huggins, played by Zach Galifianakis (Due Date, The Hangover franchise). With Marty in the race, the campaign quickly heated up into an over the top battle–not so dissimilar from any current reality show competition. I laughed at several scenes during this comedic satire. Though I am not a fan of Will Ferrell, i found his limited acting ability worked to his advantage, in his role as the pandering incumbent. With everything these days being marketed to death, I found some of the looniness in this film not much different from what our political candidates must go through before any photo op or stump speech. The uncomplicated story was well served with the actors’ comedic talents. When the movie ended, I wondered what it would be like if we made every person with political aspirations go on a game show. Besides winning valuable gifts or prize money to fund their campaigns, we would really see what these people were made of. Stay through the first set of credits.
2 3/4 stars