Dan Akroyd

The Campaign

Year: 2012
Directed By: Jay Roach
Written By: Chris Henchy & Shawn Harwell (screenplay and story), Adam McKay (story)

RYAN’S REVIEW

This was not a movie I was interested in when it first started being advertised earlier this year.  It looked like just another stupid Will Ferrell movie to me and I didn’t have much faith in what he and Zach Galifianakis would do together.  I think both of these men are funny, but both of them tend to play roles of men more stupid than anything else and I always feel they were overacting a bit.  Well this movie was available On Demand during the heart of the political process with elections nearing, and I reluctantly agreed to watch it with Amber one night. I was very surprised when I found myself laughing through the whole thing.  This movie is exaggerated, as most Will Ferrell movies are, but this one has plenty of truth masked within all of the silliness. It says something bold and believable about our political process in this country and mocks the joke that it has all become.

Will Ferrell definitely has his moments and he also has the ability to be a serious actor from time to time and I like that about him.  I have always felt he was at his best as a supporting man like his role in Old School but it was that role that gave him all the power.  As Frank the Tank he was so funny that he became one of America’s favorite comedians.  His career exploded after that but I am usually hot and cold with what he produces.  For example, Step Brothers may be a funny movie but the part he plays is just so overdone with stupidity and immaturity.  I tend to find myself more annoyed than humored in movies like that.  That persona works in many movies though so I can’t argue with it.  I thought Land of the Lost was hilarious and I really liked his more serious roles in movies like Everything Must Go and Stranger than FictionHowever I have never been a fan of Ricky Bobby or plenty of his other work.  I thought things were falling apart for him when he was cast in The Office as the show was beginning to fall apart but I was wrong.  In this movie as the perfectly named politician “Cam Brady” I thought he was hilarious.  His stupid persona seems fitting for a politician ironically enough and he nailed it.  My favorite part is when he sees the new Marty Huggins ad that has his son in it.  I am never a fan of infidelity in a movie but for some reason when it happened in this one I couldn’t stop laughing about it.  When Ferrell says “you make my son call you daddy I fuck your wife, that’s the deal!” I fell to the floor.  When he showed up and Marty’s wife was watching Drew Carey on The Price is Right it was a done deal. Ferrell may be a bit too goofy for me at times but the guy is undeniably funny and I really enjoyed his role in this one.

I have written my thoughts on Galifianakis before in our reviews on The Hangover movies.  I think what I said specifically was that he would only get as far as that beard would take him.  So it was nice to see him diversify and go simply with the perv stache in this one.  I like Galifianakis quite a bit because after all he is from my home state and grew up only an hour from where I live now.  I don’t think his career will last long enough though if he can only play the one part though.  I have seen him before on Bored to Death and he is really good in that but if he can’t branch out with different roles in movies his career will only be a flash in the pan.  As Marty Huggins, Galifianakis played his typical role of the very weird guy but it worked in this one because it was so funny to see them try to transform him into a political candidate.  His accent is great in this one but it should come easy to him being he is from North Carolina.

I really liked seeing Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow as the big business brothers in this movie.  They fit the roles nicely and I like seeing Akroyd in anything these days because he isn’t doing too much anymore.  I have always been a big fan of Lithgow and think that he can only make any movie he is in better.  I am becoming a huge fan of Jason Sudeikis, everything I see him in seems funnier than the last. SNL has a great cast right now with really funny people like Bill Hader, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah but Sudeikis is funnier than all of them as far as I am concerned.  I really look forward to what is to come from his career as he continues to gain more popularity.  I also thought Dylan McDermott was really good as the ultra cool campaign manager that shows up to “make you not suck.” I don’t usually like McDermott but really enjoyed his performance in this one.

This movie says a lot about politics in this country.  About the big businesses behind the candidates running for office and how they use those candidates to achieve their own goals.  About how campaigns manipulate the public to get into office and will absolutely do whatever it takes.  It’s about how dirty politics can be in general and the cut throat world these people live in.   While the movie may cover all these things in humorous fashion there is one thing to keep in mind while watching this movie….a lot of truth is said in jest.  I think this movie not only does a great job mocking the whole thing but it isn’t really off base with the truth behind it all.

I always love a movie that catches me by surprise and this one did.  I did not expect to like it at all and ended up loving it.  I think that any time a movie can do that then it is worth your time to see it.  This movie may have seemed funnier to me when we watched it during the election season but I enjoyed it just as much watching it again after getting a copy for Christmas.  This movie is a bit vulgar so take the R rating seriously but if you get an opportunity to see it you should check it out, it is worth your time.

Advertisements

Movies Not To Watch

Time gets funny the older you get, the joke is that is doesn’t last as long.  Time is special, once you’ve had it long enough it starts to elude you quicker.  Suddenly great chunks of it have passed and you have barely noticed.  Personally, I try to make the most of my time. I recognize the fact that it has started moving faster and I want to squeeze every drop of life and excitement out of it as I go along.  Movies, Television, Entertainment, they take up a large amount of our time.  I decided to create this section purely to discourage you, to try to help you avoid wasting your time on something not worth it.  When I finish a long movie that sucks now I’m no longer disappointed, I’m angry! I can’t get those hours back and I could have used them for something that was worth it.  If I can discourage you from wasting your time on the crap I wasted mine on, then I feel I am helping society, I am helping you, recognizing that your time is valuable.

Caddyshack II

For movie buffs this one is typically a given, it’s a well known awful movie and I’ve regularly heard it mentioned as one of the worst ever.  I mention this first because I actually wasted about 40 minutes on it today, and I knew that it was bad, I knew its reputation but I tried it out anyway. A series of events led to a situation where I had the opportunity to acquire it for free, and given I had never seen it I figured “what the hell.” I tried it to see if it was as bad as everyone said it was, I can report now honestly that it is, I couldn’t even stand to finish it.

I don’t really know what the producers were thinking and I’m surprised Harold Ramis allowed his name to be connected to the film. Chevy Chase I can understand, dumb decision but I get it.  Dan Akroyd never really made great decisions about what to be involved in either.  Randy Quaid Jesus Christ don’t get me started.  I can see how they thought it could work but once Rodney Dangerfield said no they should have moved on.  They decided to go ahead anyway and this became a piece of crap, a waste of anyone’s time.

1941

Year: 1979
Directed by: Stephen Spielberg
Written by: Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale

RYAN’S REVIEW

A truly fantastic film that is far too often forgotten about.  Stephen Spielberg has had such a successful career that a film like 1941 tends to get lost in the mix. This film is fast, funny, and star studded.  The only problem is that this day in age the typical viewer would probably need a history lesson to really appreciate most of the humor in the film.  The film plays off the fear and pandemonium that struck California following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  In reality this wasn’t something that was very funny, but over 30 years later it was something everyone was ready to laugh at.  This film has great roles performed by John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Slim Pickens, Christopher Lee, John Candy, and Tim Matheson.  My personal favorite scene in the movie is when the Japanese force, made up of descendants of “ninja assassins,” invades the mainland and encounter the Slim Pickens character Hollis Wood.  The Japanese look so goofy dressed as Christmas trees and Slim Pickens steals the scene.

Stephen Spielberg has been making hits for over 30 years now, he is still one of the greatest filmmakers in Hollywood.  1941 is a great movie and it’s really funny, but honestly it is low on the totem pole of many great Spielberg films.  When you are great at what you do it isn’t hard to amass a career full of fantastic films.  When your resume lists titles like Jaws, Indiana Jones, E.T., Jurassic Park, and Saving Private Ryan a comedy about a time period people are starting to forget just doesn’t measure up in the eyes of some.  I still love the film and encourage anybody who has the opportunity to see it.

AMBER’S REVIEW:

I had a tough and long week you guys. I’ll be honest, I fell asleep during this flick. However, this is what I will say about this film. It has all of the elements for a great comedy, Dan Akroyd, John Candy (I miss you), John Belushi, however this film’s comedy is outdated. By 2011 all of it has been seen before. It has it’s moments like the scene where the Japanese dress up like trees and try to blend into the scenery while Hollis Wood is trying to cut them down. I laugh every time at that scene. However, this movie goes on and on and on. I know this post is short, but like I said I fell asleep, that may say something about the movie, or my week…you decide. It is still worth seeing if you haven’t ever watched it before.