Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Movie Review: The Campaign (85 minutes - R)

I love the old ZAZ (Zucker, Abrams, and Zucker) production team comedies.  They were from here in Milwaukee, and their comedies were absolutely hilarious.  Even if you don't know them, you know their movies:  Airplane, Naked Gun, Hot Shots, and my favorite, Top Secret:
"Yes, I know a little German....and he's sitting right over there!"  Hilarious.  Rent that now.

Most current comedies are tough for me to get on board with - I don't think dirty jokes for the sake of dirty jokes are funny...I'd much prefer clever funny.  And I don't particularly care for slapstick.  So, more precisely, maybe my taste is comedies is very particular.  Or, even more precisely, maybe I can only tolerate Will Farrell in smaller doses, or in movies where he is surrounded by supporting characters who are equally funny and bizarre.  Anchorman would be the best example of this:
It's not that I don't find Will Ferrell funny - it's that I find him funny for about 10 minutes...then I don't anymore.  In The Campaign, a timely comedy from Jay Roach (Dinner for Schmucks, all the Austin Powers movies, all the Meet the Parents movies) Farrell and Zach Galifinakis square off running for Congressman from North Carolina.

Farrell's Cam Brady is an incombent congressman from North Carolina's 14th district who has been running unopposed for many years.  He slips up - leaves an R rated message on the answering machine of a very conservative family while he thinks that he is calling his mistress - and so the billionaire brothers who were backing him decide to look elsewhere for a puppet they can control.  They settle on mild-mannered Marty Huggins, who is currently running the tourisim center in town.  Marty is gentle and good natured, and wants to help the town.  The brothers want to control the district to sell it to China = insourcing.  Cam gets upset that he finally has competition, causing the campaign to get dirty.  Hijinks ensue.  Marty starts out wanting to make his father proud, and make the town better, Cam eventually comes to a realization what he truly cares about, and the rich brothers get their comeuppance.
The cast is small - and most of them are very entertaining.
  • Will Farrell as Cam Brady is good, but again, feels a little like an SNL sketch you've seen him do already.  And he's funny, no doubt, but I just got a little tired of him.
  • Zach Galifinakis is very funny - again, playing a character we've seen him do in his standup routine.  He does manage to bring a touch of sweetness to Marty.
  • Dylan McDermott plays the dirty campaign manager.  Who knew Dylan McDermott could be funny?  He does play this very straight, and very dark - and the list of his characters nicknames during the scene that plays over the credits is hilarious.
  • Jason Sudekis plays Cam's campaign manager, and is very funny when trying to get Farrell under wraps.  The more out of control Farrell gets, the more toned down Sudekis's performance gets, and that made me just want to watch the gag reel of the two of them together.
  • Dan Ackroyd and John Lithgow play the old rich brothers.  They were fine, and decently funny, but for some reason - looking at them in their mansion setting made me want to watch Trading Places.  If you haven't seen that in a while - rent it now.  Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy team up with Jamie Lee Curtis.  It's genius.
  • Brian Cox plays Marty's dad and has almost nothing to do - but is pretty funny in the scenes that he has, in particular with Karen Maruyama's housekeeper.  She was far and away my favorite part of this movie.  Very not PC, but very funny!
This movie is funny - and if you are a Will Farrell fan, or a Zach Galifinakis fan, or a fan of Jay Roach's other movies...you'll love it.  The funny parts are all in the commercials - just with cursing and inappropriate stuff added in the movie itself, because it is rated R.  Interestingly enough, I'm not sure it needed to be rated R.  None of those items made it any funnier, just earned the R.  It could have been equally as funny without them, and may had made more room for more clever jokes, and less dirty jokes...The story is simple, which is not a bad thing, and does wrap up neatly, with some heart and a good payoff.  It's not my favorite - but I think most people will like it.
6 out of 10.  Lost points for Farrell's character having sex in a port-o-john in the beginning of the movie, really?  Gained points for Sudekis and McDermott as the campaign managers - they were both great.  Lost points for the random nipple...I'm not even sure what that was about or why it was necessary.  Gained points for having the dog from the Artist show up - random...geez did I hate the movie The Artist.  I suppose they should lost some points for reminding me of that...
Bonus Video 1:  Hot Shots...second favorite ZAZ movie:
Bonus Video 2:  Airplane...maybe this is my second favorite ZAZ movie:  Surely you can't be serious...
Bonus Video 3: "Between 2 Ferns with Zach Galifinakis". Zach's fake interview show - it's just hilarious...there's a ton of them, go watch them all.
Bonus Video 4:  Cast Interviews!



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