Sunday, August 12, 2012

2011's Top Movies

2012 is winding down, and I need to archive my list of 2011 movies here for all time. Or at least until Google is just bright spot in the night time.

2011 Top Movies

The Campaign

Plot: Long time Congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is challenged by naive newcomer Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis,) backed by two rich guys (John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd.) The campaign is filled with the worst dirty tricks and misleading commercials. [imdb link]    [photos]

Review: The Campaign viscously pokes fun at politicians and politics with a mix of sitcom humor, political satire, and silliness. A few scenes are very funny including one were I laugh so hard my eyes were watering.

The weakness is that the candidates do things to set up the next sitcom joke, especially Cam (Ferrell.) Cam is another version of the Anchorman character Ron Burgundy. He is too oblivious to his surroundings, and lacks even a second of self-awareness. Marty (Galifianakis) has more idiosyncrasies early, and the joke is that he is changed so immediately by his campaign handler. In truth, the fast moving jokes don't have time for characters. This movie is short, and its characters could not support a more elaborate plot.

There is some intelligent content here about using the media to manipulate voters, about the effect of money in politics, and about corruption in local politics. I suspect political education was timed to influence the election, but then election movies come every four years -- don't they?

Cast: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis

Directed by: Jay Roach

Rating: 2.5 stars: because it was so funny
More: I loved the baby joke. It is worth seeing just for that.

Even more: The rich brothers that finance Marty's campaign are the Motch brothers. These are based on the real life Koch brothers, and they don't like it