Just in time for Election Day, here's your chance to watch the Will Ferrell–Zach Galifianakis satire The Campaign in the comfort of your home — the very place where you may have already planned to spend the weekend pondering your political options! To be honest, "satire" is a pretty strong word for The Campaign: Though there is some pretty savage stuff in there about the Koch brothers (extremely thinly veiled versions of whom are played here by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow, using their money to influence the titular campaign), most of what happens is pure silliness.
Though I wouldn't put The Campaign in the top tier of Will Ferrell movies, it's a serviceable entry at the level of, let's say, Talladega Nights. What put it over for me was Galifianakis's performance as Marty Huggins, a local boob thrown into the political arena by the wealthy, connected father he's pitifully desperate to please. Marty is basically a sweet idiot who's woefully ill-equipped to handle the effects that a brutal campaign will have on his personal life; if we didn't have the naive Marty to root for, The Campaign might be unwatchable for being too depressingly real.
Congressman Cam Brady is running for reelection in North Carolina. When the hotly contested race suddenly turned ugly, his campaign had him fill out a probing questionnaire to uncover any other possible points of attack by his opponent, Marty Huggins. Grantland has obtained Brady's confidential answers and is releasing them online in the name of public service.
If asked to release your last 10 years of tax returns, is there anything in your financial history that we should know about?
My tax returns, if released, and they never will be, would read like any other citizen's. Between 1988 and 1992 I earned money under the name Dr. Randall Escalow. Also, in 1978, I earned $55 and a model race car track by selling seeds and Grit magazine door-to-door. Other than that, it's just a bunch of boring numbers. Oh, and I've never paid a dime in taxes. Boring, right?
Silver: A star-studded cast featuring a mix between established Hollywood stars and fresh up-and-coming faces, some badass gangster dialogue, visceral imagery, and violence, violence, violence. But enough about The Untouchables. Sub out Chicago for Los Angeles, Penn for DeNiro, Brolin for Costner, Gosling for Garcia, and Nolte for Connery. The only difference here is that The Untouchables was directed by Brian DePalma when he was at the top of his game and Gangster Squad is helmed by Ruben Fleischer, who’s coming off the unwatchable 30 Minutes or Less. And something tells me that Gangster Squad writer Will Beall’s credits (ABC’s Castle) aren’t quite what David Mamet’s were when he wrote The Untouchables. Gangster Squad appears to be lifting so much from The Untouchables that I’d be disappointed if it didn’t contain a scene where a baby carriage rolls down the steps of a train station during a bloody gun fight. (Which, for you film fans, was lifted from Eisenstein’sBattleship Potemkin.)