Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: Political Comedy


By the time this publishes, we will be dealing with the aftermath of whatever happened at the polls on Tuesday with the mid-term elections. Some of us will be rejoicing, some sulking, and the world will continue to spin. The question is will it be spinning in the direction you want? It's enough to make you cry. Me? I like to laugh to keep from shedding tears. With that in mind, I suggested this week's topic for Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, political comedy. Let's see which movies get my vote.


Bulworth
(1998)
Every now and again, you bump into a movie by accident. That's what happened to me with Bulworth. I just ran across it on cable one day, saw Warren Beatty and Halle Berry, and decided to stick around. It went well enough that I decided to find when it would air next so I could catch it from the beginning. I did, and I'm glad. It's a funny, but uneasy look at a liberal politician, Beatty, quite literally thrusting himself into the issues. Needless to say, his world gets turned upside down. On the surface, it dabbles in some broad stereotypes, but beneath that it manages to provoke thought with the laughs it garners.


In the Loop
(2009)
I can't remember why I decided to watch this, for sure. I know that I borrowed it from my local library even though I had never heard of it before. Knowing me, and all my stupid Americanness (?), it probably that I noticed James Gandolfini was in it when I looked over the DVD, combined with there really being nothing else that I was desperate to see at that moment. In any event, I took it home, popped it in, and proceeded to laugh my ass off. The ridiculously simple synopsis is that it's a satire of the final few months before the U.S. and the U.K. entered the war in the Middle East. Gandolfini is great, but the real star here is Peter Capaldi. His character is barely tethered to sanity, and probably has to be to do his job. He makes the movie. I loved it so much, this is the sole reason I suggested this topic.


The Campaign
(2012)
I know that in movie blogger circles plenty of people turn their noses up at the name Will Ferrell. I'm not one of those people. More often than not, I enjoy his movies, even though I rarely love them. While often imbecilic and formulaic, they usually do what they set out to do: get a few laughs out of me. This story of an incumbent Congressman (Ferrell) trying to maintain his seat during an election against a hand-picked nitwit (Zach Galifianakis) does just that. (Full Review)




18 comments:

  1. Yes! In the Loop is my all time fav comedy. "The Thick of It" of which it is a spin off is even funnier and Malcolm id in it too

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    1. Never saw the TV show, but In the Loop is amazing.

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  2. We match in In The Loop! I never turn my nose up at Will Ferrell either. I usually love his work. I wasn't crazy about The Campaign, but it had some funny moments.

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  3. I've haven't watched it in years but I thought Bulworth was extremely sharp when I saw it in the theatre. One of Beatty's best films. I'm not much for Ferrell but The Campaign was silly fun. I haven't seen In the Loop but I've queued it up so I'll give it a look soon.

    Since I've already used my all-time favorite political comedy-Dave-before this was a bit more challenging than I first thought it would be. Don't know how Bulworth slipped my mind, oh well these three work.

    State of the Union (1948)-Successful businessman Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy) is convinced to run for president by newspaper publisher Kay Thorndyke (23 year old Angela Lansbury believably playing a controlling 40ish shrew), his politically ambitious longtime girlfriend. At the instigation of his cynical campaign manager Spike McManus (Van Johnson), Grant and his long-estranged wife, Mary (Katharine Hepburn-who stepped in for Claudette Colbert at the last minute), attempt a reconciliation to increase his changes of a win. But when the idealistic Mary learns of Kay's behind-the-scenes role and sees how the campaign is changing Grant, it throws everything into turmoil. Frank Capra directed comedy/drama is one of Tracy & Hepburn’s best.

    The Mouse That Roared (1959)-The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, the world’s smallest country, decides that the only way to get out of their economic woes is to declare war on the United States, lose and accept foreign aid. But things do not go as planned and suddenly it seems they are going to be the victors! What to do now? Cold War satire with Peter Sellers in a trio of roles was followed by the sequel The Mouse on the Moon.

    Dick (1999)-Teenage airheads Betsy (Kirsten Dunst) and Arlene (Michelle Williams) accidentally stumble into the middle of the infamous Watergate robbery in 1976. Anxious to keep them quiet Nixon (Dan Hedaya) appoints them honorary dog walkers at the White House. While doing so their innocent actions start a chain of events that may eventually lead to Nixon's resignation as president of the United States.

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  4. YAY IN THE LOOP!!! One of the funniest films of all time. I laughed so loudly and uncontrollably in the theater within the first ten minutes that people sitting near me got up and moved.

    I know I've seen The Campaign, and I remember liking it fine (and much better than any most of Will Ferrell's movies), but don't really remember anything specific about it.

    I am totally with you on the whole "laughing to keep from crying" thing, so thank you for suggesting this topic!

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    1. Sometimes it gets tough to laugh, but I generally power through.

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  5. In The Loop is everywhere today and I now must see this film which seems to have the right amount and great style of foul language in it. We match with Bulworth! I found this film excellent and a great if not dark view of insurance companies and how much power they truly have. I like Will Ferrell and watch most of his movies which are dumb but i laugh every time so I would like to see The Campaign

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    1. Plenty of foul language, so be prepared for that, but it's a great movie.

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  6. We match with Bulworth which is a great film. More love for In the Loop. I can't believe I didn't think about that film. The Campaign was OK.

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  7. We match In the Loop! I didn't love it though

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  8. I love In the Loop for so many reasons. It's one of those movies where you laugh so that you don't scream at what the implications are.

    Have you seen Wag the Dog? If not, you really need to track that one down.

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    1. Exactly.

      Haven't seen it yet, but it's been on my radar for years. Guess I should rectify that.

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  9. I love In the Loop. Yes! Political Comedy = In the Loop

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  10. Very solid choices. With political comedy I always think back to things like The Great Dictator

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