Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Ice Age Campaign

You ever have one of those days where you're trying to do something nice for someone, or a group of someones, and it just doesn't work out the way you want it to? The nice thing that you do, the person gets upset about? Or it messes up? Or whatever? I feel like I have those all the time, although I know that's not really true. However, it was true last Friday. The last Friday of summer...

As it is with many couples, my wife and I don't get out together very often.It's a combination of kids and money. I'll leave that to you to figure out. But I knew my wife wanted to go see The Campaign, and, with our oldest off in Maine, we didn't have free babysitting available. However, I also knew that my younger two kids wanted to go see Ice Age: Continental Drift (I wanted to see that, too, but I can eventually catch it on DVD). It just so happens that the movies are virtually the same length, and it just so happened that our theater was starting them Friday afternoon just five minutes apart. I figured it was the perfect opportunity for my wife and I to catch Campaign while the younger two watched Ice Age.

The problem was that I didn't tell anyone my plan.

What can I say? I wanted it to be a surprise. So my wife got home from work, lunch waiting for her, and I told her we were leaving in 30 minutes or so but didn't tell her what we were doing other than going to the bank, which I needed to do, and dropping something by the post office. She assumed I was taking her to see  with the kids some movie (Ice Age) she didn't want to see. Plus, according to everyone else, it was hot, and there were complaints about driving around in  the hot car. But, see, I grew up in the south where it's not just hot but about 80% humidity all the time, so it really has to get over 100 before I feel the heat out here.

By the time we got to the theater, everyone was cranky, and my wife was more and more assuming that we were taking the kids to a movie that she didn't want to go see. Basically, she'd rather been at home. But I bought the tickets, and my wife realized that she didn't have to go see Ice Age, but, then, my daughter freaked out because she realized that we weren't going to see the movie with them. So I went from being in trouble for one thing to getting in trouble for something else.


I bought them (the kids) popcorn, and that (mostly) made everything better.

My kids loved the new Ice Age, just by the way for any of you out there with kids. They came out wanting to tell us all about it, which is not something they're prone to doing, so it must have been really good. I'm looking forward to actually watching it with them once it hits DVD.

As for The Campaign, well, my wife laughed all the way through it. And with good reason, too. This is the best straight up comedy Will Ferrell has made since, probably, Anchorman. Yeah, sure, some (a lot) of the humor is beyond belief, but, when you look at politics these days, maybe not too much beyond belief (especially when you have a man named Weiner texting pictures of his weiner).

I didn't realize the movie was set in the south going into it, so I was worried about the whole accent thing as the movie started up, but all of the actors did a great job. There was none of the over exaggeratedness you sometimes get with actors trying to do southern accents, so that was a pleasant surprise. And, speaking of accents, Karen Maruyama was amazing! Seriously amazing.

Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow were excellent as the Motch brothers. But, then, both of them are long time favorites of mine, so I could be a bit biased. However, I would say they complemented each other nicely. Jason Sudeikis was great, and Dylan McDermott was rather chilling as the campaign manager. And funny.

Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis were gold.

The most interesting bits of the film were the various political statements, the most telling of which was the statement that we have or are making legal all these horrible things that businesses do, and we're doing it because of money. That's the real message behind the movie, that everything is run by money, but, then, I think we all know that. As Cam Brady says (or something very close to this), "I'm a great politician, but I'm a bad congressman."

If you like Ferrell, this movie should be a must see. Even if you don't like Ferrell, it may be worth seeing. There is actually a core of content, real content, in this movie that is not always present in Ferrell's movies.


  1. The best laid plans...
    I've seen Ice Age 4 and I would've much rather seen The Campaign.
    How does it compare to Talladega Nights? I thought that one was funny, mostly because of the fun it poked at Nascar. (And living in the south, I'm surrounded by it.)

  2. Will Ferrell is such a funny actor. I am hoping to see the campaign!

  3. I do love Ferrell and want to see the Campaign pretty badly. My wife is begging me to wait for DVD, I'll probably do just that.

    I'm glad you can solve problems with popcorn. I wish I could solve my family's disappointments in me with something similar.

  4. We always wait until things are on DVD or Netflix now, so I guess I'll wait. It sounds like a good movie though, so maybe going to the theater would be safe enough...I don't like sleeping in public.

  5. Okay, you sold me. I'll go watch the campaign.

  6. Glad your plans worked out in the end. The Campaign sounds like it's worth seeing. I'll add it to the list! :-)

  7. Alex: I liked Talladega. I think we own it? Maybe. If we do, that says something about how much we liked it. We -don't- own Blades of Glory, see. Anyway, it was -way- better than Talladega. Seriously, my wife did not stop laughing during The Campaign.

    G_G: Do it!

    Rusty: Well, I'm not sure that there are other problems I can solve with popcorn. It would be pretty cool if there were.

    Donna: I don't think you'd be able to sleep during The Campaign. It would be pretty impressive, though, if you could.

    Michael: Hmm... I feel like I should get a commission or something.

    Cally: If you want to laugh at politics, it's worth seeing!

  8. It was good? That's great to hear. I was on the fence about it but I know my friends will drag me to it, so I'm glad to hear that it's worth watching. I do really enjoy the main duo.

  9. Hadn't heard of The Campaign so I had to look it up on IMDB to find out more. What a line up of cast members and special appearances.

    Wrote By Rote

  10. S.L.: Well, I thought so.

    Lee: Yeah, it's a good cast.