Today is November 8TH and that can only mean one thing in the United States Of American and that it’s Election Day 2016. So to help celebrate the fact that it’s Election Day, I decided to watch a film that had to do with campaigns and such and that film is 1997’s Wag The Dog. It’s election time and the President of the United States has landed himself in hot water when a scandal breaks out. To try and help keep away the backlash of the scandal, the presidents trusted aides decide to hire famous spin doctor Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro). Brean will come up with a brilliant scheme to take away the attention with eccentric producer Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman), but the question is can they pull it off? The film also stars Anne Heche (Volcano) as Winifred Ames, Denis Leary (Suicide Kings) as Fad King, Willie Nelson as Johnnie Dean, Andrea Martin (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Liz Butsky, Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia) as Stacey Lime, William H. Macy (Fargo) as CIA Agent Young, John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher) as John Levy, Woody Harrelson (Rampart) as SGT. Schumann, Suzanne Cryer (Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place) as Amy Cain, David Koechner (Paul) as Director, and the film was directed by Barry Levinson (Rock The Kasbah).
I have to say that putting Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman on the same screen was a brilliant idea. They played off of each other so well and you could definitely see the chemistry between them. I had to look it up for myself, but these two have only been in four films together (Sleepers, Meet The Fockers, and Little Fockers). The idea of the film is actually an interesting look at what happens behind the scenes of an election campaign. I mean think about it, how much information that gets passed on to the media that you see is 100% true? Don’t you think something like that could be happening now with this election and we don’t even know about it? I think politics is a dirty game anyways and this film shows you just that. I just didn’t really like the ending because I loved Dustin Hoffman’s character, but I won’t give that away to you. The acting in the film is great and a lot of today’s stars are featured in this film and Woody Harrelson was perfect in the film as a crazed nut that they use to their advantage. The cinematography in the film was great, the editing was amazing as well. I wish I had seen this movie way back when I decided to watch Bulworth because this was a great film. I am going to give Wag The Dog an A for a final grade.
After 31 one straight days of Horror films, I am definitely ready to catch up and watch some movies that I have missed out on. Netflix has been producing some great comedies as of late and there was one that I just couldn’t wait to see and that is the mockumentary film Mascots which comes from the mind of Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap). Every year, there is a competition that looks at the unsung heroes of baseball games, football games, and various other sports in the Mascots. This mockumentary explores that world as it follows various mascots like Mike and Mindy Murray (Zach Woods and Sarah Baker), Owen Golly Jr. (Tom Bennett), Cindi Babineaux (Parker Posey), Tommy ‘Zook’ Zucarello (Chris O’Dowd), and Phil Mayhew (Christopher Moynihan) as they all fight for the award called the Golden Fluffy. The film also stars Kerry Godliman (Derek) as Sarah Golly, John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher) as Upton French, Jim Piddock (Best In Show) as Owen Golly Sr., Susan Yeagley (The Lucky Ones) as Laci Babineaux, Ed Begley Jr. (Ghostbusters) as A.J. Blumquist, Jane Lynch (Glee) as Gabby Monkhouse, Don Lake (Zootopia) as Buddy Campbell, Fred Willard (WALL·E) as Greg Gammons, Jr, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie) as Jolene Lumpkin, Bob Balaban (Ghost World) as Sol Lumpkin, and Michael Hitchcock (Glee) as Langston Aubrey.
I really loved this film because it’s everything you loved about mockumentaries like This Is Spinal Tap and it also helps that it was made by one of the stars of that film. He even makes a special appearance in the film as a guy named Corky and his chemistry with Parker Posey was incredible and hilarious. It also helped that the film featured so many funny people in one film that it was almost overload. This was a well written film with so many great subplots that helped drive the film forward as well as the main plot. One of my favorite parts of the film is when they finally get to the competition and you see all of the performances from the main guys and the hilarious reactions from the judges in the film. My favorite performance (if I was a judge) would go to the The Fist which was played by Chris O’Dowd probably because of the fact that he added an element of metal to his show. The other thing that I liked about the film is that they show you where all of the mascots are one year later. It definitely adds closure to some of the drama in the subplots that were presented to us. There was definitely some cliche comedy vices thrown in the film, but sometimes that is what makes them great. You have to give credit where credit is due to Netflix because they have produced some great stuff so far. If you have it, definitely give this film a shot if you haven’t already. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because it’s enjoyable to watch.