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.
I love dirty raunchy comedies just as much as the next guy if you have noticed from the list of films I have seen in the past. So, I was super excited to see that Robert De Niro (Goodfellas) and Zac Efron (Neighbors) were going to be starring together in Dirty Grandpa which is today’s film. Jason Kelly (Efron) is a sort of successful corporate lawyer who is about to get married to what seems like the perfect girl. After losing his grandma, Jason agrees to take his now single Grandfather Dick Kelly (De Niro) down to Boca, Florida to see an old friend and try to make it back in time for his wedding. No the keyword there is if he makes it back in time for the wedding because things get complicated when his Grandpa gets horny and he sees an old college friend. The film also stars Zoey Deutch (Everybody Wants Some!) as Shadia, Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as Lenore, Jason Mantzoukas (Neighbors) as Tan Pam, Dermot Mulroney (Insidious: Chapter 3) as David Kelly, Julianne Hough (Footloose) as Meredith, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Grave Encounters 2) as Bradley, Brandon Smith (Gridiron Gang) as Tyrone, Adam Pally (Iron Man 3) as Cousin Nick, Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) as Stinky, and the film was directed by Dan Mazer (Brüno).
As far as the film is concerned, I love the idea of it and I love the people who star in the film for the most part. I just don’t think it’s the greatest comedy ever, but it’s a good one. I say that because at one point I thought the film was too long even though it said it was about 108 minutes (that’s 1 hour and 48 minutes for those who need to know). There’s a lot of stuff in the film that was just pointless that they threw in to try and make you laugh and then there was the stuff that was golden that made you laugh. Robert De Niro was great in the film and he had great chemistry with Efron and even Plaza when they did have scenes that they interacted in. I even thought Zoey Deutch (who I found out is the daughter of Lea Thompson) was even great in the film and her chemistry with Efron was on point. I just thought of plenty of stuff that I would have cut out that would save you ten minutes. I never saw the theatrical version of the film, I watched this which was the Unrated version which should always be raunchier, but Zac Efron has by this point grown on me and I am willing to forgive him for his Disney past. I am excited to see him in Neighbors 2, but I can definitely say that this one could be a contender for Comedy of the year when the Monster Entertainment Awards happen next year. With that being said, I definitely think that it’s a film that is worth checking out if you are a fan of comedies and especially De Niro in comedies. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.