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.
When Cloverfield came out in 2008, I thought it was one of the coolest films that year. Even though it was a found footage film, it was definitely different and the aliens were cool looking. Fast forward 8 years later and now we have 10 Cloverfield Lane which supposedly takes place around the same time as the first film. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is running away from something in the big city when she gets into a car accident in the country side. When she wakes up, she discovers that she is being held inside a bomb shelter by a man named Howard (John Goodman). She is being told that the outside world is gone and that everybody is dead, but there is something about Howard that bothers her. Along with the other captive Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), they’ll try their best to figure out a way out of there before Howard expects anything. The film also stars Douglas M. Griffin (Dallas Buyers Club) as Driver, Suzanne Cryer (Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place) as the woman, Bradley Cooper (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Ben, Sumalee Montano (Transformers Prime) as Voice on Radio, and the film was directed by Dan Trachtenberg.
I did not realize that Bradley Cooper was the voice of Ben in this film which came as an absolute shock to me. That is cool of him to do this for J.J. Abrams and company, but it’s not the most important detail of the film. What is important is the fact that John Goodman was absolutely masterful as a paranoid doomsdayer (if that is what you call them). When have you ever seen a film with John Goodman that you can say was never good? I can’t think of many that did suck, but Goodman was the true highlight of the film. I love Mary Elizabeth Winstead so I was happy to see her in the film, but I have to be honest. If it wasn’t for the last 20 minutes of the movie and John Goodman, you are looking at a C player here as far as the film goes. It drags for a little while and it takes a while to build up any good momentum, but once you get to the last 20 minutes or so it gets really good. One thing I can say about this film is that I enjoyed it a heck of a lot more than I did The Witch. I have to be honest, I didn’t know who John Gallagher Jr. was before the film, but he also does a great job. It was essentially a small cast, but they were all A+ players in my book. One thing is for sure, after watching this I am actually hoping for another film. It’s only bound to get a heck of a lot better as long as we get some good writers. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out in theaters everywhere right now!!!