Plot: What’s it about?
Do you know why I hate politics, particularly in America? Politicians. That’s why. Seriously, have we ever had an elected official that’s ever, well, told the truth about anything? I kind of doubt it. And the sheer fascination that some people have with politics is almost as sickening to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love America but its governing body is just something that I’m not too fond of. Of course when you live 35 miles away from Washington D.C. and it’s an election year, it’s best to keep quiet or voice your political views via a movie review. So that’s what I’m doing. That aside, we’ve got The Campaign, a movie that somewhat mocks the election process while praising it at the same time. Truthfully I’d rather vote for Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis than some of the “real” candidates that run for these offices, but I realize that’s probably never going to happen. Ok, I’m starting to depress myself, let’s get on with this film and see what made me laugh!
Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is a four time incumbent congressman and he’s running unopposed for his fifth term. He’s got the blonde wife, kids and, like every politician, has sex with every attractive woman who makes eye contact with him. However the Motch brothers, Glenn (John Lithgow) and Wade (Dan Aykroyd) aren’t so keen on this and see an opportunity for even more money with China. So they sponsor Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) as Cam’s opponent, knowing full well they can manipulate him any which way they can. He’s even assigned a campaign manager who borders on a sociopath Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott). The film is obviously engineered to play off the comic talents of both Ferrell and Galigianakis and it does so very well. Of course it’ll come down to a morality choice, do we want Cam back in office or Marty, the “ likable” candidate who might actually do some good? Decisions, decisions.
Never let it be said that timeliness is a bad thing. I doubt we’ll see another film like The Campaign for at least four more years. The movie was released in August 2012 and as of this writing, it’s been just a shade over two months and now I have the Blu-ray in hand. Coincidence? Doubtful. Ok, let’s face it, there are much more pointed policital films out there, one of the better ones being The War Room, which chronicled the entire process of getting Bill Clinton elected two decades ago. The Campaign is more of a showcase for the two lead actors and if you approach the film from that standpoint, you’ll enjoy it. But by no means is it to be taken seriously as any sort of political satire. One name I think we will see again is Karen Maruyama, who plays a maid but I’ll leave the other details out. Let’s just say that she pretty much steals every scene she’s in and with a movie loaded with such comic genius – that’s a pretty impressive feat.
Video: How does it look?
Shown in a 1.85:1 AVC HD transfer, The Campaign looks just about as good as I expected. Granted it’s about as new as can be and there’s simply not a lot to complain about. We can see the lines in Ferrell’s forehead, the fake scars on Marty’s chest and everything in between. So yes, detail looks pretty darn good. Colors are bright and bold for the most part and I saw no evidence of DNR or the like. Contrast and black levels are right on the money, too. Suffice it to say that this delivers on all levels, though it falls just short of perfect.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is on par with most comedies. I don’t recall much that really left me impressed, but there were a few times when I cranked my neck around to “follow” the sound. Vocals are pitch perfect, we can hear every bit of Marty’s pseudo southern accent (the film takes place in North Carolina), complete with his little lisp. There’s really not much else to say as comedic soundtracks arent’ really known for being that robust. This serves its purpose here and nothing more.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Perhaps it’s because this was rushed to Blu-ray so fast that there’s a lack of extras. The main draw here is the “Extended Cut” in which we get 11 minutes more (totaling 96) than the theatrical cut, which is also included. We get “Line-O-Rama” in which we see some variations on the scenes in the film as well as some deleted scenes and a gag reel. The second disc contains a DVD of the film but it only contains the theatrical version of the movie. An UltraViolet copy is also included.