If you have watched Adult Swim at all recently, you probably saw an incredibly vague promo for “The Greatest Even in Television History”, much like this one:
Enter The Campaign: Cam Brady, a strange mixture of both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton is a congressman running for another term, this time completely unopposed. That is until political nobody Marty Huggins enters the race at the behest of his retired, politician father (Brian Cox) and his former campaign contributors. (Both played by a terribly underutilized Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow.) As shown throughout the trailer for this political satire, a vicious match of mud slinging ensues which honestly just gets tired by about the middle of the movie.
The Campaign suffers from two things: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis exhibiting their same old schtick, and the majority of the laughs being shown in the trailer I mentioned above. I’m not saying that there weren’t funny parts in the movie, but they were so few and far between that I had trouble not checking the time on my cell phone, and that‘s knowing that other moviegoers hate lit cell phone screens in the theater. I almost felt like people in the theater were cautiously laughing at certain scenes just so it wouldn’t make the movie seem so terrible.
A movie with a comedic cast of this caliber should have had me throwing up from laughter. Ferrell and Galifianakis should make that a guarantee, but when their shenanigans aren’t enough shouldn’t Jason Sudekis, Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow somehow be able to pull us though? Shockingly enough, extra laughs were secured with me by Dylan McDermott who stole the scene every time he appeared on-screen. His dochebaggery as the smooth, relentless campaign manager to Marty Huggins was a welcome addition to the movie from an actor I had no idea could make me laugh the few times I did. Hopefully he’s in a few more roles like this in the coming years. He could be the next Channing Tatum in terms of how I went from absolutely hating C-Tates to actually liking him after 21 Jump Street. But that still doesn’t mean I went and saw Magic Mike.
Overall this movie serves a way to point out how corrupt politics is and how stupid a select two portions of the American population are ideologically. The only thing is, I don’t think that the audience needed a movie to tell us all of these things. And if the studio felt like they needed to then they could have done it in a funnier way. I had a much better time and more laughs watching a walking, talking, pot smoking teddy bear this year for God’s sake! 2 out of 5 Grizzlies is what I say! That dog WON’T hunt Monseigneur!
This movie starts off when the Thanksgiving Day parade is getting underway. Cole’s department store (not to be confused with Kohl’s) is the main event, and their Santa Claus is drunk. He is too intoxicated to stand straight, let alone talk to children. Who decides to step in? Why, the real Santa Claus, of course! Kris Kringle is his real name, and he does an amazing job! Such an amazing job, in fact, that the events director Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) hires Kris as the Cole’s Santa Claus for the season on the spot!
During the parade while Dorey is taking charge and doing her job, her daughter Susan (Mara Wilson) is hanging out with Dorey’s boyfriend Bryan (Dylan McDermott) and watching the parade. Dorey has taught her daughter that it is foolish to believe in things like Santa Claus, and although Kris claims he is the real Santa, there is no such thing. Bryan tries to convince Susan to believe despite what her mother says.
What. The. Shit.
Those three words could pretty much define this pilot episode. There has been a lot of build up for American Horror Story whether through our site or the other entertainment sites. Whether it be from the co-creators of Glee, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, that it has awesome Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton in it, or that the pilot was supposed to be one of the most creepy and well made in recent years. So with October in full swing, it is time to see how this series will stack up and live up to the height. After viewing the pilot, so far so good. Obviously do not proceed if you do not want spoilers. I will not give away too much but still, this is a review after all.
The pilot begins with a flashback to 1978 as we look to see a girl with down syndrome standing in front a house staring at it as two red-headed jackass twins come in with evil intentions of redecorating the interior with baseball bats. Naturally, the girl tells them they are going to die in there but details. Let’s just say that the boys get their comeuppance. Let us also note that the tone of this is pitch perfect. The way the sound and music plays into setting scenes and how the camera almost stalks its way towards the people really has this creepy vibe that adds to the atmosphere. You never feel comfortable viewing this but that’s what makes this pilot as a whole great. You are always on edge because this is not a cookie cutter pilot. There is no predictability and it definitely will suck you in.
Moving on, we advance to the present time where Connie Britton is treated at a doctor’s office months after a traumatic miscarriage only to come home to find her husband Dylan McDermott “burying his sorrows” into some other girl. Afterwards, we see the somewhat jaded couple take themselves and their daughter to Los Angeles in search of a new life.
We see the troubles still remain in all them as the episode moves on. Daughter does not fit in and is a cutter, husband is still pretty selfish oblivious to everyone else’s thoughts and ideas, and the wife is still broken.
Oh by the way, that house in ’78? That’s their new home. That creepy girl? Yeah, she just told Coach’s wife (I still have to get used to not calling her that) that she’s going to die. Also, Jessica Lange is a bitch.
Speaking of great actresses, what a great cast. You have Jessica Lange coming in giving off the right kind of kooky neighbor with a bit of unforgiving bitch slapped on for good measure. The supporting characters are great as well and the family shines as they each convey their demons with enough subtlety to where it does not feel overdramatic yet enough to show that the horror is truly what they are going through internally and obviously externally.
Throw in a creepy maid, burn victims, school bullies and one messed up kid patient and I think this will be a good show to watch. I do question how long this will all last because let’s face it, most horror movies over 90 minutes tend to wear out its welcome. FX is the perfect network for this show however because they are able to push the boundaries further than what the traditional networks can do. The writing is sharp and the pacing, while a big off-kilter, works brilliantly.
I am curious where they take this and with that, I will go 4 grizzlies out of 5. I saw way too much of McDermott’s ass to give it a perfect score.
As some of you may know, I am a Glee fanatic. Most people – at best – tolerate that about me. I always said that the reason Glee is so well received by ladies my age is because of the original concept. It is geared towards several different groups of people, or “cliques”, and so a lot of fans find it relate-able. I am glad to say that the creators of Glee seem to have done it again! Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (also creators of FX’s Nip/Tuck) have come up with an another idea that FX apparently loved: AMERICAN HORROR STORY, the cables station is picking the show up for a 13-episode season.
While I am very excited about this show, it is mainly because I am a fan of the creators. In fact, after a lot of internet hounding, I have yet to find out much about the plot. Here’s what we do know: The show will star Dylan McDermott (Dark Blue, The Practice) and Emmy nominee Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, Spin City, 24) as ‘Ben & Vivien Harmon’, husband and wife from Boston who move to Los Angeles to overcome some kind of family trauma – and move into a seemingly haunted house…
Creator Murphy stated:
“What do you think the thing in the basement is? That’s my favorite question and I get so many great answers because I know what it is. He’s my little favorite creature. It’s based on a real thing! When we were shooting, everyone was freaked out by it, even the actors. We had a lot of insomnia. The weird thing is we also had a lot of accidents during the shooting. The house that we are shooting in is supposedly possessed — which I knew when I signed on for it. That was an added benefit.”
Now that’s all pretty vague, and people know about the production problems that plagued the sets of The Exorcist and Poltergeist, so it’s not uncommon to hear things like this, but anything green lit by FX has to be at least watchable – right? So while Horror isn’t an overly popular genre on TV, this could shape up to be pretty good.
Aside from McDermott & Britton, other cast members include film star Jessica Lange (King Kong, Big Fish, Cape Fear) in her first permanent TV role. From the vampire communitty is True Blood‘s ‘Russell Edgington’ himself – Denis O’Hare, and Christian Serratos of Twilight, – all of them apparently. Finally, newcomer (and sister of The Departed star Vera Farmiga) Taissa Farmiga will play daughter ‘Violet Harmon’.