The folks behind the home video of “The Campaign” picked a week before Election Day for its official street date.
Savvy choice, no doubt.
The film’s Blu-ray release is meant to remind viewers of how unchecked money impacts modern politics, the film’s reason d’etre. The new film also reveals, not by choice, how eagerly Hollywood places its considerable thumb on the election scales.
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis star as dueling politicians – one a slick, sleazy incumbent, the other a naive newcomer – who behave rather badly en route to Election Day. The film plays it fairly neutral in the obvious Left vs. Right debate, saving all of its partisan shots for a Koch brothers duo (John Lithgow, Dan Akyroyd).
What “The Campaign” highlights is how liberal entertainers bemoan the impact of money in the election process – a worthwhile debate point, no doubt – while ignoring how they pour millions into products meant to sway hearts and minds.
After all, “The Campaign” must have cost at least $30 million to make not including marketing costs by the most conservative estimates, and it is directed at devaluing the Citizens United case which failed to restrict corporate spending come election time.
Plus, we just recently watched shows like “The Good Wife” slip pro-liberal messages into its storytelling and “Last Man Standing” spread the president’s talking points to the masses. Plus, the National Geographic film “SEAL Team Six,” rushed to fill a programming slot two days before the election, was personally massaged by Obama donor Harvey Weinstein for maximum impact.
Is it fair for actors to whine about Koch brothers’ money while looking the other way while Hollywood dumps millions to affect voters’ minds via content?
For the record, “The Campaign” is an occasionally hilarious look at modern electioneering, and while the final 20 minutes reduces the laugh meter considerably you’ll still find a fair share of chuckles here. Those who can’t appreciate a cute baby getting KO’d in comic fashion, though, are best to look elsewhere for Election Day entertainment.
The Blu-ray extras include a Line-o-Rama feature letting the cast riff repeatedly with absurdly comic rejoinders (the arrow in the leg segment is a misfire, while the rest are surely smirk-worthy) and a gag reel with a mustache malfunction and a sexual assault on an election sign.