July 12 2021

The Campaign: Is a silly spoof of American, southern American Republican, politics. It stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. From 2012, it doesn’t address the silliness of the Trump Presidency, but it might as well have done so. Ferrell plays an incumbent, obnoxious, ignorant and arrogant Republican senator from South Carolina. He is about to be re-elected as he was running unopposed. Enter the Koch-like brothers, reminiscent of brothers in the Eddie Murphy comedy Trading Places, who are looking to fund a candidate that they can dominate to sell a small town to interests in China (Dan Ackroyd plays one of them). They are nervous about Ferrell and decide to back another unknown candidate played by clueless Galifianakis. They are opposing one another in stand off and photo opportunities with weeks left in the campaign. It’s all very silly. There is some slap stick humour, and a few mild jokes but they really aren’t that effective. Both principals have done funnier films. I am not a huge Ferrell fan, but he can have his time with the right material. Take a pass on this if you happen to stumble upon it somewhere in the streaming ether.

A Quiet Place 2 or Part Two: The sci-fi surprise suspense thriller that was directed, starred and written in by John Krasinki from 2018, returns for a sequel/prequel in 2021. It was a thriller with a soul and heart. A young family lives after an alien invasion with creatures that are virtually impregnable; hard outer skin, very tough and lethal. The human world has been wiped out for the most part, just empty quiet streets in towns and cities. The creatures have very sensitive hearing and track down victims with sound. Thus, the young family has to sign to each other silently and be quiet wandering their immediate world. The original film was excellent with plenty of good jumps. After it was done, I feel that the viewer felt like their whole body was tense during it. This thriller with a soul, returns and one wonders whether the success can be duplicated? I was skeptical, but hopeful. I would say that this had success. It still has heart. You care about this family. You care about those in it, and we see a young, determined young lady (the daughter with hearing impairment) take charge of her life and saving the lives of those around her. We are introduced to another local resident, played by Cillian Murphy, who has his own journey and doubts. He introduces another set location where some relief from making sounds can take place. There is some more dialogue. There is a journey for the young girl, and the Mom separately as well as her older son. You also see what has happened to humankind in this dystopia. Humans turn on one another, and need to fear each other as much as the creatures. As far as production, the creatures are quite an achievement. The story is good because it keeps us engaged. You note that Krasinski has seen Jurassic Park in some of his shots. I think that the transition is good from one site (the farm) to the other (industrial plant). The world gets larger but the underlying challenge remains. Each character has their journey. You may be pleased to know that Part III will be coming. I don’t think it gives too much away to reveal that. Still, I wonder if the momentum and story can still remain strong and true to its essence. I would like to think that this will remain a young family story, and that it avoids the War of the Worlds shoot ’em up with all the military. This is better than War of the Worlds, and one of the better suspense films (and franchises) in recent memory. This is worth checking out, although I am not convinced it needs to be seen in a large theatre, scheduled in Ontario to open up this Friday. I am truly excited to get back to the theatre and see some films up where they belong.

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