Skip to main content

Quick Film Review: Ides of March

Movies about politics nowadays always paint it as this low-down, back-stabbing, cut-throat game, which, it probably is. I say "probably," because I'm not privy to real underbelly of this game. I made some calls & knocked on some doors for the Obama campaign back in 2008 but that was like kindergarten compared to the serious, heavy game of professional politics. Having gotten a small taste of it though, I love to see a good political thriller like this one.

And it definitely is a thriller. The tension heats up from the very beginning as Ryan Gosling's character, a campaign manager for a "Governor Morris" (Clooney) gets involved in some double-dealing with the opposing campaign and finds himself in the middle of a very uncomfortable situation between a female intern and his candidate.

Long story short, Gosling learns a difficult and fast lesson in this film, which ends up being both a twist-laden drama and a frank but sad commentary on the American political system. Though I'd actually say erred more on the Hollywood thriller element. But hey, they have to get asses into seats, don't they?

This film makes me long for the fast-paced days of being involved in a campaign: following the news every minute of every day, parsing and dissecting the minutiae of every candidates' speeches, big and small, down to the Youtube video of him speaking to all three members of the Buggy Whip Makers Union Local meeting in Shoe Leather, Idaho. Ah, the churning, grimy, ugly, meat-grinder that is politics....

Watch this movie. It's good.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #146: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Issue: May 9, 2016

Story: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Rating: $

Review: I feel like this is a somewhat tired technique, straight out of Creative Writing 101: write a story consisting of three or four different snapshots or snippets out of a character's life at different ages, sort of like a series of written photographs. Fun perhaps, but strikes me as a bit amateurish. However, I also think L'Heureux succeeds here by pushing it a bit further, playing with the character's tentative attempts at something close to faith -- in childish, adult, and mature adult ways -- and tying all three "Short Moments" together in a subtle and readily decipherable way.

L'Heureux's prose and his frank humor and his ability to glorify and find the meaning in the mundane events and thoughts of every day life, and thereby turn the life of an ordinary person into a drama with meaning and significance puts me in mind of John Irving. As well a…

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…

Water Review: San Pellegrino 250ml Bottle

Damn you, tiny little bottle of San Pellegrino. So little. So cute. But what are you really good for other than to make me wish I had a full bottle of Pellegrino? 
Good as a palate cleanser after a nice double espresso, I will give it that. But little else. The suave yet chaotic burst of Pellegrino bubbliness is still there, but with each sip you feel the tragedy of being that much closer to the end of the bottle, that much faster.

This is a bottle of water made specifically for the frustrated, for the meticulous, for the measurers among us with a penchant for the dainty. This water does not love you in the wild, on a sunny porch or with the raucous laughter of friends. No...much the opposite. Whatever that may be.

Best drunk in tiny, tiny sips, while forcing oneself through an unreadable and depressing Russian novel one does not want to read but feels one should, on a cold, wet day in December that promises four months of gloom and depression...or in pairs or threes and poured over …