Tom DotyTimes Columnist
October 31, 2012
Vulgar comedy and some classic scares teamed up for a varied week at your nearest rental kiosk.
“The Campaign” — Politics get a liberal skewering that takes no prisoners, in this spoof of the process through which we elect our fearless leaders. The film focuses on an uncontested Senate race that heats up when an inexperienced stooge is picked to run against the incumbent. Will Ferrell is hilarious as the seasoned politician who is also a shallow,cheating brute. Zach Galafinakas gives him a run for his money as the effeminate family man who challenges him. He is an underachiever who needs all the help he can get, and he gets it from a publicist, Dylan McDermott, who is mean enough to be considered half-shark. The laughs are big here, but the humor is definitely vulgar, so stay away if you hated “Dodgeball.”
“Streets of San Francisco: Season 5” — The final season of Quinn Martin’s scenic cop show is hamstrung by the loss of Michael Douglas. Karl Malden is still on hand as a veteran inspector, but his new partner, and future “Battlestar Galactica” star, Richard Hatch, just doesn’t have the chemistry with him. The show benefits from a few appearances by Douglas, but this season is for completists only.
“Rosemary’s Baby: The Criterion Collection” — Any movie that gets the Criterion treatment is worth your time. Here you get Ira Levin ‘s novel about a satanic pregnancy, brought to the screen by Roman Polanski (“Chinatown”). A classic horror film that asks and answers the question about how motherly loves trumps all obstacles. The extras are what make Criterion treatments the best, and this restoration is no different. The film looks fantastic but the extras are the main selling point. You get interviews with star Mia Farrow, Polanski and novelist Levin. You also get a documentary on the jazz musician who wrote the haunting score, as well as a booklet with essays on the film.
“Craigslist Joe” — A documentary on the people one finds on the net’s biggest social network sounds iffy, but turns out to be quite illuminating. Instead of focusing on the sexual hook-up angle of the site, you get a tour of America wherein the director meets people across the country who are just looking for friends. Oddly touching.
Next week brings a new version of “The Amazing Spiderman.”