Saturday, October 14, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Man of the Year

Hello all, for the first time in a few weeks I actually got a chance to see a movie on its opening weekend and because of my predilections for politics I chose to see Man of the Year starring Robin Williams. After I saw the movie I caught Lisa "Doesn't know her ass from her asshole" Schwarzbaum’s review in my Entertainment Weekly. Unfortunately for Schwarzbaum she read too much into the trailers for this film, I think she thought this was going to be some light hearted comedy like Dave. Instead it’s more along the lines of Good Morning Vietnam. She also doesn’t understand what a satire is either. She complains that Robin Williams is not believable as a president, well duh, that's kind of the point. In the beginning of the film Dobbs tries hard just to stay on the issues but discovers that no one wants to see a comedian get serious. How crazy is that I mean when I think of people like Bill Mahr and Jon Stewart, I think, these guys are just as smart or smarter then our president. These guys understand the issues as much or more than our President. Doesn’t that beg the question that if Bush could be elected then why not a comedian? I really liked the film and the message that goes with it. Sure they deal with the campaign stops and political barbs but if you look closely you will find that this film is mostly about technology and how it can corrupt a free society. Remember during the last presidential election? Everyone was talking about those Diebold voting machines and the fear of glitches in the system, of course if there was a glitch it would be tough to spot because the machine leaves no paper trail. Man of the Year explores this possibility and the dilemma that follows the discovery.

Comedian/Host of his own Politically Incorrect type show, Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams), decides he's going to run for President of the United States. He gets help from his very funny producer and friend Jack Menken (Christopher Walken) as well as his comedy writer/friend Eddie (Lewis Black). Dobbs runs as an Independent hitting Republicans and Democrats alike for being stiff ass shills for big business and lobbyists. The debate was hilarious as the two talking heads from the Democratic Party and the Republican Party thank their wives and kids and the moderator for being there. This part is so true during a debate I remember between W and Kerry both of them yapped on for at least five minutes thanking people instead of answering the damn question. Dobbs goes on a rant for a few minutes scaring the hell out of the debaters and the moderator allowing Robin Williams to do his frenetic jokes a second spiel. Brilliant I say it's been too long since I've seen him just go completely off book. It's nice to see him back in true comic form. Although it doesn't last through the entire movie he switches back and forth very well. Laura Linney was interesting as the computer programmer for the Diebold lite company. Hell her boss kind of looked like Steve Jobs. Oh and Jeff Goldblum was a creepy exec in this as well.

Barry Levinson does a great job of pacing the film dealing with a guy determined to be different in a sea of repeating sound bytes and rhetoric. If you enjoy a good political satire go and check this one out. If you love Robin Williams when he's playing for laughs then you really should run to see this film cause he hasn't been this good since Good Morning Vietnam.

Grade: 4 Buckets

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