Election Picks 2012 – Movies That Is

Dead Red Eyes Election picks (2012). Well not the actual election, but something that we are a bit more fond of. Here’s our ten picks for election based movies, just in time for that election day marathon when you don’t need to watch the news on every channel to see the same commentary over and over. The work’s been done, let me know who wins…. the day after.

1. The Candidate (1972) Apparently politicians were so impressed by Robert Redford’s performance as presidential candidate Bill McKay, they actually wanted him to run. A landmark American film (or so film school says) that captured the dark political scene of the time. Plus I love anything Peter Boyle is in.

2. Wag the Dog (1997) A Presidential advisor (Robert DeNiro) and a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) make up a fake war to distract the public from the truth through the media. Don’t worry, it’s just a movie.

3. An Unreasonable Man (2005) Consumer advocate Ralph Nader discusses the role (or lack thereof) of third party candidates and other topics such as him introducing something called the seatbelt and airbags. He’s got nerve for being such a good person!

4. Bulworth (1998) An entertaining political satire that is worth a watch if only to see Warren Beatty rap and smoke a blunt. Warren has since disappeared much in the same way the title character of this film did.

5. Advise and Consent (1962) Two words: Burgess Meredith.

6. The Ides of March (2011) George Clooney AND Ryan Gosling?! No, no, no! Too sexy! That’s probably why I haven’t seen it. Jokes aside, it did get some good feedback from critics and people we know, if you count a friend of mine saying “suprisingly decent”….as a sort of thumbs up.

7. The Last Hurrah (1958) Haven’t seen it but I’m sure it’s better than State of the Union (see below). Even old movies were often based on a book, such as this 1958 film adaptation of the novel The Last Hurrah by Edwin O’Connor. Also made in 1977 as a TV movie, which I’m sure I couldn’t find even if I tried.

8. State of the Union (1948) Haven’t seen it but I’m sure it’s better than Primary Colors (see Dishonorable mention). For those keeping score – It is directed by Frank Capra and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn about a presidential run.

9. Silver City (2004) I guess this was John Sayles’ attempt to mock George Bush and deter people from voting for him in 2004 when in fact it might have actually won him his second term.

10. The Campaign (2012) The last election movie before the end of the world? Almost hope so. Actually did see this quite recently, and while its not one of Ferrell’s best, Zach Galifianakis is brilliant in this movie. But flow-wise, it doesn’t compare to other similar “leader” comedies of the past year or so such as The Dictator.

Dishonorable mention: Primary Colors (1998) John Travolta as Bill Clinton? That detestable promo poster was enough for me to not bother. I’ll take Bulworth for 1998 political movies over this one any day.

Other more honorable mentions: Napoleon Dynamite (not exactly a US election, but Vote for Pedro gets half a point). Black Sheep, with Chris Farley and David Spade (plot not always necessary). Any others? Manchurian Candidate perhaps (which was remade in 2004)? I’m sure we’ve forgotten a couple, so let us know.

The Hurricane’s Eye For Movies

This post goes out to Sandy, that’s right, the hurricane hitting all of us on the East coast. Good day to stay in and watch movies. Movies with hurricanes, as if looking out the window wasn’t enough. Tough to find though.  Here’s a few for starters.

The Perfect Storm (2000) – Big names such as Clooney and Wahlberg, this movie got a lot of hype and was based on a  book.  Most of it is on a boat and visually its part of a wave of movies (no pun intended) that featured new technical breakthroughs in CGI and visual development. Plotwise, well lets just say that was a secondary factor.

Trouble the Water (2008) – It’s technically not just about Hurricane Katrina, but is based “around” it, and set when it happened. It sort of serves as a semi-documentary about the storm but has a storyline within it of an aspiring young artist. I know a fair few people who got hit by Hurricane Sandy today and likely more come Tuesday, but at the same time, many have been lucky (myself included) and are grateful that it hasn’t ended up like Katrina, which was a mess in many ways, particularly how the “after” was managed.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – Leads the list of fake pics of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, as its where the Statue of Liberty hurricane pic originated. Suddenly everyone realizes how memorable this flick with Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhall was. Good FX and yet another disaster movie based in NYC. I think that’s why I sort of like movies based elsewhere, because using NYC as the scene of disaster has been way overdone.

The Hurricane (1979 and 1937) – Hurricane in 1979 was with Mia Farrow and Jason Robards, directed by Jan Troell. It is loosely based on the 1937 film of the same name. I have never seen either, and took this description from the depths of the web. Same goes for this clip of the original.

Key Largo (1948) – Starring Humphrey Bogart & Edward G. Robinson. The movie was adapted by Richard Brooks and Huston from Maxwell Anderson’s 1939 play of the same name, which played on Broadway way back in the day. I’ve never seen this one either.

Honorable mention:

The Hurricane (1999) – This has NOTHING TO DO WITH A HURRICANE and stars Denzel Washington. It’s about boxing. A middleweight boxer who was committed of homicide and how he dealt with prison and life moving forwards. So if you are looking for themes for your hurricane Sandy movie night, this will feel out of place. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

Any others? Let me know if we missed any. Time to end the movie marathon and head outside.

The Spotlight – Script In Progress October 2012

Story about a man who is diagnosed with a rare illness yet recovers. He feels its a miracle and has beaten all odds just from belief. But it turns out that he was actually just misdiagnosed by the hospital. And that his pain previously was psychological due to the bad news in his life – thus reversed by the good news.

He finds this out but doesn’t believe it, saying that it was his belief that cured him.  And with this, he starts to feel worse, genuinely getting worse, but in tandem with his denial. With his belief he gets sicker and sicker, more disillusioned, irrational, and enters a new type of illness of the mind and body. And what he believes gets more and more warped beyond any rationale.  Very main character based and a borderline horror / drama screenplay.

And So It’s Begun, This is Day One

Welcome to Dead Red Eyes, a small production/writing/audio/film team based on the East Coast. Our blog website will contain a mix of things, such as writings about our own writings (such as screenplays), films (such as short films), and other people’s work too (perhaps a mix of stuff we like and spoofs of stuff we do/don’t, along with work from close friends of ours).

Call it comedy, art, drama, make them timepieces. We really care about some of it, like we do about film making and movies. Some of it is an absolute joke, like the movies too.

Abandoned drive in theater