The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 85/96 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zack Galafinakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Katherine LaNasa, Brian Cox, Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow
Directed by: Jay Roach
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
Written by: Chris Henchy & Shawn Harwell
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 30, 2012
America. Liberty. Freedom. Candidates Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) and Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) care about none of these as they race for the North Carolina congressional seat. When four-term incumbent Cam Brady finds himself involved in a scandal, the wealthy powers that be decide to back “hand picked” newcomer Marty Huggins as their pawn against him. As voting day approaches, the two literally pull no punches in the dirtiest and funniest political fight of all time... or at least until the next election.
When long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, the Motch brothers, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs, plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district. Their man: naïve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center. At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but, with the help of his new benefactors' support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family's political connections he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about. As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other. Needless to say there is plenty of mud-slinging, back-stabbing, and home-wrecking antics that follow.
I don’t consider myself a Will Farrell fan as his comedies tend to run hot and cold for me. I generally find his one note comedic crassness, boarish characters and screaming delivery (not to mention the requisite partial nudity) to be tedious. There are instances where I can tolerate his act especially if he is surrounded by the right cast. In the case of The Campaign I would say that it falls somewhere in between. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect from a Will Ferrell comedy. The script is paper thin, the characters aren’t inspired and the situational gags show little in terms of creativity. What made The Campaign funny was Zack Galifianakis. His portrayal of Marty Huggins is a hoot and it compliments the interaction between himself and Ferrell as well as several of the secondary characters in the story. Speaking of which Dylan McDermott steals the majority of scenes he is in as Tim Wattley, the curt, cutthroat campaign manager. Cameos by John Lithgow, Brian Cox and Dan Aykroyd contribute to the laughs as well.
The Campaign isn’t among the more memorable comedies I have seen but while I was watching it kept me entertained and on occasion laughing out loud. This Blu-ray release from Warner includes both the 96 minute Extended Cut (which I viewed during my evaluation) and 85 minute Theatrical Cut.
The rating is for crude sexual content, language and brief nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Campaign comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.
This is a high quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Certain scenes appeared better resolved than others although I suspect this is related to the photography and not the encoding. Contrast was dynamic without being overpowering and blacks were respectable in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.
The lossless soundtrack competently handles the elements present in the recording. Dialogue is well intonated with crystal clarity and excellent room penetration. The presentation offers an open soundstage across the front with definitive channel separation and good dynamic range. Surround ie was limited to spatial cues and occasional panning effects that enhanced dimension. This is noticeable during several sequences as the music and effects creates a fair sense of envelopment in the rear of the room. There aren’t any sub bass frequencies contained in the mix however the subwoofer is used to provide low bass emphasis that extends the low range content associated with the recording’s elements.
- (HD) Short Feature: Line-O-Rama – 4 minutes
- (HD) 9 deleted scenes
- (HD) Gag reel – 3 minutes
- Bonus DVD
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Despite its formulaic comedy and Will Ferrell’s typically overplayed waggishness The Campaign manages to be a silly but decidedly entertaining political “satire” thanks to the awkwardly funny Zack Galifianakis, a well placed supporting cast and decent direction by Jay Roach. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video sporting excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a minimal but apropos supplemental offering. Based upon the upcoming election this one seems like a good choice to relieve the tension. Give it a rent and see for yourself.
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