Among the movies that became available Tuesday, Oct. 30 on Blu-ray and DVD at retail stores and rental outlets throughout the Valley are an election comedy starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, a romantic comedy about an imaginary girlfriend and a dramedy that was inspired by a quirky classified ad.
Will Ferrell plays a long-term congressman who commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, prompting a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs to put up a rival candidate (Zach Galifianakis) and gain influence over their North Carolina district. (R – 97 minutes)
“The Campaign” is certainly stupid but, fortunately, it is also funny. Granted, if you are offended by jokes about having sex in a Porta Potty or while standing on a stool with one’s head in a freezer, you are unlikely to laugh during the new politically satirical motion picture from director Jay Roach. Then again, what kind of comedy would you expect from these two stars? The most we can ask for are a few laughs and this movie has just enough of them to win the popular vote – even if it is still too silly to win the general election. (Grade: C)
Paul Dano plays a young novelist who achieved phenomenal success early in his career but is now struggling with his writing – as well as his romantic life. Finally, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character (Zoe Kazan) who inspires him. However, when he finds said character in the flesh – sitting on his couch – he is completely flabbergasted. (R – 104 minutes)
The thing that really makes “Ruby Sparks,” for lack of a better word, sparkle is its terrific tonal fluctuations. Much like the previous motion picture directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris “Little Miss Sunshine,” this romantic dramedy with a touch of the fantastic has a tendency to change moods from one minute to the next. When a movie can go from outstandingly optimistic to desperately dark without batting an eye, you know that you are in for a riveting ride. And although star Zoe Kazan’s screenplay requires a ridiculously high suspension of disbelief, it is a humorous, romantic and perceptive commentary on courtship. (Grade: B)
‘Safety Not Guaranteed’
Three magazine employees (Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni) head out on an assignment to interview a guy (Mark Duplass) who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. The comedy was inspired by a real classified ad. (R – 94 minutes)
“Safety Not Guaranteed” is as thought-provoking as it is emotionally stimulating. Oh, and it is also fantastically funny. The new dramedy from director Colin Trevorrow and screenwriter Derek Connolly encourages viewers to believe that the impossible is in fact possible – not so much as a result of scientific advances or mere magic but rather the fascination of the human spirit. This is a feel-good film that will have you talking about the experience long after you leave the theater. It is the epitome of a small movie with a big idea and an even bigger heart. (Grade: A)