The Ides of March (2011) -vs- Primary Colors (1998)

October 11, 2011 Bryce Zabel

The list of more-than-decent films about political campaigns is a short one. Nobody will ever forget Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson in The Best Man or even The Candidate with the Kennedy-esque Robert Redford. During the Years of Lewinsky, Primary Colors took us into the thinly-disguised 1992 Clinton campaign. Now we have The Ides of March, proudly wearing its cynicism on its sleeve at a time when Obama gets pilloried for being practical. In the most recent films, the candidates have that certain problem we mentioned earlier. (Redford is famously remembered in The Candidate as muttering, after winning, “What do we do now?”, but there’s also a quick moment of a campaign worker leaving his room in the morning earlier in the film.)
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The Invention of Lying (2009) -vs- Liar Liar (1997)

October 15, 2009 Mark Sanchez

Things are rarely what they seem — and why not, people don’t always see the truth and sometimes they lie. The British humorist Jerome Jerome put it perfectly: It is always the best policy to speak the truth — unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar. Especially if you’re lying for laughs.
Jim Carrey did exactly that in 1997’s well-regarded Liar Liar. He trotted out the contortions and character tics that routinely punctuate his comedies. Clearly, Liar Liar succeeded on one level: It earned more than $300 million, but does this movie exhaust the topic of deception onscreen?
You’ll see a different approach in the just-released The Invention of Lying, written and directed by Ricky Gervais. He created the original version of The Office, as well cable’s Extras and starred in Ghost Town. Gervais knows how to get a laugh.
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