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The Campaign: Extended Cut (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

If all of those political ads on TV are sticking in your craw, the release of this to home video might provide you with some humorous relief.

Granted, the political-comedy movie I want to see most would feature Will Ferrell playing George W. Bush and Darrell Hammond playing Al Gore in a re-enactment of the 2000 election debacle. That would be epic. That's not the movie we get here, but it does have Ferrell playing a politician slightly reminiscent of a certain former president. He plays a slimy congressman who finds himself in an unexpected race with a hapless stooge (Zach Galifianakis) as his challenger.

If you haven't seen it yet, this is a good one to watch before the upcoming elections. It takes some nice stabs at dirty politics and shameless political advertising. At its most basic level, it's a good showcase for Ferrell and Galifianakis to face off. They score plenty of laughs, even with things as simple as Ferrell's character's inability to recite the Lord's Prayer, or Galifianakis fretting about his character's pugs.

Good supporting turns come from Jason Sudeikis, Brian Cox and Dan Aykroyd. Among Will Ferrell comedies, this one falls somewhere in the middle, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, remember, that's coming from a guy who liked Land of the Lost, so proceed with caution.

SPECIAL FEATURES: This is pretty slim when it comes to the features. You do get an "extended cut" that boasts a couple of extra scenes, including an extension of the film's rattlesnake-bite incident. While gag reels are usually pretty stupid, this one features moments with Ferrell and Galifianakis cracking each other up, and it's quite endearing. You also get some deleted scenes, including an alternate ending that had the congressional district changing into a new Chinatown. This sequence needed to be left on the cutting-room floor.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

This movie is basically Deep Impact minus Morgan Freeman and product placement for Ensure drinks. It's also a lot funnier, and quite sweet in its strange, apocalyptic ways.

Steve Carell plays Dodge, a sad sack who learns that the world will end soon. He promptly loses his wife, who basically wants to spend the end times with somebody other than Steve Carell. Dodge eventually winds up on a road trip with Penny (Keira Knightley), who wants to see Dodge reunite with his first love.

Yes, it's a road-trip movie with impending-death-for-everybody flavor. Carell and Knightley make a surprisingly interesting duo, all things considered. I liked their visit to an anything-goes restaurant where blow jobs seem as likely to be on the menu as chicken wings. And I really liked Adam Brody as Penny's moody, soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. Actually, I would've liked it if they had found a way to keep him around longer.

The apocalypse is all the rage right now. Stay tuned for The End of the World, with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg directing a cast of their friends (playing themselves) who find out the world is going to end while partying at James Franco's house. Something tells me that movie is going to be a little crazier than this one.

SPECIAL FEATURES: There's a cast-and-crew commentary that actually doesn't feature Carell or Knightley, but it does have Patton Oswalt and Brody, so that's kind of cool. You also get some outtakes. It's not much, but the stuff you do get is OK.

Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume Two (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

Warner Bros. has rolled out another Blu-ray edition of its classic cartoon characters, with an emphasis on Bugs Bunny and obscure classics like Private Snafu.

It's quite surreal to watch the Private Snafu shorts, with Mel Blanc providing the voice of a goofy military man making all sorts of mistakes during World War II. These black-and-white cartoon shorts were used for training during the war. They contain many stereotypes (their depiction of the Japanese is not pretty) and often feature Hitler as a main character. In one particular episode, Private Snafu gets killed for having "loose lips" and winds up in hell with a Hitler devil. Yeah, Porky Pig doesn't show up at the end of that one saying, "That's all, folks!"

As for Bugs, you get the complete trilogy of his races with the turtle, one of my favorite cartoon-short series when I was a kid. (Bugs was a real asshole in that trilogy; I always pulled for the turtle.) You also get a lot of those pre-Bugs Bunny rabbit characters (before the character had become fully formed).

SPECIAL FEATURES: A ton of documentaries, commentaries and extra shorts to keep your cartoon-loving ass supremely occupied for many hours.

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