Down the Ballot

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

George McGovern SNL Host

30 Years ago, former U.S. Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate George McGovern hosted Saturday Night Live.
April 14, 1984 George McGovern hosted SNL, just one month after ending his long shot campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. He finished third in the Iowa caucuses, but took fifth place in the New Hampshire primary. He put all his cards on the table for the Massachusetts primary. Vowing to withdraw if he did not finish first or second. Gary Hart, his former 1972 campaign manager and Walter Mondale beat him and he kept his word.

Friday, June 13, 2014

GSY: A Million Ways To Die In The West

Headed out to Regal 11 the other night to take in a film. Being a weeknight there were not too many people around. I bought a ticket for A Million Ways To Die In The West. This movie has been out for a few weeks and I had generally heard mixed to negative reviews. As I was going through many of the reviews I saw a lot of comparisons to Blazing Saddles. Which seems odd and unfair to compare current Western comedies to Mel Brooks classic Western satire-parody classic comedy. Not every comedy is intended to be a parody or satire, sometimes they are just meant to be a comedy film. A Million Ways is just a comedy film set in a Western.

When Blazing Saddles was made American culture had been buried in Western films, television shows and radio shows for decades. The stories of the frontier life still had incredible appeal. They were ripe for parody and satire. The moviegoers of this second decade of the 21st Century did not grow up in the 50s, 60s and early 70s when theaters were overflowing with Westerns. In the last decade, I think I went to only one Western. The remake of True Grit in 2010. In an age when the Western is mostly been relegated to 'B-Movie' status, it is a tough genre to make it in. I applaud Seth MacFarlane for giving it a go at the big screen.

***(spoilers from this point onward)***