Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mars Attacks Congress

It’s that time of year again. Leaves are turning burnt orange, horror movies are confusingly not being released, and the GOP has threatened to shut down the government because they failed for the 54th time to stop a law that was passed three years ago. Only this time they actually followed through with the threat (go figure), and now none of us can enjoy the leaves at National Parks or watch NASA launch stuff into orbit. Unsurprisingly, the concept of the government shutting down (or at least this version of a shut down) isn’t well represented in movies because of how breathtakingly uncinematic it is. When we want to see a political crisis on screen, we demand that Harrison Ford punch a terrorist off of Air Force One or Denzel Washington get brainwashed. That doesn’t stop films from tiptoeing around the periphery or taking a central role in this current freeze. Whether directly referenced by politicians or symbolically evoked by our collective subconscious, movies are here to help us make sense of it all and/or confuse us even further.

read more...

mr smith and mccarthy

This week was shortened, business-wise, by the holiday honoring America’s birthday and independence, but that didn’t stop us. We’re not the lazy side of this nation. We’re the part that truly represents what the Founding Fathers wished for 237 years ago. We were the best we could be. And we gave you readers as much great original content as we might have had it been a full work week. It helped that this was the beginning of the month, so we have Jack’s usual preview of the weeks ahead in recommended releases, and it was also the close of the first half of the year, so we had a couple features looking at the past six months in movies. We’re so positive! We also saw the box office branding of a new movie star,  the return of a genre, the false return of another genre, the inauguration of a new column on movie truth and a look at recent music documentaries and a new fake reality series. And it’s all highlighted below for your recapping, catching up enjoyment. Start your weekend right after the jump.

read more...

mrsmith-1

One of the most famous films that Jimmy Stewart ever had to stand to the point of exhaustion in was Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Made almost a decade before his even more famous yet less senatorial It’s a Wonderful Life, the film tells the story of a small-town man who is appointed as a U.S. Senator to replace one that has suddenly died. Stewart stars as Jefferson Smith, an idealistic man who takes his new job almost too seriously. However, Smith’s wide-eyed wonder at the seat of government is soon rocked by political corruption and dirty dealings. Smith tries to arrange the use of public land for boy rangers in his home state, causing a problem for the building of a dam in the same area — a dam that’s a critical part of a bill being pursued by local tycoon and political heavy Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold) who has the state’s other Senator, Joseph Paine (Claude Rains), as well as the media back home, in his pocket. When Smith sees he’s being railroaded out of the process, his secretary Clarissa Saunders (Jean Arthur) helps him use the political machine to uncover the truth. Smith is forced to take the Senate floor, beginning a one-man filibuster to delay the voting on the bill until the people from his home state cry out to support his cause. Without pink sneakers, Smith makes it just shy of 24 hours before collapsing from exhaustion. So it got us wondering: can a […]

read more...

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, the editor of The New Ledger and podcast host of Coffee and Markets Ben Domenech brings his velvety voice to the show to suggest that John Lithgow play a werewolf-hunting FDR, question the Spider-Man casting, and create a list of movie characters that should run for office (we’d totally vote for Judy Dench’s M). Plus, we find time to review Megamind, Due Date, and implore you to see Four Lions. Listen Here: Download This Episode

read more...

Expect to see more political documentaries in the near future. Also expect to see more campaign ads pretending to be documentaries in the near future.

read more...

oam-canttakeitwithyou

You Can’t Take it With You one of Frank Capra’s biggest Depression Era hits, is a rambunctious, hopeful story that’s still relevant today.

read more...

5 Keys to Political Comedies

In honor of the DVD release of Charlie Wilson’s War today and the upcoming elections this year, we would like to offer up our list of 5 key characteristics that all politicians (and German dictators) seem to have in common.

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 11.26.2014
B
published: 11.26.2014
B
published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3