Friday, June 28, 2013

A Fistful of Fictional Presidents! (Brad's Picks)

I am not a fan of Roland Emmerich.  The case against him:  Godzilla, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow,  and 10000 BC.  I have mildly enjoyed some of his films (Universal Soldier, Stargate, Independence Day, 2012, Anonymous), but not enough to give a rat's ass about his next movie.  Then last week I saw the final theatrical trailer for White House Down attached to This Is The End.  I lost my mind with laughter.  This does not appear to be a simple Olympus Has Fallen siege film - the White House is certainly down, but so is The Capitol!  Air Force One!  All of Washington D.C.!  The only thing standing in the way of total American devestation is Jaime Foxx's four-eyed POTUS and his super hunky body guard Channing Tatum.  Their buddy cop banter makes Shane Black squirm, but it's just cheezy enough for me and my giggles.  However, my real question is, can Jaime Foxx's President Sawyer stand proudly next to this fictional Hall of Presidents?

5.  President Lindberg (The Fifth Element):  In the 23rd Century if you're the President, and you can't get the crew of the USS Enterprise, than you better call on your top agent Korban Dallas to take down the evil corporate scumbag Zorg and his partner-in-galactic-crime, The Great Evil.  Of course, citizens of the Earth are never too worried when Tommy "Tiny" Lister is your chief.  Even if Dallas couldn't pulverize The Great Evil, you know Lister could shake him outta orbit with just a simple stare.

4.  President Jackson Evans (The Contender):  Jeff Bridges's sandwich loving negotiator feels like the most accurate representation of the job on screen.  He's a guy who at one point was full of heart & idealism, but slowly compromised his way to the top.  When his nomination for Vice President is discovered to have a deep dark sexual secret he does everything in his power to backpedal and circumvent.  He's all charm, but also rather pathetic.  One of Jeff Bridges finest performances.

3.  President Merkin Muffley (Dr. Strangelove):  "Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb..."  And here's the President you most certainly don't want at the helm of your nation.  The world is going to hell in a hand basket and he can't even stop the fighting in The War Room.  Painfully, bitterly funny.

2.  President James Marshall (Air Force One):  "Get Off My Plane!"  If you can't get President Lindberg on the line than your next best bet for Presidential Asskickery is Indiana Jones.  When a group of Russian Thugs led by Gary Oldman (him again!) take control of Air Force One, it's up to President Marshall to Die Hard their asses.  Harrison Ford brings the weight of his two great franchises wherever he goes, and it packs a powerful wallop when Han Solo bashes a chair over your head.  Just a great crowd pleaser.

1.  Dave Kovic (Dave):  Shhhhhhhh!  He's not actually the President, just a guy who looks like him.  For whatever reason, Dave had a tremendous impact on me when I was a teenager.  When the real POTUS dies mid orgasm, his henchman have to scramble to find a look alike to fill his remaining term. Enter Kevin Kline's Unemployment Agent with all his bright, brash, & hopeful idealism.  Ivan Reitman's comedy manages to balance cynicism with optimism.  As the credits roll I become hopeful that out there, somewhere in the thunder dome of the two party system, is a guy like Dave.  A Dreamer.  A Believer.  A Good Guy.


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