Wednesday, 22 April 2009
|1525 - An American Carol: **/4 stars|
I really wanted to like this movie. My opinion of Michael Moore is public record, I think Hollywood has been taken over by the looney Left, and skewering both seemed like a good idea to me. Having David Zucker administer the skewer would just be icing on the cake, as one of the folks behind that classic of American filmmaking, Airplane!.
Man, was I disappointed. Yes, it was funny in spots, but it wasn't the continuous floor-roller that Airplane! and Police Squad were. Several good classic lines were to be found, and I'll probably adopt one or two as catchphrases in appropriate circumstances. ("If they're on the battlefield, and they're shooting at you, THEY'RE GUILTY!") The cast selections were pretty inspired, though Leslie Nielsen as Osama bin Laden (even in a second-level movie) did nothing for me.
Kevin Farley's portrayal of Michael Malone (the Moore parody) works, for the most part. The biggest disappointment was his conversion to the ways of truth and justice; it seemed just a little too pat.
Kelsey Grammer as Patton stood out as the real star of the film. He really got into the part and chewed the scenery to an appropriate degree. I could even see him in a serious portrayal of the General, after this film. Jon Voight's George Washington was also outstanding, within the limitations of the part.
That brings me to the big disappointment: the film was just too preachy. The points they were trying to make can be made without using the heavy, overt preaching method. Voight's Washington suffers most from this. He's only got one scene, and it's a very heavy-handed reminder of 9/11. I expected Zucker to make us laugh at the Left and come to our own realization of how silly their positions are; at that, the movie largely fails.
The movie's okkay. Not great, dammit.
current mood: disappointed
Must've missed the Moore ref in the JKL clip you provided (though it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to deduce what your views are of him), but I appreciated the JKL clip (I've rarely seen any of your stuff there - I've said it before and I'll say it again, you have always handled yourself superbly on that show.)
I'm also a fellow Airplane! fan (one of the best movies made imho) (I'm agreeing with you more and more lately. That's downright eerie!) but I'm a bit of a realist, I know that lightning can't strike twice, and I wouldn't hold any Zuker project up to the Airplane! standard were I to see it, but I'd judge on its own merits. (Case in point, Star Wars - Lucas scores a home run in episodes 4, 5, and 6, but look what happened when he tries to go back 30 years later to complete the (sexology?))
Preachy films, whether they're left wing, right wing, religious, or anit-religious, don't appeal to me (despite being a left-wing religious type ;) ) and don't make for good movies imho.
Oops. I had the wrong video linked. Fixed.
The Zuckers were generally able to reach Airplane!-class heights before now; I haven't really been as disappointed with any of their other efforts (aside from Airplane! 2, but we all know sequels suck) as I was with this one.
LOL! Thanks for putting up the "correct" link, I like this one even better! (Especially the argument with the Moore-lover, I'd definitely take his side in it, but I love how you kept your cool and he didn't.)
I also didn't think the movie was very funny. The cast and director are generally good, but it had a preaching to the choir kinda thing going on. I'm not really a Republican or Democrat. More of a apathetic nihilist really, so I had no political problems with the movie. It just wasn't very entertaining. About halfway through I lost all interest and turned it off.