Jay Maynard (jmaynard) wrote,
Jay Maynard

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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.

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