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Hollywood’s loyal opposition | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘An American Carol’

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Take a break from work: watch a movie trailer…

Oh man, this looks like an awesome parody of right-wing idiocy!

Wait: you mean this is meant to be a sendup of the left wing? I don’t understand. Are any of us commie pinko libruls slaveowners? Were commie pinko libruls ever slaveowners?

Oh, I forgot: Michael Moore is fat, so he must be wrong.

Methinks poor David Zucker — yeah, Airplane! and Police Squad! David Zucker — has suffered from some sort of brain damage. Then again, he’s responsible for Scary Movie 4, isn’t he?

(discovered at Pandagon)

An American Carol opens wide on October 3. And like any decent embarrassed American, I’ll be out of the country on that day.

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  • wilsonhl

    Well you know, I think Michael Moore deserves to be lampooned : he takes himself way too seriously. However, I find the humor of the trailer not very… funny.

    And James Woods is in this? He has not something better to do?

  • Deanne

    I love the slide at around 1:08-ish that says,

    “The master of movie satire.” — David Zucker

    Does that mean David Zucker is calling himself the master of movie satire? Because that is kind of hilarious. The rest of it is just… sad.

  • http://leftwingfox.blogspot.com Left_Wing_Fox

    Heh, there’s been a few time I’d wondered what would happen if you and Amanda Marcotte got into a debate about some of the movies you’ve both reviewed, since I know “Knocked Up” had completely different reviews from a feminist perspective. It’s refreshing to see that sort of diversity of opinion despite a common viewpoint. Then again, I fear that a critical mass of snark would be reached if that discussion ever happened. ;)

  • MBI

    “Airplane!” is possibly my favorite movie of all time, but the humor in that movie is not really satire.

    Oh, and here’s an interesting note: Did you wonder why that trailer featured minor country star Trace Adkins (singer of the classic “Honkytonk Badonkadonk”) and not the poster boy for this kind of thing, Toby Keith?

    The answer: Because Keith is publicly endorsing Obama. Look it up.

  • Bill

    “Keith is publicly endorsing Obama” – MBI

    Makes sense; he’s a democrat. Trace Adkins, on the other hand, is an idiot. I own more than one Trace Adkins CD and I’ve been a fan for 10+ years, but dear god:

    “I hate soccer, I just abhor it. The whole soccer mom thing is a creation of some pacifist to pussify an entire generation of American men, and I think it should be abolished.” – Trace Adkins

    Umm, huh?

    I think he is just the man this film was lookin’ for.

  • Steve

    The trailer is meant to just hit the basic, slapstick humor and doesn’t expose much of the satire in the plot of the film – and yes, the film has a plot. (Not so subtly copied from Dickens, by the way.)

    I’ve been following many of the comments all over the web and find it hilarious that the left is so offended. One comment asked if “librul commies” were ever slave owners and why this movie portrayed them as such. The answer is, yes, “libruls” were slave owners in the American past, just as conservatives were. And some would argue that “commies” are slave owners — or at least slave users — by definition.

    For those of you so offended that you wish to leave the country on Opening Day (October 3rd), I encourage you to do so. And, please consider staying out of country until the movie’s run is complete, which probably will be sometime in mid-November.

    Further protests by ignoring this year’s election would also be appreciated and respected!

  • JoshB

    And some would argue that “commies” are slave owners — or at least slave users — by definition.

    ‘Some’ would argue? Who are these ‘some’ and why don’t they know anything about political science?

    And, please consider staying out of country until the movie’s run is complete, which probably will be sometime in mid-November.

    I suppose ‘some’ have never heard of absentee ballots. All ur elections are belong to us!

  • MaSch

    This could be abso-frigging-lutely hilarious, intelligent and offending (in a good way) …

    If it were some sort of *prank*. I’ve once read the theory that Gilliam didn’t went to the Spanish desert to shoot “Don Quixote”, but rather a movie about a film crew trying to shoot “Don Quixote” in the Spanish desert and everything going wrong there – which would be the movie “Lost in La Mancha”.

    If the movie would be in fact a mock-making of of the movie the trailer advertises, with David Zucker explaining, “you know, I’m the master of satire, but my last few movies lacked a bit of political relevance, so I decided to make this movie,” and interviews with all the big names why they think the movie is important and so on, it could be hilarious. Especially if played straight.

    I mean, a slapstick movie about the “true meaning of patriotism”, they can’t be serious … can they?

  • MaryAnn

    One comment asked if “librul commies” were ever slave owners and why this movie portrayed them as such. The answer is, yes, “libruls” were slave owners in the American past, just as conservatives were.

    Have you watched the trailer? It implies that liberals are slave owners *today*? That simply makes no sense, not even in an absurdist-comedic sense.

    I’m not offended by all of this. But I’m surprised that the right isn’t.

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    Personally I liked this type of story better when it starred Porky Pig.

    Especially since Chuck Jones saw fit not to make him a lecher or a slaveowner.

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger
  • FrankS

    Who knew the ghost of Chris Farley came back to make this dreck?

  • dgrhm

    Well, I guess the Fox News set will really enjoy it.

    I think the second part of this definition of parody is apt: “a feeble or ridiculous imitation.”

    Feeble, very feeble.

    The movie Airplane was an excellent parody of Airplane disaster movies from the 70s. This movie is just pandering to the right wing rhetoric of guys like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity.

    Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but nobody’s entitled to their own facts.

    Hope it flops.

  • Maurice

    “This movie is just pandering to the right wing rhetoric of guys like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity.”

    I whole-heartedly agree. My NRA friends are all over this stuff.

    It irritates me that people in this country have become so self-righteous in regards to patriotism.

    Patriotism these days seems to be about sucking it up, tolerating the intolerable, and pretending there’s nothing wrong. I call that denial.

    While people are quick to call dissenters “Anti-American” among other things, they forget that this nation was founded by dissenters who dreamed of a better world, for white men. Luckily for the rest of us, women and ethnic minorities were eventually offered a slice of the pie.

  • amanohyo

    If Zucker had any satirical teeth, I might be a little concerned or even interested; but as MA showed above, he’s so inept that the movie seems to unintentionally make fun of conservatives who make fun of liberals. Or maybe it’s intentional and he’s trying to play to both crowds? Judging by his past work, that level of sophistication isn’t likely.

    The real question is who, liberal or conservative, would want to watch this movie after seeing that? I don’t have anything against making fun of liberals, but aren’t the best punchlines supposed to be in the trailer? Jokes about unattractive lesbians/feminists who don’t shave their legs? What cryogenic tank have these writers emerged from?

    It’ll be hilarious if the movie ends up presenting its main character a little too sympathetically to its target audience. The caricature of Moore seems eerily similar to the type of person that I imagine would enjoy watching a movie of this caliber. Imagine the mental gymnastics needed to laugh at a movie that’s trying its best to ridicule a person not so far removed from yourself (physically and mentally at least, if not politically).

  • MBI

    Thinking back, the worst of Zucker’s early work is easily the second Naked Gun movie, specifically BECAUSE it gets political. And it was political in a left-wing way, it demonized big energy companies. What I think this demonstrates is that Zucker’s style of humor can’t survive any attempt to make any kind of social commentary; he’s just too… goofy. Nothing worse than a clown trying to be taken seriously.

  • seaspot

    Righties–not known for their comedic chops.

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    Nothing worse than a clown trying to be taken seriously.
    –MBI

    Odd remark to make in the age of Jon Stewart and Bill Mahrer. Aren’t they clowns trying to be taken seriously as well?

    Righties–not known for their comedic chops.
    –seaspot

    Lefties aren’t exactly famous for their sense of humor either.

    And for every humorist who wears his political heart on his sleeve–Christopher Buckley and P.J. O’Rourke being the most obvious examples–there are many like the Marx Brothers who are at best apolitical.

    And given the type of “jokes” we get from political commentators like Rush Limbaugh, it’s probably just as well.

  • MaSch

    Weren’t the Marx Brothers communists?

  • MBI

    “Odd remark to make in the age of Jon Stewart and Bill Mahrer. Aren’t they clowns trying to be taken seriously as well?”

    They may be comedians, but they’re certainly not clowns. There’s a humungous gulf between Jon Stewart’s style of humor and David Zucker’s.

  • Mallan

    According to a clip I’ve seen the “slave” scene is a depiction of what America would be like if Abraham Lincoln took a pacist approach to handing the South’s succession. It’s a recurring theme in the film, as clips I’ve seen shows a guy (can’t recall his name off-hand) surrendering big chunks of Europe to Germany.

    Find it odd Liberals are getting so mad at this film. I mean, films mocking America, religous people (especially Christians, cause no one dares mock Islam), and so-called “rednecks” are perfectly fine, but a film poking fun at Michael Moore is considered outrageous.

    I found some of the jokes to be spot on, like the character’s statement of Cuba being a “paradise” (guess that’s why so many people are trying to ESCAPE from it, huh?)

    Personally, I hope does well, it’s nice to get something from a different perspective in theaters for a change.

  • amanohyo

    None (or should I say, neither) of my liberal friends are mad about this film, we just don’t think it looks that funny. I do hope, however, that the movie mocks Islam beyond the “all them Aayrabs got the same name, hyuk hyuk” joke in the trailer.

    I don’t have high hopes though because:
    A) Most Americans don’t know enough about Islam to understand any but the simplest jokes about it.
    B) A movie aimed at a largely Christian audience cannot easily ridicule the absurdities in any organized religion, especially one that sprung from nearly same source as their own.

    *Sigh* I remember when mainstream comedies used to make fun of Chinese names (many still do)… race-related, ethnocentric jokes are usually a sign of lazy writers and/or a lazy target audience. Zucker certainly has both of those in abundance.

  • MBI

    “I found some of the jokes to be spot on, like the character’s statement of Cuba being a “paradise” (guess that’s why so many people are trying to ESCAPE from it, huh?) ”

    I’m enough of a fence-straddler to admit that’s a fair jab, but it’s hardly a new one, and it’s overwhelmed by so much non-humor in that trailer that it doesn’t really register.

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