Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

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Can you review around a film? (An American Carol)

Ideally, this entry should be funny. I don't feel funny at the moment (I'm preoccupied and a little out of sorts), but I'll accept that and go on.

And this entry will have politics...though, amazingly, I won't touch on last night's debate. I didn't feel up for watching it, and had a long phone chat with rafaela instead.

A bias first: I'm liberal on a lot of things, especially social issues, though my goal (as much as an often confused thinker like me can set such a goal) is not to be blindly liberal. (Honestly, had I been of voting age in 1988, I think I'd've voted for Bush. Seriously, Dukakis was the best the Democrats could do? He alone survived the primaries?! Had I voted for Dukakis, I likely would've been voting more for Sen. Bentsen as V.P.; I felt more confident about him. But, again, not voting age.)

Another bias: Everything I've seen and heard about today's film release An American Carol makes me think it's inept, unfunny, deeply stupid, and mean. Its commercials have been painful. Its plot, borrowed from A Christmas Carol, has only been done well once, by Dickens who thought of it in the first place! His is the only version that doesn't fall apart into sanctimoniousness at the end, like Scrooged did. Of course, Dickens was a genius, and Ebenezer Scrooge was a brilliant creation, still fascinating after he becomes a more caring person. Others using the plot have been far less brilliant (and I say that as someone who liked large chunks of Scrooged, but yep, it falls apart at the end). And knowing the film's getting hyped by Bill O'Reilly as something he actually finds funny and true adds to my hate; I find O'Reilly almost physically painful to hear. (I'm the same way about Tom Leykis.)

Just overhearing details of the film make me go "The hell?" So the Michael Moore stand-in Michael Malone (couldn't the filmmakers have been cleverer? Like "Michael Moored," suggesting he's "tethered" to a political belief they don't like? And that's just off the top of my head) joins a movement to abolish the Fourth of July? That has nothing to do with Moore's beliefs. That's nowhere near being even a satirical exaggeration of Moore's beliefs. It's a flat-out non sequitur. You might as well say Osama bin Laden likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. As blustering, maddening and self-aggrandizing as the real Michael Moore can be, his politics still stem from feeling we can do better than this. He likes America, or at least the ideal of America. You may hate how he expresses that -- I often don't like how he expresses that -- but you're being deeply dishonest if you say he hates America. But hey, hyuk hyuk, he hates America so much that we can have his stand-in want to end Independence Day! That's funny! And I think some people actually are going to think that.

(By the way: Funny, and I mean "funny-odd," that this flick, which looks thuddingly unfunny, is from David Zucker, the co-creator of the wonderful Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane!, Police Squad! and Top Secret! Hell, I trust yendi, who said that Zucker's Scary Movie 3 actually Gives Good Laughs. So Zucker can still Bring It.)

After reading both this review (positive) and then that review (negative, oh my word negative) on Ain't It Cool News, I don't want to see or review An American Carol. I don't want to support it with the price of a ticket, and I doubt I could give it a fair hearing. (I avoided seeing or reviewing Patch Adams back in '98 because I felt the same thing, for different reasons.)

Here's another reason I don't want to review it: One of the things I'm not good at is being simultaneously angry and funny. And I'd thus fall into one of the favorite stereotypes of too many in the Fox News-watching/Limbaugh-listening set: the humorless liberal who wants everyone else to be humorless.

But I know people from all across the political spectrum who are freakin' hilarious, whether my conservative-with-libertarian-touches dad or my liberal-almost-to-the-point-of-anarcho-syndicalist-communist friend philly420pdx (hi, Matt!). I gravitate towards funny people; just look at my LJ Friends List for proof. I aspire to being funnier; I have great examples in my life.

And I know reviewers, some of whom may have been assigned to review An American Carol, some of whom may want to see and review it just on general principles.

What I want? I want reviews, if there are any, to be funny. Hilarious, if possible. Whether you love it, like it, diss it or flat-out despise it, make your points and be funny about 'em. It's possible. (Need a great example? Read "OH JOHN RINGO NO.")

Now I need something to make me laugh. Thank everything I'm seeing Ghostbusters tonight...
Tags: film reviews, politics
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