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It will be interesting to see where this goes

weekend of October 4 2008

Went to see An American Carol this afternoon. That, for the benefit of people 500 years from now who somehow encounter a stray data backup from sweasel.com accidentally beamed into space, is an explicitly conservative comedy from the man who made Airplane!, the Naked Gun series and the Scary Movie series.

I don’t actually like Zucker-style comedies (okay, I liked Airplane! But, really, I think liking that one is some kind of federal law, if only because June Cleaver speaks jive). I went today because I wanted this thing to get way better first-weekend box office than Bill Maher’s Jesus-thumping douche-fest (dude, I’m an atheist, and your ignorance embarrasses me).

It was a solid Zucker movie. It was not at all mean-spirited (the Michael Moore character comes off as a likeable boob, as do two out of three terrorists), the tear-jerking corny bits were few, effective and superceded by low slapstick in nanoseconds. Leslie Neilson is lookin’ damn good for a hundred and twenty.

It lacked a certain je ne sais quoi to be a great film. But then, I really disliked Team America the first time I saw it. Then it became my favoritest film evarrrrrr. An American Carol should do at least as well as any other Zucker film. So go see it, if only to help those guys who put their toosticles on the line stay in work.

Weasel gives it two….waaaaait a second! Weasels don’t have thumbs!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 4, 2008, 6:55 pm


This guy here, looking rather handsome in this obvious actor’s publicity still, is Geoffrey Arend. He played the goofiest and most likeable of the three terrorists in An American Carol. When not staring soulfully into the camera, he is a TOTAL fucking ringer for Markos Moulitsas — he of Daily Kos.

If this movie makes money, I bet you anything this kid is being groomed for that part, or I’ll eat my bound copy of the Federalist Papers, the US Constitution and every single Amendment. Without ketchup.


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 4, 2008, 8:40 pm

I tend to give any film with Les Nielsen in it or by Zucker/Abrahms an automatic ‘go see eventually’. When I’m in the mood, nothing satisfies like a dose of Humor of the Absurd, as I like to call it.

It long ago got to the point where, if I watch Forbidden Planet, I keep expecting Nielsen to crack a joke or trip over something.

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: October 4, 2008, 9:01 pm


Kos is quite a bit more bug eyed, but yeah, there’s a resemblance.

I haven’t seen this one yet, but I ought to drag my wench to it tomorrow. As a Democrat, it can only do her good.

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: October 4, 2008, 9:13 pm

Ok Weas, I owe you a couple for that Weird Al earworm I hit ya with the other day.

See if these don’t bring back some warm fuzzies.

Is this the GOP Anthem this year?


Nah, even with Sarahcuda in the mix, we’re still more like this:


Time for booze.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: October 4, 2008, 10:57 pm

You could rate things with Catsophones. Two cat butts up.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: October 4, 2008, 11:00 pm

I’ll probably be seeing it tommorrow.

Comment from Dave in Texas
Time: October 4, 2008, 11:29 pm

S’mofo butter layin’ me to da’ bone. Tight me.

Comment from porknbean
Time: October 5, 2008, 1:35 am

That dude doesn’t look as gay as Markos does.

Comment from TBinSTL
Time: October 5, 2008, 2:10 am

Dave, that’s gonna get your jiver’s license revoked….

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 5, 2008, 7:04 am


No, no…he’s PLENTY bug-eyed and gay looking. Trust me. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many pictures of him about, but this one gives a slightly better idea.

I see by Box Office Mojo that Carol didn’t do all that great — 9th place. But it beat Religulous — Maher’s flick — by one place. And the bottom five are all kind of jammed up and similar anyhow. So I’m going to call this Mission Accomplished.

Suck it, Maher.




Comment from JuliaM
Time: October 5, 2008, 10:33 am

“Weasel gives it two….waaaaait a second! Weasels don’t have thumbs!”

A blogger giving free movie reviews…? *swoon*

How will film critics’ children eat, if this catches on? 😉

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 5, 2008, 10:54 am

I thought film critics reproduce by parthenogenesis, and have no children?

Comment from Jill
Time: October 5, 2008, 11:07 am

But weasels do have tails! Does this flick rate a full-mast tail? or just half-mast?

Beautiful Sunday here, by the way! Crisp and bright…makes me want to put on my apron and bake a whole mess o’ apple pies.

“It’s a beautiful day! Let’s go to the bar.” – quote from ‘Two Family House’.


Comment from Jill
Time: October 5, 2008, 11:10 am

Weasellllllllll! Akismet ate my baby. 🙁

Comment from nicole
Time: October 5, 2008, 11:21 am

That’s actually pretty amusing, JuliaM. I tend to give movies a chance if a blogger I read who I have agreed with in the past on many things gives it a good review. I rarely if ever see films the “professional” critics recommend. I wait till those come out for rental. I see no difference between blogger critics and “real” critics. I know neither personally so why should there be a difference in how I view either review?

It does sound like they feel threatened by the common man’s ability to communicate with other common men. Much like newspapers and “real” journalists…. 🙂

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 5, 2008, 11:29 am

It does sound like they feel threatened by the common man’s ability to communicate with other common men. Much like newspapers and “real” journalists…

Hammer. Nail. Head.

And, Nicole, the “common” man out here on the net is getting better and better at it. It only makes sense: after all, how hard can it be if it can be learned without knowing any math, science, or all that other “hard” stuff people avoided when they chose journalism for a trade (I don’t consider it a “profession”, although there are some professionals within it).

Comment from Gnus
Time: October 5, 2008, 11:46 am

This morning, on the way home, I passed a big McCain Palin sign beside the highway. The sign is in a very nice place, in a cleared right of way, and by itself therein. We’re talking sheet-of-plywood big, and next to the main highway between Destin/Fort Walton Beach and Panama City Beach.

Want to start a pool on how long before it’s vandalized?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 5, 2008, 12:22 pm

Jill, the trick to putting more than one link into a post is to put one (only) in, then post it, then edit it and put in the rest. Akismet is dumb that way.

…And now all the spammers know it and will write scripts to do it and weasel will ban me and I will be outcast….

Gnu – your comment has been up about 45 minutes. Odds are it’s trashed or missing already.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: October 5, 2008, 5:33 pm

We went to see it today. Pretty funny.

Comment from Allen
Time: October 5, 2008, 8:00 pm

Oh my, something that is once in a blue moon. Went up to me mountain place, it’s at about 7000 feet, and the clouds moved in. When I say moved in, I mean that literally, you are in the clouds.

Standing on the deck last night the cloud currents are swirling around, and you see the rain form. You see the rain drops wink into existence at eye level. That’s some cool stuff.

That and a bear took a crap in the back of my pick-up some time Friday night. 🙂

I had some friends show up for lunch yesterday, and one of ’em said: “Allen did you know a bear shit in your truck?”

Which is an interesting conversational gambit when you get right down to it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 5, 2008, 8:07 pm

Hm. Never had a bear shit in my truck. But I’ve stood in the clouds many times, up on Grandfather Mountain. It’s not that high, but it’s high enough for clouds to be a part of the landscape.

And the freakiest thing ever…my cousin and I were driving up on the mountain on a drizzly day, and there was a rainbow. We saw the end of it — it ended on the hood of our van.

No shit. Never seen anything like it. Didn’t know it was optically possible.

Man, I love weather.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 5, 2008, 8:17 pm

The pot of gold would be at the other end, wouldn’t it! Rats.

Comment from Allen
Time: October 5, 2008, 8:35 pm

Oh man that is so cool, I can see it. Of course it might be freaky, “there’s a rainbow on us!”

I have no idea why a bear is stalking my truck. It’s kind of surreal.

I was hoping for snow last night meself. Lumme some precip.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 5, 2008, 9:06 pm

Weasel, your post “Does Barney Frank Have Any Teeth” just made Ace’s Top Headlines list (item 3) on the sidebar.

Comment from Jill
Time: October 5, 2008, 10:38 pm

McGoo, but I only had one link.

>big-eyed plaintive look<

Comment from MammasaursRex
Time: October 5, 2008, 10:46 pm

My husband and I loved it. Zombie ACLU lawyers…. 😀

Comment from MammasaursRex
Time: October 5, 2008, 10:47 pm

*lawyers….(edit failed)

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 6, 2008, 5:37 am

Then I guesses wrong, Jill. Usually it’s the fatal “more than one link makes you look like a spam” blockage that gets you.

Comment from Scott
Time: October 6, 2008, 10:27 am

Team America = priceless.

Marionette sex scene had me thinking I was going to actually die laughing. and then you have such classic lines like “Durka durka jihad” and “Matt Damon!”

I’ll add this movie to my list of things I will eventually get around to watching, but seeing as I STILL haven’t dragged my ass to go see the Dark-freaking-Knight, I don’t know it it will happen this decade…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 6, 2008, 10:35 am

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat through Team America, Scott. It gets better every time. First time through, in the theaters, it pissed me off because I thought it hit the American side too hard. But then I went away and thought about it and realized the caricature was entirely fair and very fucking funny and I got over myself.

Comment from Scott
Time: October 6, 2008, 11:04 am

“and I got over myself.”

Does not compute.


Comment from mesablue
Time: October 6, 2008, 12:30 pm

At the end of my rainbow — http://thewickedpinto.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/cropped-beer.jpg

Comment from Bariatric
Time: October 6, 2008, 3:45 pm

I saw it. Funny. A little low on the big laughs, in my opinion, but the best thing about it, with the strong military theme running through it, is that is plays like 40s American propaganda films of the day, back when Hollywood was a little more patriotic. In large part, it’s a love letter to America’s Marines, soldiers and sailors, and God love Zucker for making it.

Kevin Farley is so lovable in it, he makes Michael Malone, even when he’s at his most staunchly anti-American, about a hundred times more appealing than Michael Moore ever was.

John Voight made a great George Washington. Hard to accept Kelsey Grammer as Patton. God bless him, but he’s no George C. Scott.

Rosie O’Connel’s documentary about Christian Extremists was pretty funny, and amazingly hard-hitting. A little surprised that they actually took it that far.

But it’s the love letter to America’s great military men, past and present, that makes this a near-great film. As a parody, it’s so-so, and not up to the standards of Top Secret or Airplane! But better than Meet the Spartans or Epic Movie, to name two substandard parodies that never quite get it right. As a love letter to America’s troops and the freedom they are fighting for, it’s aces. It may not clean up at the box office (I expect the DVD will sell well–it’s the first movie I’ve been to where the majority of patrons were over 60, and most of the one’s under where accompanying the over 60 patron) and I think it’d make a great present for any seaman, marine, soldier or coastie who needs a few good laughs and their first real love letter from Hollywood in decades.

Comment from blake
Time: October 7, 2008, 1:19 am

Right on, Bariatric.

I place it somewhere between _BASEketball_ and _Top Secret!_

I laughed more than I expected. And I actually thought it didn’t depend on “clap humor”. I hope it has some legs. The Boy asked me if there were other movies like it (in terms of being conservative) and I had to confess I couldn’t think of any without going back to WWII.


Comment from blake
Time: October 7, 2008, 2:15 am

Geoffrey Arend is funny in this–and in that Wendy’s commercial. But, I found Kos’s double earlier this year:


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