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Trailer Blazer: 'An American Carol'

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Near as I can tell, An American Carol (opening Oct. 3) is a movie in which Michael Moore a Michael Moore-like filmmaker (played by Chris Farley’s brother, Kevin) does an ideological 180 after getting smacked around a lot by a bunch of ghosts (hey, it worked on Bill Murray in Scrooged) and by Bill O’Reilly (playing himself), who tells Farley’s character he just enjoys manhandling people. (Insert joke and Smoking Gun link here.)

Director is David Zucker, who refers to himself in a title card as “master of satire.” No. You’re a master of parody (that is, making fun of other works of art), or at least, you used to be (Airplane! The Naked Gun movies), though maybe not so much any more (Scary Movies 3 and 4, Superhero Movie). You are not a master of satire (that is, making fun of people and institutions), at least, not judging by this clip. Zucker and his cast discuss their effort to make an explicitly conservative satire in this Weekly Standard article. Now, I agree that there’s room in the marketplace for a good conservative satire (like, say, the thoroughly original and creative Team America: World Police. Now, that was funny.), but this trailer didn’t make me chuckle. Gags about butch lesbians, kids getting smacked around, Gary Coleman as a slave, Kelsey Grammer as the ghost of George S. Patton — I see a lot of agitprop, but where’s the funny? (Okay, maybe seeing the effete, prissy Frasier play the blood-and-guts general will be a scream. Or seeing Jon Voight as George Washington. Or Trace “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” Adkins as an august Grim Reaper. All right, I take it all back. David Zucker, you are a master of satire.)

You can watch the trailer in HD over at Yahoo Movies, but I prefer it in the form it appeared in during its premiere (embedded above) last week on The O’Reilly Factor, with a Fox News logo superimposed on the corner throughout the entire clip.