Bruce Bennett Short Bio

Bruce Bennett

Bruce Bennett has been the primary contributor to Mad About Movies since it began in 2003. He is an award winning film and theater critic who, since 2000, has been writing a weekly column in The Spectrum daily newspaper in southern Utah as well as serving as a contributing editor of “The Independent,” a monthly entertainment magazine. He is also the co-host of “Film Fanatics” a movie review show which earned a Telly in 2009. Bruce is also a featured contributor at: RottenTomatoes.com

His motto: "I see bad movies so you don't have to."

An American Carol

Do your duty and see

It’s about time! That’s what many conservatives will undoubtedly shout when they hear about “An American Carol,” a high-spirited yet low-brow comedy full of raucous rancor aimed directly at the left-wing liberal agenda. Director David Zucker (“Airplane,” “The Naked Gun” and “Scary Movie” films), a converted conservative himself, uses his everything-but-the-kitchen sink approach with sight gags, slapstick, goofy impersonators, and one-liners to make the case that liberals don’t have exclusive rights to humor in Hollywood.

If nothing else, “An American Carol” is refreshing and original, something that would usually draw the respect of critics (a majority of whom are likely left leaning), but who for the most part don’t get the joke. What happened to equal opportunity political incorrectness?

And who HASN’T wanted to slap Michael Moore silly, anyway?

With plenty of material to draw upon, Zucker’s film offers a Dickensian parody wherein a Michael Moore-esque character (Kevin Farley-eerily evocative of his late brother Chris), hell bent to abolish the Fourth of July-not as preposterous as it sounds-is visited by ghosts of three American icons: Kelsey Grammer as General George S. Patton, Jon Voight as George Washington, and country singer Trace Adkins as the Angel of Death.

The gags come fast and furiously and poke fun by either letting the targets speak for themselves, such as Rosie O’Donnell (“Radical Christianity is worse than terrorism!”), or by taking liberal positions to the extreme. (If Liberals had their way Lincoln would have been a pacifist and slavery would still exist.) Potshots are literally taken at ACLU zombie attorneys, while bleeding heart college professors get a spot-on musical send-up. Some of the best laughs come by way of the bumbling terrorists, lead by actor Robert Davi. If “Borat” was “fearless” comedy simply because he would wrestle naked on camera, what kind of medal should we bestow upon on a filmmaker willing to mock an entire cult that just might go jihad on him for doing so?

Whether intentionally or not, the film doesn’t always portray conservatives in the best light. Indeed, many of the preached-to choir here might feel the crass level of humor-though not nearly as profane or mean-spirited as a typical “South Park” episode-is beneath, them or that the topics deserve a wittier vehicle. Hopefully, “An American Carol” will be a success and will encourage more fair, balanced, and better artistic lampooning.

Whether America is in the mood right now for this kind of silliness is another question.

Grade: B+
Rated PG-13 for rude and irreverent content, and for language and brief drug material.

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