Saturday, July 29, 2017

You Don't Mess with the Zohan

Year 9, Day 210 - 7/29/17 - Movie #2,699

BEFORE: This is a last-minute addition to the chain, and as a result I'm moving today's originally scheduled film to Monday, and now I have to shift every other movie forward one slot.  Because I just last week settled on the chain that should get me to Movie #2,800 and the end of the year, any time I add a movie like this, I now have to take one away.  I was going to seek out "Godzilla 1984" to finish off the Halloween chain, now I don't have to.  I know, it was a tough choice, to program another crappy Adam Sandler film or another crappy Godzilla film - but a bird in the hand and all that.


THE PLOT: An Israeli Special Forces Soldier fakes his death so he can re-emerge in New York City as a hair stylist.

AFTER: I was fully expecting this film to be dumb, which is the main reason I avoided it for so long - but I wasn't necessarily expecting it to be racist and sexist as well, so it really hit a trifecta of badness.  You might expect a film about a hairdresser to be homophobic as well, which it sort of is, just not to the degree of being offensive on those other levels.  The Zohan's parents naturally assume that if he wants to be a hair stylist, then he must be a "fegelah" - but hey, they're from an older generation, so they have outdated ideas about sexual orientation.

Instead, the Zohan is a super-macho Israeli soldier and counter-terrorist, so naturally his arch-enemy is his Palestinian counter-part, known as the Phantom.  It's like Sandler wanted to create a Jewish super-hero of a sort, but then to make it believable, he had to also make him want to be a hairdresser. I realize comedy is often found in juxtaposing different elements, but that doesn't mean that putting two different things together in one character is automatically going to be funny.

The whole opening sequence, with the Zohan on a beach, surrounded by beautiful women, and doing impossible things while playing hacky-sack, then grilling up a fish dinner, I was thinking, "This HAS to be a dream sequence, any moment now the character's going to wake up and he'll be in the Israeli army, probably in some dreaded combat situation."  Nope, we're meant to take the impossible literally here, and this continues for the whole entire picture.  Stunts that are impossible, like catching a bullet in his nose, or swimming so fast that he overtakes a jet-ski, are meant to be taken as seen, which puts too much strain on the suspension of disbelief.  Meanwhile, none of it is funny, like someone forgot that they were supposed to be making a comedy.

Then after faking his own death (that's twice this week for Sandler, does he have some issues we're not aware of?) the Zohan stows away on a plane to New York and tries to get a job at the famous Paul Mitchell hair salon, despite having no experience, other than cutting his own hair.  Because why go to school and study anything when you can just jump right in?  His plans thwarted, he focuses on sweeping up hair in a small salon while waiting for an opportunity to open up.  Eventually it does, and he styles and seduces a long line of older ladies, much like Max Bialystock from "The Producers", and soon the Paul Mitchell salon is begging for him to work there (why he doesn't take this job, I have no idea, because wasn't that his dream?)

There's a germ of a plot idea late in the film, as a real-estate magnate and hotel owner (very Trump-like) funds a group of mock terrorists to bomb the businesses around his hotel, presumably to buy up the land, and plans to blame the nearby Arab and Israeli communities for the damage.  But any semblance of telling a good narrative is buried under a pile of silly stunts, vulgar sex with old ladies and stereotypes about people from the Middle East.  They like hummus!  And they own goats!  And they all drive cabs or work in electronics stores!  Pathetic.

Nothing makes any sense here - why is the hotel owner also the announcer at the hacky sack tournament?  Why is there even a hacky sack tournament in the first place?  And why would Mariah Carey be appearing there?  Where is this neighborhood in Manhattan that's filled with Palestinians? You know what, in the end I don't even care enough to complain about it all, it's that dumb.

Also starring John Turturro (last seen in "Exodus: Gods and Kings"), Emmanuelle Chriqui (last seen in "Cadillac Records"), Nick Swardson (last seen in "The Do-Over"), Lainie Kazan (last seen in "Pixels"), Rob Schneider (last seen in "Around the World in 80 Days"), Ido Mosseri, Dave Matthews (last seen in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry"), Michael Buffer (last seen in "Creed"), Sayed Badreya, Daoud Heidami, Kevin Nealon (last heard in "8 Crazy Nights"), Robert Smigel (also last seen in "The Do-Over"), Dina Doronne, Shelley Berman (last seen in "The Holiday"), Alec Mapa, Ahmed Ahmed, Ben Wise, Rick Gifford, Barry Livingston, with cameos from Charlotte Rae (last seen in "Ricki and the Flash"), Henry Winkler (last seen in "Here Comes the Boom"), Kevin James (last heard in "Hotel Transylvania 2"), Chris Rock (last seen in "Grown Ups 2"), Mariah Carey (last heard in "The Lego Batman Movie"), John McEnroe (last seen in "Mr. Deeds"), George Takei (last heard in "Kubo and the Two Strings"), Bruce Vilanch, John Paul DeJoria.

RATING: 2 out of 10 kids throwing rocks

Friday, July 28, 2017

Spanglish

Year 9, Day 209 - 7/28/17 - Movie #2,698

BEFORE: My recent experience with San Diego Comic-Con has colored everything - I came to the conclusion that I started to travel out there each year as part of my job, sure, but also because the convention held the promise of some fun for me.  But over time, each year it became a little less fun, I had less and less free time to explore the event, so basically I was just left with the job.  For which I am paid, and I am thankful for that, but it seems now that the stress and hassle has overtaken the fun part, so to me it's just a job.

I hope that I don't ever reach that point with the Movie Year - but watching several Adam Sandler films in a row could bring me to the conclusion that I'm just continuing to do this out of habit.  If I don't enjoy this part of the chain, then what's the point?  Can I get enough satisfaction just out of the organization of the films, the feeling I get when I cross a film off of the list, even a terrible one?  The knowledge that I'll never, ever have to watch that film again, unless for some reason I decide I want to?  Can I adopt some kind of distance between myself  and a terrible film, so I can watch it merely out of curiosity, to acquaint myself with this particular corner of pop culture, to have knowledge of the film, just in case I ever need it (you never know, I may be on Jeopardy! some day...)?

That's kind of how I feel about these 5 Adam Sander films (are they over yet?) I'm curious enough to watch them, though I don't expect I'll enjoy them, and they will help me get to my next section of the list, and then we need never speak of them again.  Sound OK? 


THE PLOT: A woman and her daughter emigrate from Mexico for a better life in America, where they start working for a family where the patriarch is a celebrated chef with an insecure wife.

AFTER: I just got back from California earlier this week, and even though this film was made back in 2004, I can confirm that it hits the nail on the head when depicting California types - they've developed a reputation over the years for being laid-back and easy-going, but from what I've seen first-hand, nothing could be further from the truth.  From what I encountered, people there are just as screwed-up and self-centered as the people I see in New York.  Which means they act like the rules don't apply to them - I saw a guy bring a DOG into a bagel cafe (completely unsanitary, this should be against the rules) and I saw a woman bring her own food (salads purchased at a grocery) into the café at the convention center.  In my day, that would have caused her to be thrown out, especially since the restaurant she was in sold salads, and she bought exactly nothing there.

I see this same sort of behavior in the wife's character here - constantly putting herself and her opinions first, without any regard for other people's feelings or opinions.  All she talks about is how she gave up her career as a designer/decorator in order to raise her children - but she really hires a nanny to do all the hard work, so what is it exactly that she does all day?  Oh yeah, she's too busy being a neurotic rich person.  Give me a break.

I didn't mind the chef character, maybe because I've already seen two films this year about chefs and their screwed-up personal lives ("Burnt" and "Chef") and this kind of fits right in with that theme.  The culinary skills are sort of a given, but in all 3 cases these chef characters have no clue how to relate to children or their wives/girlfriends.  Basically because watching a film about someone who's got it all figured out wouldn't be very interesting.  But conversely, watching a film about people who can't figure out ANYTHING where their personal lives are concerned might be swinging too far in the other direction. 

I imagine one of those internet click-bait links that's titled "Why Hollywood Won't Hire Tea Leoni Any More" and you follow it to a page that just reads, "Because Spanglish".   She's just so over-the-top here, like she needed to be at the intensity of a "6" but the director told her to be at level 10.  I get that her character is supposed to be insecure, but did she need to be frantic, erratic and manic, all at the same time?  The actress who played her daughter was nearly half as bad, though it seems the director just told her to look exasperated at every possible opportunity.  For once, Adam Sandler played the calm, quiet character - still neurotic, just not as screamy as the other actors.

I got very confused near the start of the film, when Flor went to interview for the nanny position with this family - because we had just seen Flor move to America with her young daughter, and then the narration mentioned something about 6 years passing.  So when I saw Flor going to the job interview, I thought that the woman with her was her daughter, now 6 years older.  Instead it was a family friend that she had brought with her to translate, but the identity character was never properly introduced.  And then Flor doesn't mention her daughter to the Clasky family for a long time, and this also was weird, it was never properly explained, at least not to my satisfaction.

After Flor's daughter was properly introduced to the family, the following scenes were also very strange simply because the daughter was bi-lingual and always translating.  So the family members would speak directly to Flor, but her daughter would respond for her.  Maybe this is a common occurrence in real life when there's a language barrier, but in a film, it just doesn't work.  I can't even think of another film where something like this happens, because it's just so confusing that no film ever plans scenes like this.

The film tries to make some kind of point, I suppose, about parenting - how you're not supposed to insert yourself between someone and their kids - but isn't that exactly what a nanny is hired to do?  Again, the wife/mother character is so over-the-top, the way she inserts herself into Flor's daughter's story, in the interests of doing what she feels is "best" is so obnoxious.  How can I like this character if she's such a screw-up, and so unapologetic for her actions?

And it's so cliché to have a husband attracted to the beautiful Mexican nanny - maybe it does happen in real life, perhaps even more often than we think, but that doesn't mean that it's not a cliché.  And to have the whole thing framed as a story told in an application to Princeton University - ugh, another cliché, and it's totally unnecessary.  NITPICK POINT: When you think about it, the entire premise doesn't make any sense.  If Flor was working two jobs and never had any time to supervise her daughter, how does taking the nanny job solve this problem?  It seems like after that, she's working for the Claskys around the clock, essentially, and her daughter is left home, unsupervised.  How is that an improvement?

I'm sure there are more inconsistencies in the parenting styles and the contradictory rules that each parent seems to have, but I haven't got the will to get into this and really pick them apart.

Also starring Tea Leoni (last seen in "Hollywood Ending"), Paz Vega (last heard in "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"), Cloris Leachman (last seen in "Listen to Me Marlon"), Shelbie Bruce, Sarah Steele (last seen in "The To Do List"), Ian Hyland (last seen in "The Skeleton Twins"), Cecilia Suarez, the voice of Aimee Garcia, and a cameo from Thomas Haden Church (last seen in "Daddy's Home").

RATING: 3 out of 10 language lessons

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Do-Over

Year 9, Day 208 - 7/27/17 - Movie #2,697

BEFORE: Luis Guzman carries over from "Keanu", and Adam Sandler's going to get me to Movie #2,700 - turns out there's a whole bunch of new Sandler films on Netflix, just like there was for last year's animated features.  I think he made some kind of deal with Netflix, which could also mean that his films weren't good enough to be distributed the regular way, it's tough to tell.  Then next week I can start the final 100 films for Movie Year 9, and I'll kick that off with my Documentary Geek Week.


THE PLOT: Two down-on-their-luck guys decide to fake their own deaths and start over with new identities, only to find that the people they're pretending to be are in even deeper trouble.

AFTER: My fall-back excuse here, because the Adam Sandler films are so often hit-or-miss, is that I needed a few more films to fill up those final 105 slots for 2017, and make everything balance out.  So really, it's not my fault if I watch a few stinkers here, it's the schedule's fault - plus that compulsion inside of me that feels the need to organize and rate everything, even the bad stuff.  But in the end, how else am I going to recognize the good films, if I don't watch a bad one every once in a while, for comparative purposes.

A little web research gives me a wide range of dissenting opinions about Sandler's move to Netflix and away from the traditional studio distribution system.  "It's a smart move, because that's where the money is."  "He's essentially quitting the business, by signing an exclusive deal to only stream his films." "He's doing this to avoid the critics, who never liked his stupid movies in the first place."  Maybe all of these are a little bit true - but the fact is that he signed with Netflix to distribute four films, three of which I'm going to watch this week - and now that deal has expanded to include four more films in the future, so something must be working.

I'm just glad that I started with this one, because it's thematically in the same ballpark as "Keanu", with two clueless guys getting mistaken for two other guys, and then being forced to act tough and think creatively to stay alive.  Here the two friends manage to steal some corpses and fake their deaths, which I imagine many people have fantasized about doing, from time to time.  (For me, it's usually right after Comic-Con, when I just want to be somewhere like an island with no other people on it for a few days.)

I think there are just a few too many reversals here, like for Adam Sandler's character, where first we're led to believe that he's an FBI agent, then he says he's not, then he says he works in the morgue, then that turns out to not be true, either - then he says he's a guidance counselor, but is he?  Eventually I wasn't sure what to believe about his character, who he was or what his true intentions were.  Do we ever really find out, after his quest to improve his friend's life then seems to turn into more of a crime or spy story, then that gets linked to a secret formula that may cure a particular disease.  Too many reversals or changes in the explanation for WHY this is all happening can leave you feeling like you no longer no which way is up.  And that can make the whole exercise feel rather pointless.

Also starring Adam Sandler (last heard in "Hotel Transylvania 2"), David Spade (ditto), Paula Patton (last seen in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"), Kathryn Hahn (last seen in "The D Train"), Nick Swardson (also last heard in "Hotel Transylvania 2"), Matt Walsh (last seen in "Get Hard"), Renee Taylor (last seen in "Alfie"), Sean Astin, Natasha Leggero (last seen in "Let's Be Cops"), Catherine Bell (last seen in "Evan Almighty"), Jackie Sandler (last seen in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2"), Michael Chiklis (last seen in "Eagle Eye"), Torsten Voges, with cameos from Dan Patrick (last seen in "Pixels"), Robert Smigel (also last heard in "Hotel Transylvania 2").

RATING: 4 out of 10 fortune cookies

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Keanu

Year 9, Day 207 - 7/26/17 - Movie #2,696

BEFORE: Keegan-Michael Key carries over again from "Don't Think Twice" - huh, didn't I do a chain with him last year?  Yep, I did - it was "Pitch Perfect 2", "Tomorrowland" and "Vacation", all in a row.  That guy's gotten a lot of work in the last few years. More power to him.


THE PLOT: When an L.A. drug kingpin's kitten unexpectedly enters the life of two cousins, they will have to go through gangs, hitmen and drug dealers in order to get him back.

AFTER: I never watched the Key & Peele show, and of course now it's too late - but I've seen enough of the clips to get where these guys are coming from.  It's observational black humor, and that's not really my thing, but I can still be happy for them, it's not easy to make the jump from a comedy series to feature films. That's meant the end for such fine comedy teams as Bob & Doug, the Jerky Boys, and Penn & Teller (I know, they're still together, but they never made another movie after "Penn & Teller Get Killed", now, did they?). One of those stupid Sunday newspaper answer columns I saw last week reported that Key "left" Key & Peele, but I think they still have plans to work together on some projects, so I think it would be more accurate to say that the show just ended.

The gag here is that both of these African-American men aren't really in touch with "street" culture, so when they get mistaken for a pair of ruthless, silent, dreadlocked hitmen whom they sort of resemble (because the actors play those characters two) then they're drawn into the L.A. underworld while they're really looking for one's lost kitten.  The kitten used to belong to a druglord that the hitmen killed, and he shows up on the doorstep of one cousin, who's just been through a bad break-up.  The other cousin is married, but while his wife and daughter are away for the weekend, he wants to spend some time getting to know himself.

But instead they get mixed up in the gang scene, and are forced to act "blacker", or more "gangsta", I suppose, to have a chance to get the stolen kitten back.  Jeez, what's all the fuss over one kitten, I mean you can probably find another kitten with the same fur color without a lot of effort. And the fact that three different crime lords want this cute kitten at different times, well, that does sort of strain the suspension of disbelief just a bit.  So does a black man being SO into George Michael songs, but I get that's where the humor lies, in the unlikely combination of disparate elements.

It's a little tough for me to see this as a straight parody, having never seen films like "New Jack City" or TV shows like "The Wire" - so I probably didn't get many of the references.  It's not even a parody of "John Wick", even though he had a dog in that movie, and there's a cat in this one - that's probably just a coincidence.  This one should be able to stand on its own with its story, but it just vacillates a little too wildly between action film and comedy film.

Also starring Jordan Peele (last seen in "Wanderlust"), Method Man (last seen in "Trainwreck"), Tiffany Haddish, Luis Guzman (last seen in "The Count of Monte Cristo"), Will Forte (last heard in "My Life as a Zucchini"), Nia Long (last seen in "Alfie"), Darrell Britt-Gibson, Jason Mitchell, Jamar Malachi Neighbors, Rob Huebel (last seen in "Horrible Bosses 2"), Anna Faris (last heard in "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2"), Ian Casselberry (last seen in "Triple 9"), with a cameo from the voice of Keanu Reeves (last seen in "John Wick").

RATING: 5 out of 10 team-building exercises

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Don't Think Twice

Year 9, Day 206 - 7/25/17 - Movie #2,695

BEFORE: I'm back from Comic-Con, exhausted and frustrated.  Since I've got "Geek Week" coming up in just a few days - that's a whole week of documentaries about geek culture, including the Comic-Con phenomenon, I'm going to save my thoughts about Comic-Con for then.  I've got a myriad of complaints, but I'm going to type them up for my boss's blog first, and then maybe I'll reprint them here in early August.  The bottom line is that may have been my last time going out to San Diego (I know, I say that every year, but this time I'm serious) and I'm surprisingly OK with that.  The event has changed a LOT since I started attending 15 or 16 years ago, and mostly it's not for the better.  Now that I'm back, I can focus on what's really important - getting ready for New York Comic-Con.

But I did something before I left, which was quite amazing - I blocked out my movie schedule for the rest of the year, and the linking is solid now (with 2 small exceptions, but I allow exceptions for things like documentaries and horror films) right through to the last film of the year.  I went on a linking tear, which has been made easier now that I'm considering Netflix films, films streaming on Amazon, and Academy screeners all fair game.  Those things have opened up a new world of possibilities where linking is concerned, which almost makes up for the fact that they've nearly doubled the potential size of my watchlist.  To keep my cool, I've kept all of those films on a separate list, apart from the main watchlist, so I can still maintain some semblance of "progress", whatever that means.  Like tonight's film, which I found on Netflix, and it's going straight from the "Add this eventually" list on to the "Movies Watched in 2017" list - skipping the main watchlist all together.  And Keegan-Michael Key carries over from "The Angry Birds Movie", and he'll be here tomorrow as well.

The Watchlist has already crept up to 135 (it was 130 before I began watching all those animated films on Netflix) and since Geek Week will be mostly Netflix films too, it may be a long time before the Watchlist starts shrinking again - but hey, at least I've got a plan for the rest of 2017 that will allow me to see "Thor: Ragnarok", "Justice League", "Blade Runner 2049", and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" all on time (more or less) and it WORKS with the calendar, in a way that makes me happy.  And it gets me to more of those films like "Spotlight", that I've been dying to see, but which never seem to run on premium cable, like "Into the Wild", "Drive", and "Lovelace".

Now, I did have a rough plan for 2017 already - though I hadn't done the linking to confirm that I could connect all of those 2017 releases in a way that made sense.  But I was amazed how easily the plan fell into place once I started looking closely at the cast lists.  In fact, it almost came together TOO well, after reducing my October horror chain to just 24 films, I gained some wiggle room, but I didn't have to add more than 7 films to make everything connect.  In fact at that point I was still five films short, and I only had to close a gap between the end of a Ben Affleck chain (one of 4 possible films) and the start of a Jennifer Lawrence chain ("Winter's Bone").  If I could do that in 5 films, I was golden.  The answer was strikingly simple - one of the actors in a Ben Affleck film was also in the first "Hunger Games" film, so if I added that 4-film series (umm, I have been avoiding it...), I was nearly there.  I added one more Warren Beatty film between two of his other films, and I had my final 105 films for 2017.

Then I could breathe easy, relax and get on board the plane for San Diego - and I wasn't focused on movies the whole time I was out there.  Sure, I could have watched a movie on the plane, but then that would have thrown off my count.  Instead I watched the first four episodes of the mini-series "11.22.63", based on Stephen King's novel about time-travelling to try and stop the JFK assassination.  Now I'll have to log on to my wife's Hulu account to watch the final four eps.  On the flight back I watched a short (1 hr.) documentary called "I Killed JFK" (kept the theme going) and then a Pete Holmes comedy special (I really needed to laugh).  And Pete has a cameo in today's film, so hey, it all worked out.  I don't feel the need to count that documentary on my list, it's barely even worth mentioning.  I mean, I'll count it if I need to, but I'd rather just regard it as a quick follow-up to the "Jackie" feature.


THE PLOT: When a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group - all best friends - start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all.

AFTER: I've been watching the Showtime series "I'm Dying Up Here", and this film is sort of cut from the same cloth - a look at what a bunch of comedians go through when they're both on and off-stage, and navigating their way through their day jobs while cultivating their nascent comedy careers.  Some things will go well, other things won't, particularly relationships, and life's a bitch even if you're prone to see the funny side of things.  (The Showtime series is set in 1970's L.A., and this is set in present-day NYC, but the main thrust of the story is the same.)

One or two of those 1970's L.A. standup comics is going to make it to the Carson show, and one or two of the improv comics here may get an audition for "Weekend Live", which is the obvious stand-in here for SNL, complete with a dictator-like producer who speaks in a monotone similar to Lorne Michaels'.  But when one of the comics manages to break through, what happens to the others?  Does the group break up or does it forge ahead without him?  Can a successful comic continue to date someone who not only isn't as successful, but seems to have no desire to be?  And at what point should someone stop trying to break into acting, writing or performing and seriously consider getting a job that pays real money?

These are all valid questions, and I don't think there are any right answers.  If you've got your heart set on something, then you keep trying until you make it, or until circumstances force you to stop.  Hey, if Hitler hadn't given up on his art career, then maybe World War II would never have happened - it's something to think about.  When I was a kid I thought maybe I could be a comedian, and my mom desperately wanted me to be the next Rich Little, but I think maybe my impressions sounded better to her than to anyone else.  I studied comedy writing at NYU, which included both improv and scripted work, so I know you really have to put yourself out there and not get embarrassed easily.  I did meet my first wife in that class, so something good came out of it, even though that turned to crap about 5 years later.

But even though I don't perform any more, the skills are still there, or so I tell myself.  I'm quick to come up with punny titles for things, and I'm workshopping a 10-minute set about the inconvenient restrooms I encountered in San Diego, though I'm sure a lot of the material has been done by professional stand-ups by now.  I was working on a whole thing about how self-entitled and annoying people are in public - you know, parents with babies in restaurants, people who bring dogs into the bagel shop - and I turned on the TV last night and caught an Erik Griffin special that touched on many of the same ideas, and went even five steps further, so there's no point in me getting up on stage with it now.

But this is the kind of film I would love to make, in some ways - I've been sitting on the story of my first marriage, trying to turn it into a screenplay via several attempts over the years.  Just replace "improv comedy" with student filmmaking and "Dungeons & Dragons", and "Don't Think Twice" is very close to the story I wanted to tell - 6 friends who participate in activities together and are all trying to be successful, and there are hook-ups and break-ups within the group, which eventually can't take the strains of in-fighting and petty jealousy.

Someone here probably had an inside knowledge of "SNL", or perhaps a track record of trying out for the show and being turned down - Mike Birbiglia, I'm guessing.  Maybe this whole story came from his real life and he watched his friends land roles, or writing gigs, on that show - it's a great way to turn personal pain into the backbone of a comedic story.  (Comedy is just tragedy plus time, right?) And it hits very close to the mark, because "SNL" hasn't been funny for years, except for the "Weekend Update" segments.  Why can't the writers on SNL use punchlines to end their skits, or at least do something original once in a while?  Or am I just too old to appreciate it, or get all of the references?  You can probably tell how old someone is by asking them to fill in this blank: "Saturday Night Live hasn't been funny since ________ left."  Now if they say Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy or Chevy Chase, you can peg what generation they're part of.

But it's also about being self-aware, about knowing when something is over - a relationship, a writing/performing partnership, a job - and deciding to motivate yourself to move on.  And thus it's very appropriate that I watched this right after San Diego Comic-Con, which I have decided not to attend any more, for reasons which I'll discuss further in a couple weeks.

Also starring Gillian Jacobs (last seen in "Hot Tub Time Machine 2"), Mike Birbiglia (last seen in "Hot Pursuit"), Kate Micucci (last heard in "The Lego Batman Movie"), Tami Sagher (last seen in "Knocked Up"), Chris Gethard (last seen in "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn"), Seth Barrish (last seen in "True Story"), Richard Masur (last seen in "Heartburn"), Richard Kline (last seen in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry"), Adam Pally (last seen in "Dirty Grandpa"), Sondra James (last seen in "Spider-Man: Homecoming"), Gary Richardson (ditto), Erin Darke (last seen in "Still Alice"), Maggie Kemper, Connor Ratliff, Sunita Mani, Miranda Bailey, with cameos from Lena Dunham (last seen in "It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise"), Ben Stiller (last seen in "Zoolander 2"), Pete Holmes.

RATING: 6 out of 10 quotes from Del Close