Sports metaphors seem particularly appropriate in a review of Mascots, so let’s start with this one: Does any comedy director have a deeper bench than Christopher Guest? Some of Guest’s most dependable stars didn’t show up for this film — Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara amongst them — but Mascots still delivers Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Chris O’Dowd, Ed Begley Jr., Bob Balaban, Don Lake, Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins, and Jim Piddock (who also co-wrote the film with Guest). That’s before you add Guest himself, in a small role as Corky St. Clair (his character from Waiting for Guffman) plus newcomers like Zach Woods, Sarah Baker, and Susan Yeagley. There are an obscene number of funny people in this movie.
Our 2016 fall movie preview focused entirely on theatrical movies, with one crucial exception. We couldn’t leave out Mascots, the new movie from Christopher Guest. It may be debuting on Netflix instead of in movie theaters around the country, but it’s easily one of our most anticipated movies of the fall. To watch this trailer, is to understand why.
Netflix is reportedly planning to spend $5 billion (not a typo, billion with a ‘b’) on original content next year, and they keep unveiling one big project after another. Here’s the latest: A Netflix Original Film from Christopher Guest, the director of classic mockumentaries (although he hates that term, never use it in front of him for any reason, and I say this from experience) like Waiting For Guffman and Best in Show, and one-third of the mock-rock band Spinal Tap, whose own faux documentary essentially invented the entire genre of fake-doc comedies.
If you've ever been on IMDb, you know that their movies are rated by readers on a scale of 1-10. Except for one movie. Rob Reiner's classic rock mockumentary This is Spinal Tap is the only movie on IMDb that is rated on a scale of 1-11, the fictional level Spinal Tap sets their amps to. Now crank it up to eleven in the latest installment of You Think You Know Movies!
Let it be known that I never saw 'This Is Spinal Tap' prior to the 30th anniversary screening at the New York Film Festival late Wednesday night. I was aware of Christopher Guest (the six-fingered man, obviously) and his work with Michael McKean creating films centered on different musical genres -- 'This Is Spinal Tap,' 'A Mighty Wind' and 'Waiting for Guffman' -- but I still hadn't seen the first of them. I felt like an adolescent teen trying to fit in with the rest of the cool kids who laughed at nearly every joke and applauded for familiar scenes and faces. ("The numbers go all the way to 11!")