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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Movie Review - Mascots

Mascots (2016)
Starring Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Ed Begley, Jr., Zach Woods, Sarah Baker, Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins, Tom Bennett, Christopher Moynihan, Susan Yeagley, Chris O'Dowd, Bob Balaban, and Jennifer Coolidge
Directed by Christopher Guest
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

Writer-director Christopher Guest's mockumentary Best in Show which took the audience behind the scenes of a low-rent dog show is one of the best comedies of all time.  A ballsy statement, I'm aware, and one that may not be shared by all, but it's a movie that I find myself cracking up with whenever I put it on.  In a similar vein, his latest film Mascots takes its viewers to the annual Mascot Championships where his interviews with a wacky cast of characters unveil the mask behind some unique college and sport team mascots fighting for the top prize at the event.

Told in a fake documentary style -- the genre of all Guest's films -- Mascots has its moments and is certainly watchable, but it doesn't compare to the genius that is Best in Show (then again, the rest of Guest's films don't compare to that genius either).  Guest allows large chunks of his acting ensemble to simply improvise and while that does provide some clever moments, it also fills the film with a lot of nothing in terms of character development.  Despite only being 95 minutes long, the flick feels much longer with too much focus placed on the mascot bits at the final competition rather than creating well-rounded and interestingly quirky characters.

I'm overly critical here because I know Guest and his ensemble (many of whom were in Best in Show) can do better.  I did laugh during Mascots -- quite a bit actually -- but I wanted more from the film.  The humor came a bit too sporadically for me to truly be able to recommend this one.  Best in Show, however -- get yourself a copy today!

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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