movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] I’d been toying with the idea of watching this mockumentary for several years. Tho rated a mere 5.8 on IMDB, it’s also important to note that only 625 people voted on it at IMDB. Netflix got 14,372 ratings with an average rating of 2.5 stars — “half bad, half liked it [barely]”.

PEOPLE: Tons.

Some of the more well-known people include: Main character and director Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker, and The Joker from 1990s Batman cartoons), Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, Jonathan Winters, Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead/Army Of Darkness, Xena), Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons and King Of The Hill), Hugh Heffneer, and a rare live-action Billy West (aka Stimpy of Ren & Stimpy, and Futurama characters Fry, Dr. Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan, Dr. Zoidberg, as well as tons of other shows, including the new cartoon Batman: The Brave And The Bold cartoon, which premieres today).

Some of the less well-known people include: Bruce Timm (leader of the 1990s Batman cartoons), Lloyd Kaufman (Troma founder who brought us Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes and The Toxic Avenger), Tom Kenny (from FOX’s masterful 1990s sketch comedy show The Edge, as well as HBO’s Mr. Show With Bob & David, also in the new Batman cartoon, also voicing The Mayor from the PowerPuff Girls, Ratbert from Dilbert:TAS, The Penguin from The Batman, and about 100 other cartoons I’ve seen), Donna D’Errico (Baywatch), Jess Harnell (aka Captain Hero from Drawn Together, Sewer Urchin and Speak from The Tick), Maurice LaMarche (aka The Brain from Pinky & The Brain, Alec Baldwin from Team America:World Police, Gus from Tripping The Rift, the Garbage Man from Dilbert:TAS, Egon from both Extreme Ghostbusters and The Real Ghostbusters, The Midnight Bomber from The Tick, Jeremy Hawke from The Critic, Zoltan from Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes:TAS), Jill Talley (Mr. Show With Bob & David), Arleen Sorkin (aka Harley Quinn in the 1990s New Batman Adventures, 1990s Superman, 2000s Justice League, Batman Beyond, Gotham Girls, and Static Shock, also in Days Of Our Lives), Jim Cummings (aka Mr. Mental and Multiple Santa from The Tick, Dingo from Gargoyles, Fuzzy Lumpkins from The PowerPuff Girls, Ioz from The Pirates Of Darkwater, Morocco Mole from the 1990s Secret Squirrel, and about 290 other cartoons), Tara Strong (aka Princess Clara and Toot from Drawn Together, Bubbles from The PowerPuff Girls, Barbara Gordon/Batgirl from the 1990s New Batman Adventures,the giggling girl from 4 out of 6 episodes of the Clerks animated series.. and of course her sexy role in National Lampoon’s Senior Trip). A lot of these people were also voices in The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy.

Wow. That was a lot of people. There were a lot more, too. At once scene, Mark Hamill asks to sit at a table with 3 people, but they don’t let him. It turns out they were the actual actors who were in the suits for Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Chewbacca — from Star Wars.

Much of the cast are primarily voice actors in various cartoons, so it’s really cool to finally get to see their faces. I didn’t even know it was Billy West (Stimpy/Fry) until the closing credits! We had to rewind and watch him some more after it was done!

BAD STUFF: This movie is a mockumentary. As such, there’s not really a plot, or even a script in some circumstances. It’s just a bunch of stuff that happens. It’s filled with a lot of subtle geek humor that would be missed by many. I really doubt there’s anyone alive who got every subtle joke or reference in the movie, self included. It’s definitely a low-key, low-energy movie in many ways.

QUIRKS: Was Maurice LaMarche really drinking that absinthe? Who knows.

They go to ComicCon. They’re really at ComicCon, so you get a taste of what that is like. When various people like Matt Groening are in the movie… They are basically set up and filmed in one take, as they were really at ComicCon giving out autographs and such.

The movie is about a comic book being adapted for film — something that has happened a lot these days. Hollywood wants to muck up the film, changing the boy sidekick to a hot chick, and the 1950s-comic-style costume into an all-black, post-Patriot-Act-enforcer type style. They hire a creative consultant, Mark Hamill — who plays a geek who literally has rose-tinted glasses. (In one scene, he talks about how, “I don’t want to view this through rose-tinted glasses”, which is the first time the viewer notices that’s just what he’s wearing). He eventually finds out that there is an heir to the intellectual property — played by Billy West. Network executives must deal with allowing these guys to think they are making a difference, when they are really simply being blown off by Hollywood.

There’s also a lot of extras to this movie.

CONCLUSION: It was a mockumentary, so of course it was not as entertaining as a so-called “real” movie. But it wasn’t completely dry like a “real” documentary is, either. I think this is a safe bet for some low-key, low-energy entertainment on a monday night. 3 stars, around 6/10.

RECOMMENDATION: I don’t know that this is something you watch for the story, but rather for the chance to see many famous people interact with each other. If you like dry mockumentary humor, comic books, cartoons, Batman, Star Wars, or geek fandom in general — you might want to see this.

(Hell, enough Star Wars fans would probably love this simply because Mark Hamill directed and stars in it! He is underused these days, except in voice-acting circles, so it’s nice to see what he looks like these days. And cool to see him essentially playing a comic book geek.)

MOVIE QUOTES: Donald Swan (Mark Hamill): Do you ever have to sell someone on an idea and they go, “Gee, I don’t know…”
Kevin Smith: Yes, there was this, um, this tranny hooker the other day. I was really trying to sell her on the idea of a three-way.

Absinthe-Drinking Party Guest: You know you’re there when you’ve seen the green fairy.
Jess Harnell: The Hulk? What, is the green fairy the Hulk? Dude, I’m way into the Hulk. Is that him?
Absinthe-Drinking Party Guest: [rubbing his temples] Give me strength. No, no.
Jess Harnell: I’m curious, because if drinking that would get me hooked up with the Hulk, I’d be into it.
Absinthe-Drinking Party Guest: That is when you know that you are in touch with your inner brain stem.
Jess Harnell: When the Hulk is hanging with you?
Absinthe-Drinking Party Guest: That is when you know that you are in the place occupied by Poe.
Jess Harnell: And Bill Bixby.

Mood: want to catch up on movie reviews!
Music: NoFX – The Bag