Monday, November 30, 2015

Shtickmen (2003)

Directors: Jeff Hays, Eric Jewell

Writers: Jeff Hays, Eric Jewell, Dean Lewis

Composer: David Jewell

Starring: Dean Lewis, David Wilk, Johnny Crass, Burton Gilliam, Jeff Hays, Chad Cline, Dave Little, Buff Tanner, Soozy Martin, Bob Coonrod, Grant James, Troy Grant, Chuck Cason

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Dying is Easy... Comedy is Hard

Plot: This mockumentary focuses on the life of small time comedian Jerry Martin and his ability to strive for the "big time" while having to do awful comedy related jobs just to survive.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

I love stand up and I'll watch anything Burton Gilliam did.  That guy cracks me up.  That said, I barely laughed at all and when I did it was during the last act when the students took the stage.  The thing is, I should have been howling all the way through but I was taken out of the picture early on.  It looks rather cheap and it's obvious that people are acting, especially the students and some of them take it too far.  The characters are often too broad and the film would've benefited from scaling it back more to be more realistic.  I guess you could say that about Christopher Guest's mocumentaries but a lot of his characters are more genuine or at least beautifully performed.  I really didn't care for the picture until the last act.  The editing of the performers was good.  The purposefully bad jokes, which were revealed in the class, were funnier when bandied about on stage.  There's a spark missing from this film that would give it the life it needs.  I like the idea behind the picture and I wanted it to succeed but when it was all over, I'd hardly laughed and that doesn't bode well for an out and out comedy.  The Victory DVD has a bunch of extras.  You get three 4-minute stand up sets from three of the guys in the film, 5 short films by the folks who brought you this movie, a trailer for a fake documentary called HIT, 15 minutes of outtakes and the trailer (which inexplicably is nowhere to be found online). 

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