Tag Archives: Janeane Garofalo

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a 2015 Netflix original series and a prequel to the 2001 cult classic film Wet Hot American Summer. Don’t watch the show unless you’ve seen the movie. The movie is required viewing. You won’t pick up on half the jokes and you won’t appreciate it as much if you haven’t seen the movie already. The movie is an absurd comedy about the last day at a summer camp. The humor is not for everybody but you will love it if you can open your mind a little.

The movie has a large ensemble cast featuring Janeane Garofalo, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, David Hyde Pierce, Bradley Cooper, Christopher Meloni, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, A.D. Miles, Zak Orth, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Marguerite Moreau, H. Jon Benjamin, and Judah Friedlander and they all came back for the prequel series. The film is about the last day of camp and the show is about the first day of camp. All the actors are playing three-month younger versions of their characters despite everyone being fifteen years older in real life. If you thought it was funny watching twenty-year olds pretending to be teenagers, wait until you see forty-year olds pretending to be teenagers.

There are eight episodes, each about a half hour long, and each one is about a certain time of day: Campers Arrive, Lunch, Activities, Auditions, Dinner, Electro/City, Staff Party, and Day Is Done. All the episodes were directed by David Wain, who also directed the movie and co-wrote both projects with Michael Showalter. The end result is a TV show that feels like a really long movie. It’s very easy to binge watch and you probably will end up binge watching it. It’s hilarious, filled with jokes and gags from beginning to end. The style of humor is very diverse. It’s slapstick, it’s witty, it’s brash, and it’s subtle. It warrants repeat viewings. I just finished the series and can’t wait to watch it again.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer is a 2001 comedy about the last day of summer at the fictional Camp Firewood. It’s not just a comedy; it’s completely off the wall and ridiculous. It’s more like Airplane! than most comedy films that come out. It’s packed with jokes, one-liners, and sight gags. It has a pretty solid cast featuring Michael Showalter, David Hyde Pierce, Bradley Cooper, Janeane Garofalo, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Michael Ian Black, Molly Shannon, and more. The movie was a flop when it came out but it’s become a cult classic in the years since.

There’s a plot, albeit a nonsensical one. It’s the last day of camp and the big talent show is tonight. Coop has a crush on Katie, but she’s in a relationship with the douchey Andy. Camp director Beth has a mutual crush on Associate Professor Henry Newman, but they are both too awkward to act on it. And to make things more complicated, Henry has detected a piece of NASA’s Skylab has broken off and is heading directly for the camp and he must find a way to stop the disaster. Even though the film takes place in one day, there’s no way that all the things that happen in the movie could happen in one day. It’s like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off but they acknowledge the fact that it’s impossible and have fun with it, like the scene where the camp counselors go into town and have a crazy drug-fueled montage and return to camp an hour later.

This movie is the smart kind of stupid. And it’s not for everyone. Watch it for ten minutes and give it time to settle in. If you don’t like it by then, stop watching it. But if you manage to make it through the whole movie, it will become one of your favorite comedies. Well, it should be at least. You might have awful taste in movies.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Titan A.E.

Titan A.E. is an animated sci-fi film set in a future where an alien attack has destroyed Earth and a band of human survivors trying to locate a spaceship called Titan, humanity’s last chance for recovery. The film combines computer graphics and hand-drawn animation and the end result is visually stunning. It was directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (they also directed The Secret of NIMH and Anastasia), and Joss Whedon contributed to the screenplay (so you know that it’s going to be good). It has a pretty impressive voice cast as well, featuring Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Ron Pearlman, Drew Barrymore, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo, Jim Breur, and Tone Loc.

The film begins in the year 3028 when an alien race known as the Drej attack and destroy Earth. Luckily Professor Sam Tucker has been preparing for this, and he’s built a spaceship known as Titan to ensure humanity’s survival. He’s forced to abandon his young son, Cale, on an evacuation ship, and the two go their separate ways. The film then jumps ahead fifteen years, and Cale is working in a salvage yard in space somewhere. Humans are scattered across the galaxy and are considered a lesser species because they have no home of their own anymore.

Cale eventually encounters Captain Joseph Korso, another human and former friend of Cale’s father. Korso reveals that the ring that Cale wears is a genetically encoded map that will lead them to the Titan. Together they could save mankind. Cale joins Korso’s crew, which consists of Akima, his sexy female human pilot and a couple of aliens of various species named Gune, Stith, and Preed. Then it becomes a race to find the Titan before the Drej can catch them and kill them. Of course there are lots of action scenes, a few twists and shocking revelations, and character developments that you saw coming a mile away. But it’s all enjoyable.

This movie bombed when it came out, and I’m not sure why. It was a mix of bad marketing and confusing publicity. It was advertised as a kid’s film, but it’s more of an action-filled sci-fi that happens to be animated. And the animation is gorgeous. It looks and feels unlike any other space fantasy flick that I’ve seen. And the action sequences are nothing short of thrilling. This movie is underappreciated and unrespected but it’s become a cult classic to some, myself included.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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