The best part about Master Ninja’s Thing of the Week is the unqualified nature of the Thing. It might be great. It might be good. It might just be a thing.
This Week’s Thing of the Week is the film The Grand.
The Grand is a mockumentary a la A Mighty Wind or Best in Show or This Is Spinal Tap… except it wasn’t written or directed by Christopher Guest, so it’s not as good as those movies.
Still, it has Michael McKean, so you might mistake it for a Christopher Guest mockumentary!
The writing of The Grand isn’t tight. There are lot of extraneous bits that waste time, and the bulk of the content doesn’t follow the setup – so it turns out to be an ensemble movie, but the opening ten minutes don’t give you that impression at all.
The good part of The Grand is that you will laugh at it (if you like Christopher Guest movies). It has some of my most favorite people in it – David Cross, Chris Parnell, Estelle Harris, and Cheryl Hines, with tiny cameos by Jason Alexander and Hank Azaria. Plus, Werner Herzog comes out of nowhere with a great performance as a crazy German. Ray Romano also turns in a great performance despite his years on that painful show where everyone loved him.
The Grand also sends up Poker as a TV sport, although it’s not particularly full of biting witticism to that effect.
All in all, The Grand is something to watch if you’ve got some spare time and a Netflix subscription. It’s on Instant Watch as of this posting. Enjoy!