Streaming highlights October 16: Hubie Halloween, Songland & The Comedy Store

LET DOWN: Above, Hubie Halloween repeats many of the same characters and jokes from Adam Sandler's previous films. Below, Chris Rock in The Comedy Store.
LET DOWN: Above, Hubie Halloween repeats many of the same characters and jokes from Adam Sandler's previous films. Below, Chris Rock in The Comedy Store.

HUBIE HALLOWEEN

Netflix

THERE are some great Adam Sandler movies. Sure, Billy Maddison, Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy were ridiculously juvenile and over-the-top, but they were hilarious and heartfelt.

The same can't be said for Sandler's latest straight-to-Netflix effort Hubie Halloween. It's not blatantly as bad as Jack and Jill, when Sandler played a man and woman and rightly earned a Razzie for worst picture and actor, but it's on par with 2000's idiotic Little Nicky, which ended his late '90s hot streak.

In Hubie Halloween Sandler adopts a character we've seen multiple times before in The Waterboy and Little Nicky. Hubie is a mumbling and socially-challenged middle-aged man who is mercilessly abused by people in his small town, despite his best efforts to keep the townsfolk safe on Halloween.

When Hubie discovers his kooky new neighbour Walter Lambert, played by Steve Buscemi, is actually a werewolf, he begins investigating the disappearance of people in the town.

Sandler, who is also the co-producer and co-writer, assembled an all-star cast for Hubie Halloween including Kevin James, Ray Liotta, Rob Schneider, Maya Rudolph and Julie Bowen, but they aren't given much material to exploit.

Even if you've only seen several of Sandler's previous films you already know the gags.

SONGLAND

Binge

Netflix recently released its fascinating Song Exploder series, based on the popular and long-running podcast, that unpacks how well-known songwriters composed their masterpieces.

Songland also investigates the art of songwriting but from a completely different angle. It's all about the homogenised world of producing commercial pop hits through a committee of producers and managers.

Each episode presents four budding songwriters who perform their tracks to established stars like John Legend, will.i.am, Kelsea Ballerini and The Jonas Brothers, hoping to have their composition selected for their next single.

Hit producers Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean, Shane McAnally are also watching and offer immediate advice on how to improve the track, which feels too purposeful to be spontaneous.

One of the songwriters is eliminated and the other three team up with the producers to hopefully create the winning track.

For anyone interested in music the methods the hit producers adopt to improve the songs are fascinating, but it's hard to watch the supposed magic and mystery of songwriting squeezed out and condensed into a mere commodity.

FUNNY MAN: Chris Rock in The Comedy Store.

FUNNY MAN: Chris Rock in The Comedy Store.

THE COMEDY STORE

Stan

This Showtime series on the origins of LA's famed comedy club, The Comedy Store, is fast-paced and full of exacting recollections from some of the top names in show business who got their start in comedy at this club.

The old video clips showing comedians doing jokes are intriguing, especially when foreshadowed and followed by commentary from the same stars, and others, who were present in the day.

Among the faces in the show: Richard Pryor, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Chris Rock, Joe Rogen, Whitney Cummings, Jimmy Walker, Michael Keaton, Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Marc Maron. Intense, almost over-the-top.