According to its press materials and blurb in the Tribeca Guide, Hammer & Tickle -- The Communist Joke Book, is a "Monty Python-esque doc" that examines humor in European communist countries via "a wide range of jokes and jokesters sure to tickle those fond of political humor." Unfortunately, that blurb is totally misleading, and is going to disappoint a lot of festival-goers. The fact is, Hammer & Tickle isn't very funny. Most of the jokes are funny primarily on an intellectual, historical level, rather than laugh-out-loud hilarious, and sequences that feature either animated devils and communists or actors, telling jokes in period costume, fall flat more often and not. Despite those failings, however, the film remains an interesting, creative look at Soviet history, as well as that of the old Eastern Bloc. Though you'd never know if from the way the movie's makers are selling it, if you're the kind of history lover who gets a thrill out of seeing author-historian Simon Sebag Montefiore on screen, you'll be intrigued by Hammer & Tickle.