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Posts Tagged ‘standup’

The Dark Backward

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

Before I start one of these retrospectives I research the movies that came out during that summer and put together a schedule. But in the course of doing 1991 I keep stumbling across movies that seem worthy of looking at that I missed because they were limited releases, TV movies or DTV and didn’t show up on any of the release date lists I looked at. So when I realized Adam Rifkin’s THE DARK BACKWARD played on one screen starting July 26, 1991 I thought I should backtrack a little to cover it.

For those not familiar with it, it’s a forcefully weird and uncomfortable comedy that was a favorite of mine in the ‘90s, one of those movies I rented on VHS and made a dub of to show to people who had never heard of it, which was most people. It was Rifkin’s first script ever, written at age 19 after moving to L.A. to try to become a director, made when he was in his mid 20s, and it’s a sense of humor and world view that admittedly appealed to me more when I was closer to that age. But it’s such a distinct and unadulterated vision I can’t help but still kinda love it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Bebe’s Kids (plus two documentaries about Robin Harris)

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

tn_bebeskidskidnplayThe best thing about HOUSE PARTY was missing from HOUSE PARTY 2, that was Robin Harris. Of course they probly would’ve worked him in somehow if he was available, but he died of a heart attack in his sleep shortly after the release of the first one.

Harris seemed like he was on the verge of much bigger fame, at least according to two DVDs about him: ROBIN HARRIS LIVE FROM THE COMEDY ACT THEATER and WE DON’T DIE, WE MULTIPLY: THE ROBIN HARRIS STORY.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

DAVE CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY is the happiest, warmest, most joyful movie I’ve seen in a long god damn time. And not in a stupid way. The problems of the world are not ignored. There’s some light-hearted jokes about race issues, there’s a mention or two of the war, there’s some militant rap lyrics and a brief sermon by Fred Hampton Jr. All things I’m in favor of discussing. But mostly what this movie is is a whole bunch of people coming together to laugh and make beautiful music and have a good time together. In that sense it turns out it is kind of like WATTSTAX, the movie they mentioned as a model when they were filming this. I made fun of my ain’t it cool colleague Quint for writing that the trailer gives off a Wattstax vibe as if he came to that conclusion on his own. But there is a faint whiff of that vibe in the final movie I guess, if you’re really making a close examination of its vibes.

I saw this movie in what I consider a JASON X set up: the same big auditorium where I saw JASON X, mostly empty with only a few people peppered throughout, but sharing their love for the movie across the empty rows. At the end of the movie people clapped, like it was a live performance. I can’t remember the last time I saw that at a regular multiplex showing like this. (read the rest of this shit…)

Richard Pryor, Rest in Peace

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

Richard Pryor. God damn. I don’t know why a guy like me always has to eulogize somebody I never met, but it always bums me out when the world loses a genius like Richard Pryor. So I gotta write something about my favorite Richard Pryor works and it helps me to cope and I apologize if you end up suckered into reading the damn thing.

Now, you know I’m not the hugest fan of comedy and laughing and what not, at least not the standup variety. But the one and only comedy god to me, the greatest of all time no doubt about it, was Richard Pryor. If you happened to read my review of the standup movie JESUS IS MAGIC last week you remember the list I made of the greatest standup movies of all time:


end of list.

In the talkback for that review one guy strongly disagreed with the list, he felt that LIVE IN CONCERT was the whole top five, not just top two. And he could definitely make a good argument for that I think. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern has a threesome with Sarah Silverman and Spike Lee!!!

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here to present Vern, who is taking on Sarah Silverman in Jesus Is Magic and Spike Lee’s SUCKER FREE CITY in the way only Vern can. No more intro is needed. Have at it!!!

Sarah Silverman’s JESUS IS MAGIC vs. Spike Lee’s SUCKER FREE CITY

Howdy boys. I got basically two reviews for you here. One is a standup movie by some female comedian, or comedienne, that readers of this sight are familiar with from jerking off. Er, I mean, from Comedy Central. The other one is a Spike Lee Joint made for Showtime as a pilot for a TV series but then turned into a full blown straight to cable feature. So it’s not a big screen movie but yes, it is still officially classified as a ‘Joint’ according to the box art. Anyway, I’m not sure what connection there is between these two other than that I watched them both yesterday. But that’s really the important thing here, isn’t it? Me. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Aristocrats

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

This is a whole documentary about one single joke, so let me tell you what the joke is. I am not a good joke teller but this is the joke.

Some guy walks into a talent agency, says look mister can I please have a moment of your time, I got an act here and I think you will agree it’s gonna knock your fuckin socks right off of your ass. It’s a family act, I got my wife and my kids involved and what not, real fancy, etc. So the talent guy says okay, you know I got a couple minutes before I have to meet somebody, you got two minutes to give me your pitch there asswipe.

So the guy says well you know we come out, my wife is playing piano real soft, we got these matching uniforms – I got some glossies in my billfold here if you want to see em, they got sequins and everything. And I come out and I balance on one toe on top of the piano while she’s playing, right? And she’s real good, kind of a ragtime style but she puts her own spin on it you know? Then my kids come out, they’re teenagers but they’re wearing diapers right, and this homeless guy has them on a leash, and they’re carrying magazines in their mouths, like Motor Trend, The Economist, stuff like that. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rudy Ray Moore: Rude

Saturday, January 1st, 2000

I’m sure most of you motherfuckers know that Rudy Ray Moore is one of the pioneers of independent Cinema, one of the greatest orators of our times and easily the rawest presidential candidate of the last two decades. What you might not know is that in addition to his fine collection of pictures (Dolemite, Petey Wheatstraw, Avenging Disco Godfather, etc.) Mr. Moore has a live concert film in the style of the Eddie Murphy standup pictures he did back when he was trying to copy Richard Pryor instead of dress up in a bunch of funny disguises and fart. (read the rest of this shit…)

Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip

Saturday, January 1st, 2000

This is Richard’s standup film from 1985 and like you damn well oughta expect from Richard, it’s some funny shit. It is interesting to contrast this one with his 1979 Live in Concert because Richard has gone from being a genius to being a superstar. The opening credits play this ’80s style funk and show giant billboards advertising the show. Then a spotlight comes on in the back of the theater and Richard struts his way through the audience, and you see this cockiness on his face that is almost like a different person. Everybody loves Richard when he’s on stage being funny but this is something else altogether as you feel the outpouring of love from the audience and you see how it gives him strength. (read the rest of this shit…)

Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin’

Saturday, January 1st, 2000

This is a video I have seen on the shelfs alot but I never got around to renting it on account of it is only 45 minutes. And who the fuck wants to pay 3.50 or what not for 45 minutes of standup when you could just watch scrambled Def Jam Comedy Jam for free.

But now I finally saw it and it was interesting but hell boys I gotta warn you, this is for Richard Pryor experts only. It is not a good introduction to his works, in my opinion. I don’t want you to watch this one first unless you promise me right here and now that you will watch Richard Pryor Live in Concert and Live On Sunset Strip even if you don’t like this one too much. (read the rest of this shit…)