Karen Taussig

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Bam Bam And Celeste Review


Terrible
Bam Bam and Celeste strains to be funny. Even the title: Bam Bam? Celeste? That's a title that's trying to be amusing but isn't. You can tell writer/star Margaret Cho is working hard to generate laughs with this vanity project, but you'll have to be a lifetime member of the loyal Cho army to enjoy this low-rent road picture.

When we first meet Celeste (Cho), she's miserable in her '80s-era Illinois high school. As the only overweight Asian goth-punk in school, she's destined to feel like an outsider. Her only friend is the flamboyantly gay Bam Bam (Bruce Daniels), with whom she plans to make a great escape to the big city.

Continue reading: Bam Bam And Celeste Review

Margaret Cho: Assassin Review


Terrible
Divas do not, as a rule, make good comedians. Unfortunately, Margaret Cho loves loves loves divas, and not only that, seems intent on being one, coasting on the good will earned earlier in her career.

Taped at a May 14, 2005 concert in Washington, D.C., Margaret Cho: Assassin starts off like her 2000 film I'm the One That I Want with a parade of gushing fans, then segueing into the show itself, but unlike that much more ambitious effort, this film shows a comic treading water. Like many other performers in recent years, George W. Bush's presidency has spurred Cho to cover more political matters, usually a deadly development with comics. Although Cho has always been admirably outspoken in her support of gay and feminist causes, this change of focus to red-blue state matters leaves Assassin dead on arrival. The problem with Cho's tirades on Bush and the Christian right is not her choice of target - they're obviously subjects rife with possibility - but rather her inability to say anything remotely fresh or cutting about them. Bush is stupid? Check. The pro-life right is hypocritical on Terri Schiavo? Check. There is hardly a politically-targeted line in this show which has not already been uttered many times before, and by less talented people; it's like catching a second-rate rerun of The Daily Show.

Continue reading: Margaret Cho: Assassin Review

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