Michael Blieden

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The Comedians Of Comedy Review


Bad
The idea behind the The Comedians of Comedy tour - recorded for posterity in this tedious documentary - was to take a quartet of comics and put them on the road in unusual venues that would normally be played by indie and punk bands. The theory motivating this was that they could make the whole thing not just cheaper (no two-drink minimum) but also substantively different from the type of comedy filling most yuck factories around the country. In practice, this leads to a lot of material of the alt-comedy variety that has spread over the past decade or so - most popularly typified by the standup routines of Janeane Garofalo - a style with possibilities and limitations, both well illustrated by the comics on this tour.

On the low-rewards end are Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn, each of whom have had semi-regular sitcom gigs (King of Queens and Just Shoot Me, respectively) and are given the bulk of the screen time here, unfortunately. With Oswalt, a soft and unassuming Oliver Platt-like guy who has a penchant for excruciatingly long and unfunny political rants, the reason for his prominence is clear: he's both the emcee of the show and a producer of the film. The inclusion of Posehn, a looming Wookiee of a man with a voice that alternates between a high-pitched squeak and a low stoner mumble, makes less sense, given how much of his material is given over to geeky musings on Star Wars.

Continue reading: The Comedians Of Comedy Review

The Comedians Of Comedy Review


Bad
The idea behind the The Comedians of Comedy tour - recorded for posterity in this tedious documentary - was to take a quartet of comics and put them on the road in unusual venues that would normally be played by indie and punk bands. The theory motivating this was that they could make the whole thing not just cheaper (no two-drink minimum) but also substantively different from the type of comedy filling most yuck factories around the country. In practice, this leads to a lot of material of the alt-comedy variety that has spread over the past decade or so - most popularly typified by the standup routines of Janeane Garofalo - a style with possibilities and limitations, both well illustrated by the comics on this tour.

On the low-rewards end are Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn, each of whom have had semi-regular sitcom gigs (King of Queens and Just Shoot Me, respectively) and are given the bulk of the screen time here, unfortunately. With Oswalt, a soft and unassuming Oliver Platt-like guy who has a penchant for excruciatingly long and unfunny political rants, the reason for his prominence is clear: he's both the emcee of the show and a producer of the film. The inclusion of Posehn, a looming Wookiee of a man with a voice that alternates between a high-pitched squeak and a low stoner mumble, makes less sense, given how much of his material is given over to geeky musings on Star Wars.

Continue reading: The Comedians Of Comedy Review

Melvin Goes To Dinner Review


Good
It's My Dinner With Andre and a Couple of His Friends. Bob Odenkirk's slacker version of the classic "talking around the table" drama is suprisingly stolen not by the titular Melvin but by his confused pal Joey (Matt Price), whose tale of a near-miss infidelity trumps anything else in the movie. The rest of the time it's a not-quite-believable riff on sex and other tawdry matters clearly torn from the theater -- with some memorable cutaways to the likes of an "insane" Jack Black seeking mental help.
Michael Blieden

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