Louis C.K.: ShamelessHBO
Special Features B
DVD Geek Factor 9 (out of 10)
Is there any current standup comedian funnier than Louis C.K.? I don't think so. There certainly isn't one more honest or vulgar. The guy is a true example of taking out anger and frustrations on the crowd. And, somehow, he makes the process enjoyable and entertaining.
In this HBO special, he partakes in the observational, storytelling type of comedy that Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Cosby made famous. The big difference is that Louis C.K. says fuck a lot and talks about people eating duck vaginas. Seriously: He does a whole bit on how he observed a restaurant selling bowls of duck vaginas.
This is a guy who, because he hates text messaging, replies to a friend who texts, "I'm in a plane in Seattle!" that he hopes his plane crashes. In an answer to the whole, "What would you do with a time machine?" question, he wouldn't kill Hitler; he'd just rape him. He figures the residual feelings of such an act would've prevented Hitler from invading Poland. C.K.'s descriptive reaction to a man who tells him to "suck a bag of dicks" is raunchy comedy at its best.
Also a highlight: He reveals his crush on Ewan McGregor, and that he daydreams about blowing him, even though Louis C.K. is married with children. Also fantastically stunning are his feelings about his new baby ("Not a complicated relationship ... just somebody I have to make not die.") and his description of a pathetic handjob from his wife.
Seriously, if none of the above seems funny, stay far, far away from Louis, because he's not for you. The evil comedy just builds until the last 10 minutes: a sort of comedy apocalypse where his 4-year-old daughter is verbally obliterated.
Special Features: The disc also contains his first HBO special, so this is a pretty good deal. He was a lot cleaner when he first started out. He does a pretty decent impersonation of a train track. ("Don't put your baby on me!")
The Verdict: Collector's Edition20th Century Fox Home Video
Special Features B+
DVD Geek Factor 7 (out of 10)
Paul Newman's performance as an alcoholic lawyer in this one should've netted him his first Oscar. It just so happened that a little guy named Ben Kingsley channeled Gandhi the same year and, of course, won the golden guy instead.
I can't say that Kingsley was undeserving, but I'm thinking Newman may've had the best performance that year. The film itself isn't half as good as Newman's work in it, and Gandhi was a better movie by far, so that might explain the Academy's thinking. (Gandhi swept that year ... E.T. got skunked.)
Newman plays Frank Galvin, a lawyer who has sunk to hanging around funerals looking for jobs. He gets one last chance at a big medical case, and rather than taking a hefty settlement, he decides to take the thing to trial. The trial itself is nothing special, just run-of-the-mill court-movie stuff.
Look closely at the court observers during the final speech: Yes, that's a young Bruce Willis admiring Mr. Newman.
Special Features: Newman sits down to discuss his craft, and that alone is worth the cost of the disc.
Planet Earth: The Complete SeriesBBC Video
Special Features None
DVD Geek Factor 8 (out of 10)
For months, I have been seeing a commercial for this thing when I go to the movies. In it, a huge great white shark leaps out of the water and eats a fucking seal in slow motion. Holy shit! (Sorry, the Louis C.K. video I reviewed earlier is having a lingering effect on my language. I shall clean things up.)
Anyway, this set includes 11 episodes of animal- and environment-documentary goodness, including the shark eating the defenseless, scared-to-death seal doing its best to get the hell away from certain death. Seriously, that little bastard is running hard, swimming his ass off to get away, but the shark will have nothing of it. Actually, a whole bunch of seals get eaten in this show, all of them at normal speed, with the exception of the one animal we get to see devoured in slo-mo.
There are lots of other cool moments to be had with this series. I never thought I'd be so engaged by shrimp eating bacteria, but there I was, gawking at the little buggers gnawing on lethal bacteria. Then I thought about the shrimp cocktail I had last week and got a little nauseous.
When I was a kid, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom used to scare the crap out of me. I've never been comfortable watching documentaries of animals getting wasted by other animals. Come on, cameraman, save the animal from the tiger with your superhuman camera-guy skills. It's just a tiger! Don't you carry a gun?
The wilderness is full of some cold, cold killing animals. Sure, there are lots of nice nature shots where animals aren't getting smoked on Planet Earth, but the lasting impression of the show is numerous critters meeting their maker.
Special Features: None--just hours and hours of nature fun.