Thursday, November 17, 2016

Eddie Griffin: You Can Tell ‘Em I Said It (2011)


Number Rolled: 97
Movie Name/Year: Eddie Griffin: You Can Tell ‘Em I Said It (2011)
Tagline: None
Genre: Comedy
Length: 82 minutes
Rating:  TV-MA
Production Companies: Front of the Bus, New Wave Entertainment, Comedy Dynamics
Producer: Jay Chapman, Ann Flagella, Eddie Griffin, Barry Katz, Eric Kritzer, Lee Lyfe, Brian Volk-Weiss
Director: Jay Karas
Writer: Eddie Griffin
Actors: Eddie Griffin

Blurb from Netflix: The star of movies like Undercover Brother and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo, comedian Eddie Griffin gets back into his comfort zone on the stage in this live Comedy Central stand-up special filmed in Oakland, Calif.

Selina’s Point of View:
I enjoyed this special.

Initially, I mixed up Eddie Griffin’s (Scary Movie 3, Malcolm & Eddie, The Mod Squad) brand of comedy with another stand-up comedian’s. Because I don’t like the person I mixed him up with, I had very low expectations for You Can Tell ‘Em I Said It. Luckily, I was wrong.

Despite my enjoyment of this stand-up project, let me be absolutely crystal clear. If you are easily offended, this special is NOT for you.

Griffin is an equal-opportunity offender. His comedy directs offense at everyone from members of his own race, to the elderly, to the Chinese, to today’s youth, to Christians, to white people, to Muslims…. Etc. Almost every one of his jokes was designed to offend someone.

Personally, I enjoy that kind of comedy. Dark comedies are my favorite. Sure, if I believed hell existed I’d think I was going there for some of the shit I laugh at… but who cares?

There was a touch of politics in it, which made me sigh because I’m so sick of politics it’s ridiculous. It’s especially annoying because I know I’ll have to defend my perspective on Griffin’s humor, because he tells racially motivated jokes and yet I despise Donald Trump. I will say one thing, and then I hope to never mention Trump’s name again on this blog: I hold my president to higher standards than any entertainer. It’s really that simple.

Moving on.

Comedy is at the top of my list of things I want to watch right now. Whenever shit gets bad in the world I turn to comedy. Hell, when I met my husband he was doing the ‘shock jock’ thing on a podcast that interviewed stand-up comedians and porn stars. He’s a shining light of comedy, which is what drew me to him in the first place.

That being said, I think Eddie Griffin is hilarious, but I’m not easily offended. I know my mother would have hated this special, so I wouldn’t recommend it to people like her. However, if you’re a fan of dark stand-up comedy then you won’t want to skip this one.

Cat’s Point of View:
My husband and I have really enjoyed watching Eddie Griffin’s (Date Movie, Redline, American Hero) work in the past. Some of my favorites of his are Foolish (1999), Double Take (2001), and The New Guy (2002). When he does that “crazy eye” thing, it’s just a riot. Better yet – the way to discourage religious door-knockers from sticking around is comedy gold.

Before I start chanting “chicken chicken chicken chicken chicken” and mumbling incoherent gibberish for old time’s sake; I’ll go back to reviewing this particular comedy special featuring Eddie’s stand-up.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one.

A lot of that probably has a great deal to do with timing. With everything happening in the world right now; his political and cultural humor just missed its mark.

There were segments of this show that I did enjoy, so it wasn’t a total miss. The man is seriously hilarious; and I’m rather disappointed that I watched the majority of this one without laughter.

For the parents out there – this was one of those Comedy Central specials with the ‘mature audiences’ advisory. It definitely was not mislabeled as such.

My recommendation this time is to go and watch some of Eddie Griffin’s other work, rather than this show.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – No Result Found
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – No Result Found

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Eat With Me (2014)

Number Rolled: 32
Movie Name/Year: Eat With Me (2014)
Tagline: You can’t start over on an empty stomach.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Eat With Me Productions, ReKon Productions
Producer: David Au, Jeffrey Countryman, Michelle Ehlen, Glenn Elliott, Joyce Liu, Mark Neal, John Thomas Schrad
Director: David Au
Writer: David Au
Actors: Sharon Omi, Teddy Chen Culver, Nicole Sullivan, Aidan Bristow, George Takei, Jamila Alina, Ken Narasaki, Burt Grinstead, Scott Keiji Takeda, Sam Gibney, Chris Moseman, Carlos Naranjo, Art Andranikyan, Matthew Borlenghi

Blurb from Netflix: A gay Chinese chef whose restaurant faces foreclosure tries to find new love with a blue-eyed Brit and acceptance from his newly separated mother.

Selina’s Point of View:
Ok, so this film wasn’t over-the-top spectacular… but it wasn’t bad either. A lot of the comedy was cringe-based, which isn’t my favorite, but there’s nothing wrong with it really. The drama was more based on a mother and son coming to terms with each other. The mother coming to terms with her son’s sexuality and a son learning to understand his mother.

This movie touches on that anxiety felt by members of the LGBT community after they’ve already received a negative reaction to coming out and how a change in someone’s life could lead them to re-evaluate and understand that road of life better.

I like films like this that give people a look behind the curtain. It seeks to educate instead of just strong-arming others into understanding. You see the whole struggle from both the LGBT character’s perspective and his mother’s. Where that part of the story is concerned, it’s perfect.

Quite frankly, now is an important time for educating people about the LGBT community. With Trump having been elected a lot of people are using that as an excuse to treat people like shit for their race, religion, gender, or sexuality. Education is really the only way to combat it at the moment. I ranted about my perspective on Trump’s election, it can be found onmy Tumblr. For now, let’s get back to the movie.

I like that the film didn’t just focus on the main character’s sexuality. In many LGBT-based films, the main character’s sexuality is the only purpose of the movie. This film acknowledged that there were aspect of the main character’s life that weren’t affected by the fact that he was gay. I think that’s a very important message because it humanizes the LGBT community and shows them as regular people.

Nicole Sullivan’s (All Stars, Wendell and Vinnie, The Penguins of Madagascar) character was fucking hilarious. Almost every time she was on screen, I was laughing. She worked very well with both Sharon Omi (Ask Me Anything, The Trials of Cate McCall, Removal) and Teddy Chen Culver (Unusual Targets, Starting from Scratch, Office of the Dead). I was also happy to see George Takei (Entourage, Supah Ninjas, Star Trek) in this kickstarted movie. I feel like the writer/director missed an opportunity to truly utilize the great and fabulous Takei.

I feel like they could have had him voice over the very end of the credits with his signature “oh my!” It was a dramedy film, they should have taken advantage of that recognizable sound bite for a touch of humor at the very end.

Although there were a few scenes and aspects of this film that I didn’t really connect to, the majority of it was decent and easily relatable. I’d recommend it to anyone that likes this specific genre combo.

Cat’s Point of View:
It took me a little bit to sit down and figure out what to say about this movie. That might be partially to the fact that I had no coffee this morning. (No, really. I don’t function well without my liquid humanity.)

This does feel like an appropriately timed film, though – considering the theme of learning to communicate and find common ground. The world needs a whole lot more of that right now.

My inner foodie that loves watching Food Network shows like Chopped (2007-) and Masterchef (2010-), to glean culinary nuggets of wisdom had me quite interested in how the title of the movie was going to tie things together.

That being said, part of the uncertainty on my take-away here (no pun intended) was due to the feeling of awkwardness the film projected. It wasn’t the bad kind – it just felt more like I was a third wheel in the room with the characters, denying them privacy. Upon reflection, that seems like it’s a good thing. It ultimately tells me that the movie was successful in engaging with me as the audience.

When I wasn’t feeling like I should maybe not eavesdrop on these people that obviously needed to work through some stuff – I was restraining myself from talking to the TV. “Ugh what are you doing?! Don’t just stare like that – say something!”

There were some really funny moments and also some really sweet moments sprinkled throughout. Under it all is a rather deep message.

I also liked the fact that this movie was very tasteful in handling intimate moments involving Elliot. With an unrated status, there could have been far more. It was a brilliant choice, though, so that the movie didn’t drift too far from the central theme of the characters’ growth.

Nicole Sullivan’s (Superhero Movie, 17 Again, Pee Wee's Big Holiday) character, Maureen, may have only been a supporting role here – but she was my favorite. I loved the humor and no-nonsense sensibility she brought to the table. 

This was definitely a solid movie that I wouldn’t mind recommending.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 55%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

The Random Rating: PG-13 (We refuse to rate an LGBT movie R just because there are gay scenes in it that are no worse than thousands of other PG-13 straight films. If it offends you, grow the fuck up.)

P.S. There’s a cute little image at the end of the credit. Not really necessary, but it’s adorable in context with the film.

Movie Trailer: