One of the most underappreciated films in my opinion in the last ten years is Undercover Brother. Stop looking at me strangely! Seriously, it was a very funny movie. It was because of one man and I don’t mean Neil Patrick Harris (though he was hilarious). That man would be Eddie Griffin. Eddie Griffin has starred in almost fifty different films but he also makes a respectable living doing stand up comedy. One such concert is new to dvd and we get the chance to talk about it my brother.
Live from Oakland, California, we have the star of Malcolm & Eddie, Deuce Bigelow, and Meteor Man (okay, some more than others), the one, the only Eddie Griffin. *waits for crowd applause*. Let’s find out what he has to talk about, shall we? The first thing out of Eddie Griffin’s mouth? Well, it would appear he wants to have his way with Michelle Obama, the president’s first lady.
That’s certainly a start. He continues the politics talk touching on the Bush women (Laura & Barbara), Hillary Clinton and of course throw in a quip about Bill and his womanizing ways. Eddie also talks about Obama channeling his inner soul brother (paraphrased from certain derogatory language). Mr. Griffin then moves onto his thoughts about organized religion.
In particular, he mentions that he just doesn’t buy into the whole church thing because the body is a temple and religion is meant to be practiced wherever you want. (I agree with this concept whole heartedly.) Eddie then moves back to celebrities touching on Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Michael Vick. But there appears to be one subject that Eddie Griffin likes to talk about more than any other.
Race. For most of the concert, he uses the “n” word like he just discovered it for the first time (along with mf’er). He talks about stereotypes, he mentions the difference between types of black people, studies relationships between members of different races and other subjects that involves whites and blacks predominantly. It goes on and on like a broken record. For somebody who has made a career of being really funny, I would think he would have more material.
But sadly, as much as I’ve liked some of Eddie’s movies, he doesn’t have much variance in his material. For somebody who idolizes a legend like Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby, you would think Eddie would evolve beyond the expected. I was waiting for it, but honestly I fell asleep waiting. Literally. I had to go back and rewatch twenty minutes of the show in the middle of the day. There are some funny jokes but they are few and far inbetween.
The video is in 1.78:1 widescreen presentation. The curse of a stand up comedy concert. Eternal darkness, here, there, and everywhere. It is very evident here and doesn’t really help the presentation at all. The color is okay and nobody is going to complain too much but the video quality is your basic 21st century dvd. Just keep telling yourself that this is only a standup comedy concert and you’ll do just fine.
For the audio portion, we get a 2.0 English Dolby Digital Stereo track. As one could guess, it is mostly dialogue driven with a few music bits at the close and opening of the concert. The dialogue is fairly clear but most of the difficulty centers around the fast mouth of Eddie. He doesn’t let up except for a second to take a drag or sip some wine. The audio is average but one shouldn’t really expect anything else. Closed captioning is provided
- Backstage Pass 27:20: This featurette starts out before the concert where they walk through Eddie Griffin’s cues and what jokes he’ll go through. I had no idea that a stand up concert had walking cues. But I guess when visual aides are involved, there is some need for that. One of Eddie Griffin’s calling cards is his impressions of Sammy Davis Jr. and Bill Cosby and he shows them off a bit here. He even plays a little piano while he waits for the concert to go on. It also includes some after show footage but this was one of those cases where they ran it a bit too long and even Eddie wants to turn off the camera as we close the featurette.
It’s rough when you expect more from a stand up concert. Disappointing even. Eddie Griffin has plenty of chops when it comes to comedy. He started out doing this type of work and when he’s not doing the latest comedy film, he’ll be on tour. But there is no variety here. Eddie decides only to play the race card and doesn’t move much past it. The disc is an average affair and unless you were looking for a generic Eddie Griffin comedy concert, you won’t get anything else. Not recommended, a low down dirty shame.