Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This week my picks are The Original Kings of Comedy (2000 - ) and The King of Comedy (1983 - ).
The first film this week was one of the most successful
stand-up comedy films ever made. It's not surprising
since it captured a show of the most successful comedy
tour of all time: The Original Kings of Comedy,
which brought Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the
Entertainer, and Bernie Mac to the same stage. Spike
Lee shot two of their shows on video and edited them
together to make the feature film. The material is
expectedly uneven, but there are laughs throughout.
Overshadowing his co-stars, however, is Hughley, who delivers
a brilliant, edgy routine. Actually, the film should
be more enjoyable on television, and will no doubt find
greater success in the video market.
I find the temptation to go after similar titles too great this week, and my Scorsese kick made it almost mandatory to make The King of Comedy my second pick. In the film, Robert De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, a wannabe comedian that has an unhealthy obsession over a late-night talk show host played by Jerry Lewis. To get a spot on his show, Rupert kidnaps the host and demands his fifteen minutes of fame as ransom. While this film contains many of the dark elements of Scorsese's style, it is more comical and satirical than his other work. The ironic part is that De Niro plays the wacky, funny guy instead of Lewis. Also starring is Sandra Bernhard as Rupert's accomplice, who is even more insane. It's not among Scorsese's best -- it has the unenviable position between Raging Bull and After Hours in his filmography -- but it does make an interesting and enjoyable footnote in his career.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
The King of Comedy (1983)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2001 Matt Heffernan