Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

jeff dunhamThere is an avenue of comedy that hasn’t really been explored much and that is the act of Ventriloquism. Now I am not saying that it isn’t being practiced, but before 2007 or 05, had you heard of any famous Ventriloquist having comedy specials on Comedy Central? I’ll even let you think for a minute before I give you this next answer. Time is up and I didn’t think so. You couldn’t come up with anyone at the time other than Jeff Dunham, the world famous Ventriloquist with his famous puppets Bubba J, Walter, Peanut, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, and more. The only thing is that it has been a couple of years since his last comedy special and now Jeff has a new one that is a Netflix Original stand up special in Jeff Dunham: Relative Disaster where he performs in the country of Ireland and presents all of his friends and even a brand new puppet as they tackle topics like drinking, fatherhood, and even maybe the secret of Jeff’s own beginnings and so much more.

dunhamI am a huge fan of Jeff Dunham and I have laughed so many times at his comedy specials, but this one lives up to the name of the special. The thing that bothered me is that I could see him lipping everything that the dolls were saying. That was an issue for me because I saw a little girl belt out a song on America’s Got Talent and she did a better job than Jeff. That wasn’t the least of his troubles in this special, the problem is that he is trying to grow with the times considering he is a new dad, but it just wasn’t completely funny. The best segments of the special came with the new puppet Baby Sheamus, Peanut, and some of Achmed’s segment. The rest of it was just kind of boring and them going back and forth about Jeff being old and having kids at his age. This isn’t a terrible special, but some comedians just don’t transition well into that fatherhood stage of their careers. The Baby Sheamus was a nice touch and a nice way to win over the crowd in Ireland, it’ll be interesting to see how the show grows with that puppet. I think this special is worth a least one viewing or maybe two at most. I am going to give it an B- for a final grade.

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frankSome of you may be saying TGIF for the fact that the weekend is officially here, but I am saying it because to me and this blog it’s Filmfest Fridays which once again means we explore another independent or foreign film. This week’s film is a little bit of both because it’s an independent film, but it’s also a foreign film (UK-Irish Comedy). The film is called Frank and it stars Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken) as Jon, a young and aspiring musician who desperately wants to write music and become famous. Along the way, he will hook up with an eccentric rock band led by a man named Frank (Michael Fassbender) who wears a mask all day. There is one problem with the situation, all of the other band members want him to leave, but Frank believes in him and so he wants to prove to everyone that he can do it, but he may have bitten more than he can chew. The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight) as Clara, Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly) as Don, François Civil (As Above So Below) as Baraque, Carla Azar (Sucker Punch) as Nana, Mark Huberman (Noble) as Management Guru, and the film was directed by Lenny Abrahamson (What Richard Did).

frank 2This was an absolute awesome film that is just pure madness from beginning to end. It’s also kind of a coming of age flick, but in the sense that Domhnall Gleeson’s character finally realizes by the end of the film that the band will only drive you to pure madness until you submit. The band has a history of losing keyboard players with one hanging himself and the second tried to drown himself. One of the astonishing things about this film is that the entire soundtrack is almost entirely sung by either Gyllenhaal, Fassbender, or Gleeson which is awesome. Michael Fassbender puts on one heck of a performance in this film as that strange and allusive Frank which during the whole film you want to know what he looks like under the mask. The film is also a coming of age for Frank who has to eventually learn to step outside of the mask like breaking out of his shell. It’s an amazing film with everyone doing an amazing job in the acting department. The real MVP of this film is the screenwriters in Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan who wrote this ComDram (Comedy/Drama) or Dramedy (if you like). This film should have won awards if it hasn’t already done so because I enjoyed every aspect of it and it was cool to see them travel to SXSW (South By Southwest) in Austin, TX which is a dream destination of mine. Check out the film on Netflix where it is streaming and I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

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