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Glad I Didn't Heed My Expectations
11 October 2014
Every time I saw this documentary listed, I would shrug and say "Well, he was funny, but I don't think I'd find this interesting." Boy, was I wrong. As a comic, David Steinberg was hilarious, insightful and more than responsible for establishing stand up as a venue for storytelling, political observation and self revelation as opposed to set ups and punchlines. And this was not an evolution. With Pryor, Carlin, Bruce, Sahl and Klein, Steinberg took this art form to a new level in quick fashion especially in the mode of challenging "proper standards".

As with any excellent documentary regarding a celebrity, the back story of Steinberg's life is deftly interwoven with anecdotes and observations from family, contemporaries and those comics whom he influenced. The clips of Steinberg's career, especially his Tonight Show appearances, are hilarious. Always good to see Johnny, especially when he is genuinely cracking up.

Steinberg's humanity and talent are finely exhibited. Plus, amazingly enough for a comic (or even a person) he doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body.

If you have any interest in fine comedy, politically incorrect observations or taking a journey through the pop culture of the last six decades you'll be glad you watched. The first 3 minutes hooked me and was glad to take the ride to the end. Hurry, though. It leaves Showtime 10/14.
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The Heat (I) (2013)
6/10
Way Mixed Feelings About This One
20 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, there were some LOL moments in this one. But the opening minutes show way too much unacceptable police brutality and manipulation. Sure McCarthys character learns and evolves by working with Bullock's (as Bullock's character learns to loosen up pairing with MM),but there was nothing to help us find her character likable until we see the family she came from. Sure, her earthy putdown observations are funny, but unless she was the antagonist it was difficult to accept.

Plus, the tracheotomy scene was totally gross and unnecessary for plot development. And the rendering of the ultimate villain was weak and feckless in revelation and acting.

On the other hand, there were some very funny scenes, especially those involving MM's family and some good action. And it's about time that we had an action pic with two female protagonists. And the last contacts between Bullock and McCarthy were rather touching.

To sum it up, I'm glad I watched it, but doubt that I would again.
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Elliot Loves (2012)
7/10
A Funny Wise Take on a Young Gay Dominican's Quest for Love and Acceptance
8 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Just watched "Elliot Loves" On Demand from HBO.....It is a fine, fun character study of a young Domican gay man trying too hard to find love. It covers his many attempts interspersed with well edited flashbacks covering his challenging childhood. His mother had him when she was very young and she is in the dangerous habit of not only taking up with the wrong guys, but bringing them home to live with her and the 9 year old Elliot.

It might sound heavy and downbeat, but trust me there are a number of lighter scenes/situations with good laugh lines. I was hooked from the first scene of the young Elliot locked in his bathroom secretly performing a woman's shampoo commercial. The actor's combination of seriousness and sense of fun(especially in not letting his mom's nagging and knocking at the door deter him) is quite a tour de force. This kid has a future.

The other remarkable aspect of this film is that with a budget of $77,000 there is no embarrassing or bad performance. All are quite good with some being naturalistically excellent. Both actors playing Elliot possess great charm while keeping you interested and entertained Elena Goode as Elliot's mother is gorgeous and to the point in her interpretation.

So, if you'd like to see a charming, intelligent and witty film about a young man looking for love only to realize that you find it when you're not looking for it, check out "Elliot Loves".Such a good film to watch during Gay Pride Month! It will be quite interesting to see what the impressive director Terracino could do with $770,000.
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Z Rock (2008– )
8/10
1st Show, 2nd Season
7 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Welcome back, Z Rock! The first season was hilarious and sexy. It has my favorite type of laughs, the type where you gasp in shock/disbelief at first and then just guffaw. The first season had many of these (the belief that Joan Rivers was involved in a casino elevator 3 way, the ruination of the band's chance at a break due to one of their own being caught on camera in total physical involvement with the record label president's wife, etc) to make it worth watching.

We were eagerly awaiting the 1st show of the 2nd season. There was no disappointment. Many LOLs watching these sexy, goofy, talented young men try to find their way professionally (and back to each other) in Manhattan. Brilliant humor laced with some true gross out (but still funny)bodily function gags.

If a show could be a person, then this is one I would want for a friend: funny, talented, interesting with a good, big heart. Congrats, guys. Looking forward to the rest of the season.
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