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Chappelle's Show: Season 2 Uncensored

Paramount
Show A
Special Features A-
DVD Geek Factor 8 (out of 10)

As I watched David Chappelle for two seasons, I wondered how the man could maintain his level of extreme hilarity. It just didn't seem possible for a guy to be this funny, week after week after week.

Well, apparently it isn't possible, because Chappelle Show Season 3 will probably never come to pass. Some tabloids are reporting that Chappelle is mentally ill or on drugs, but Chappelle has surfaced to basically say he's sick of conflict with Comedy Central and has removed himself from the situation. This basically sucks for lovers of good comedy, because Chappelle had the best sketch comedy show since Mr. Show, and Season 2 displayed the comic at his finest.

Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories, where Chappelle and Murphy would re-enact Murphy's reflections on meeting celebrities with brother Eddie, are major funny. This includes Murphy's run-in with Rick James ("I'm Rick James, bitch!") and Prince (depicted as a kickass basketball player). Another classic highlight involves Chappelle being interviewed for jury duty for such trials as Michael Jackson, O.J. and Robert Blake, all with hilarious results.

Hopefully, Chappelle will settle his differences with employers and get back to work on his show, but things don't look good. It just may be that this DVD will be the last remnant of one of the funniest TV shows to ever hit the airwaves.

Special Features: A terrific selection of bloopers and outtakes, including more Samuel L. Jackson Beer and Black Gallagher. There's also unaired footage of Charlie Murphy stories, and Chappelle commentaries. Say a prayer for the guy, and hope that this show can be saved in the future. Maybe we're just getting Punk'd?


The Life and Death of Peter Sellers

HBO
Movie B+
Special Features B-
DVD Geek Factor 6 (out of 10)

The eccentric Peter Sellers turned a walk-on role in a Blake Edwards film into a star-making performance that made Inspector Clouseau a household name. The Life and Death of Peter Sellers has to be the strangest biopic since John Belushi got off that morgue slab and took a tour of his life in the abysmal Wired. Sellers, in contrast, is actually quite good, giving Geoffrey Rush the chance to deliver the performance of his life as the troubled funnyman. Not only does Rush get to do Sellers; he gets to do his most famous characters (Clouseau, Dr. Strangelove, Chauncey Gardiner, etc.).

Director Stephen Hopkins takes things one step further by breaking down the fourth wall on many occasions to have Rush as Sellers portraying the people in his life while talking to the camera. So we see Rush as Sellers momentarily playing Blake Edwards, Stanley Kubrick and even his own mother. Sellers was just a vessel for characters to take over, according to the film's portrayal of Stanley Kubrick (Stanley Tucci in a nice piece of casting), and having Sellers absorbing characters within his own biopic is a weird, yet brilliant stroke.

John Lithgow does an interesting turn as Panther director Blake Edwards, who saw Sellers as a cash cow and repeatedly went back to him for more Clouseau. The man actually made a Panther film after Sellers died, using outtake footage and a nearly dead David Niven, even using impressionist Rich Little for Sellers and Niven vocal dubs.

Oscar winner Charlize Theron is a nice, understated presence as former Sellers wife Brit Ekland, who was present for the man's first major heart attack (as the film states, Sellers' heart allegedly stopped eight times). That heart eventually got the best of him, and he died in 1980 at the relatively young age of 54.

Special Features: There are two commentaries, one with Hopkins and Rush, and another with the writers. If you are strapped for time, the one with Hopkins and Rush will suit you just fine. Eight deleted scenes include more footage of Rush playing different Sellers associates. Some of this stuff is actually great, and would've fit nicely in the film.


The Toxic Avenger: 21st Anniversary Golden Edition

Troma
Movie D
Special Features C+
DVD Geek Factor 4.5 (out of 10)

Oh my God, is this movie ever so bad. The folks at Troma made one of the strangest, sickest films of the '80s with this, a deranged superhero flick that has lost some of its lousy charm over time. A sad janitor named Melvin gets doused with Toxic waste and is deformed. The resulting Toxic Avenger is somewhat of a hero, and a very violent hero at that. He crushes skulls with his mop and pulls people's guts out while enforcing the law. There's cruelty to dogs, kids on bicycles, blind women (actually, all women), old people, overweight people, people named Melvin and cars. It is one major touched-in-the-head movie, and should be viewed with the knowledge it is one of the worst movies ever made. Go in knowing that piece of info, and you might get a strange kick out of it.

Special Features: A double disc set that contains worthless interviews with original cast members, and lots of fan contributions that aren't all that interesting if you aren't a fan. There are also interviews with Troma executives that should interest no one.

More by Bob Grimm

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