Image Entertainment // 2010 // 63 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // January 6th, 2010
Charlie Murphy (CB4) used to be known simply as Eddie Murphy's older brother. However, in recent years, things have changed significantly. Charlie is now best known for his absolutely hilarious "True Hollywood Story" about a feud with Rick James, along with a second story about playing basketball against Prince. Both skits were presented on Chappelle's Show. The success of Chappelle's Show gave Charlie the opportunity to strike out on his own through pursuing his stand-up career, the online sketch comedy show Charlie Murphy's Crash Comedy on Crackle.com, and writing his autobiography.
Charlie Murphy: I Will Not Apologize is a live stand-up performance by Murphy in Boston. But before beginning, let's get the obligatory comparison with Eddie out of the way. Charlie's performance here is no Eddie Murphy: Delirious or Eddie Murphy Raw, but it is funny in its own right. The ability to spin humorous stories clearly runs in the family.
During his 1-hour set, Charlie covers a spectrum of topics, such as a discussing the male ego as well as a politically incorrect bit about people, including a certain former president of the United States, that he believes are "functionally retarded." He also does an amusing re-enactment of some scenes from 300. Murphy goes on to criticize the usual rehabilitation treatments ensuing from celebrity meltdowns (e.g., Mel Gibson and Michael Richards), arguing that an experience with Jigsaw from Saw is the only way to cure these people of their prejudices. Sticking with celebrities, he claims that Britney Spears's strange behaviour in 2007-08 was caused by her being possessed by the spirit of Rick James. In addition, Charlie hits on reality television, making fun of the courage (or lack thereof) of Dog the Bounty Hunter as well as an obsession with The Dog Whisperer.
Murphy has got some strong material here. I wouldn't describe any of the bits as show stopping, rolling on the floor hilarious, but it is consistently funny and the show never drags. Charlie has a knack for vivid descriptions and mimicry that bring his stories to life. This is highlighted in his 300, Brittany Spears/Rick James possession, and The Dog Whisperer bits. He also has solid stage presence and comes off as a down-to-earth person that a crowd can warm-up to quickly. Overall, Charlie proves that his talent is much more than his "True Hollywood Stories." I must confess, however, that I would be interested in knowing his take on some Eddie's stories about their childhood (although this would probably result in criticism of his material being derivative and unoriginal).
The anamorphic video is fine. The picture and color are solid. The surround audio is also good. Murphy can be heard without problem.
The extras are comprised of mostly clips from other stand-up performances. These include Murphy mocking some hecklers at a comedy club, riffing on Osama bin Laden's whereabouts, experiences in jail, a run in with the KKK, and a new Rick James story. These bits, with the possible exception of the Rick James story, are definitely weaker than what appears in the main performance. The extras also include a series of "Leroy Smith" basketball videos made for Nike, which I found tedious.
This is definitely one of the strongest stand-up performances I've seen in a while. (I should note that it's mature material and not for young kids.) If you like Murphy's work on Chappelle's Show, you'll definitely want to pick this up. If you believe him to be a one hit wonder, this will make you reconsider your opinion.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 63 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Performances
* Promo Videos
* Charlie Murphy's Official Site