RLJ Entertainment // 2013 // 58 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // November 30th, 2013
A rock star of comedy!
A quick survey:
Are you a middle-aged male?
Are you the father of one or more children -- if so, have you often thought to yourself that kids do the darndest things?
Are you a fan of Metallica, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and other '80s metal bands?
Is Half-Baked totally one of your favorite comedies ever?
Do you wish stand-up comedy had less cursing and dirty jokes?
If you answered in the affirmative to all or most of those questions, odds are reasonably high that you'll enjoy Jim Breuer: And Laughter for All. Breuer's acting career never really went anywhere after the mid-'90s (in addition to starring in Half-Baked, he spent three seasons on Saturday Night Live), and he's made a valiant effort to start a new career as a stand-up comic. I enjoyed his previous special, Let's Clear the Air, which offered a genial, self-deprecating look at Breuer's image and positioned him as a solid Cosby-esque comic. He seems more confident the this time around, but the material he's working with isn't quite as strong.
The main impression And Laughter for All left me with? Breuer is trying a bit too hard. I don't think I've seen a stand-up show in which a comedian used mic distortion more frequently or vigorously (and I've seen a few George Lopez shows). Over the course of 58 minutes, Breuer screams into his microphone and generates a good deal of distortion as a way of conjuring assorted metal fans, Ozzy Osbourne, angry animals, angry wives, enraged teenagers and other characters in his routines. There's some funny stuff here and there, but I suspect the more laid-back approach he took in his first special would have suited some of these stories better than the more raucous method he opts for.
Still, there's something to be said for what Breuer's attempting to do. While the vast majority of my favorite comics aren't shy about employing all sorts of R-rated material, there's definitely an audience seeking cleaner material that doesn't indulge in the sort of heavy-handed moralizing offered by the Thou Shalt Laugh releases. As the title implies, Breuer just wants to deliver an hour of good, clean, fun that is accessible to everyone. Even so, you're more likely to enjoy this if you're the sort of person who is entertained by a good Joe Pesci impression.
And Laughter for All receives a decent DVD transfer, though the set is nothing special from a visual perspective (just the usual basics: a stage, a microphone and a funny-looking dude). Detail is solid throughout and depth is satisfactory. The Dolby 2.0 stereo track is occasionally hampered by the excessive distortion Breuer employs, but it gets the job done. There are no supplements included.
Jim Breuer's second special isn't really my cup of tea, but it's fine. It shouldn't have too much trouble finding an appreciative audience.
Eh, not guilty, I guess.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: RLJ Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 58 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated