Comedy Central // 2003 // 116 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // October 31st, 2003
The true definition of anger management.
In a world of angry comedians, Lewis Black may be the most irritable of them all. Black's trademark ranting and fuming takes a pot shot at everything from politics to tax forms to the Super Bowl halftime show. Black is most famous for showing up as a featured player on the Comedy Central spoof The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Black is also most likely the best candidate for anger management, even though he's lovable throughout his fits. In Lewis Black: Unleashed, fans of the comedian will get a thorough digest of his unconventional (and possibly heart attack-inducing) comedy skills. Let the fuming commence!
I've been a fan of Black's ever since I saw his frowning mug show up on The Daily Show oh so many years ago. I'm not sure why he's so funny -- though he's got decent material, it's not as if he's a comic genius. I think what makes Black so entertaining is his unique and often sinister delivery: every line sounds as if he's pulled his hair out just thinking about the punch line. In Lewis Black: Unleashed, the comedian does what he does best: gets angry. I liked his tirades about MTV ("The people who have done everything in my lifetime to destroy music as I know it, and in case you don't know it, MTV is to music as KFC is to chicken!") and the halftime show at the NFL super bowl ("Sure, because when I think football, I think N'Sync"). And how can you not love a guy who actually spends a good portion of his time talking about that luscious Halloween treat that is candy corn and its rich, illustrious history? ("All of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911"). There are four separate shows here: one from 1998, another from 2000, and a final from 2002, plus "Lewis Black: Taxed Beyond Belief," which features Black talking to a room full of students about the IRS. Each segment is as funny as the next, showing Black at his venom spewing best ("Thanksgiving used to be Thanksgiving and its own holiday. Not Christmas, part one"). If you're a fan of this guy's vein-popping speeches, get ready to enjoy the insanity that is Lewis Black: Unleashed.
Lewis Black: Unleashed is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. All of the segments on this disc were recorded on video and as such don't look top notch. Though there are some minor imperfections in the image, overall it's decent -- what else do you need in a stand-up comedy show? The colors are bright and the black levels adequately solid. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in English. Much like the video presentation, this soundtrack is not great. However, the clapping and dialogue is well heard, which is all you really need in this type of sound mix. No alternate soundtracks or subtitles have been included on this disc.
Fans of Comedy Central will be happy to see a few funny extra features included on this disc. First up are two "Indecision 2000" shorts by Black, one at the Democratic National Convention and one at the Republican National Convention. Also included on this disc are two Comedy Central quickies (Stephen Lynch's "The Divorce Song" and a clip from the show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn discussing ugly people in America).
Review content copyright © 2003 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Comedy Central
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 116 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Two Bonus Features
* Comedy Central Quickies