Image Entertainment // 2009 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 2nd, 2009
"People like to come to me when they have an Asian problem, like when they can't finish their Sudoku, when they need an alteration, or tech support." -- Margaret Cho
"Beautiful" is a term Margaret Cho always longs to hear in reference to herself and her fans. Certainly in this performance she looks amazing, thin as ever with awesome hair and make-up. She's gone tattoo crazy with ink covering her shoulders and arms like a rich tapestry or intricate shawl of artwork. So here we have the fourth DVD of Margaret's popular comedy tours, and she works with the same technical people who understand how to film her including zooming in at the right time on her expressive face. This is a woman who knows her audience: an unapologetic ally who reaches out to her demographic without worry of alienating anybody else. Topics are gay, lesbian, and left-wing with no effort to include anybody else in on the joke. Cho knows who is buying her tickets and DVDs, and she let's them have her full attention.
The timing of the performance is going to be all too apparent. The Margaret Cho: Beautiful DVD captures Margaret Cho on her 2008 comedy tour appearing in Long Beach, CA only days before the election that delivered Obama and took away the gay right to marry in her home state. She offers quite a bit of commentary on political topics and pop culture moments that are going to date this routine. It's too easy to spot the era when a hearty round of applause breaks out as she declares Bush is about to be out of office. Extended rants on Sarah Palin still seem appropriate, although the Larry Craig routine feels a little stale. She goes back and forth hitting, highbrow and then alternating in to low jokes, or more simply put going from her view on politics to a rant about her pussy.
The DVD transfer is good with plenty of crisp detail and strong color control. I did notice digital pixelation now and then due to video combing, but truly this one is great for a comedy disc. The surround sound is centered on the dialogue with ambient audience noises only occasionally bringing the other speakers to life. The only extra is a behind the scenes footage sequence which runs four minutes. It's simply fans talking about Cho, and more of an interview that made up the start of the program. It's a pretty bare bones affair all things considered, and even moreso when compared with earlier DVD offerings from the comic.
Margaret Cho: Beautiful is par for the course for her fans, simply more of the same brand of irreverent humor that concentrates on sex and politics. It captures an era before we knew the world would become liberal enough to elect an African American President, and in the same vote take away the right to marry if you weren't straight. It will be nice to see Cho's reaction to that, and what a pity she did not see a need to add a postscript to this routine to address the recent turn of events. Yet something tells me her rant would be ugly, and this is called "beautiful." This one is simply the routine with no frills or extras, but for most Cho faithful that is enough.
Not guilty of being anything other than what we expect from the beautiful
Asian Margaret Cho. I love her on Lost!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated