Directed by and Starring Louis C.K.
Louis C.K.’s stand-up film that premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival is finally on DVD, and it’s basically the only thing on this DVD.
In this stand-up special recorded in 2009 (the first stand-up film accepted at Sundance), Louis C.K. spends 84 minutes exploring his newfound status as a single father in the middle of a pessimistic society. The film is unrated, but the vulgarity and the subject matter definitely gear this for an older crowd.
The principal focus of the act is life for a 40-year-old, post-divorce father. He has an oddly optimistic viewpoint of newfound single life as “no good marriage ever ends in divorce.” Louis goes into his attempts to break back into a dating scene he planned never to return to and raising children who amaze him yet whose intelligence and temper test both of his own. Despite that material pointed at a select demographic (40-something single dads),
The high point of the act though is Louis’ cultural commentary. Much is pessimistic, particularly on our butchery of the English language and poor childrearing. He however has a slight optimistic turn, ranting about our collective lack of appreciation for modern marvels and pointing out just how trivial our complaints about dropped calls and flight delays really are. It’s a refreshing glass-half-full view on how we should stop griping and actually think about the amazement of our technological progression, doing things that weren’t possible a century ago.
But is it funny? Pretty much. The stories of his parenting are cute and worth quite a few chuckles. The cultural commentaries put a humorous spin on pointing out the flaws in how we act and appreciate the world around us. Some superhero references even rear their heads around to add a little zing for this reviewer. But the film may be guilty of Louis’ own complaint of wasting ten-dollar words, as it’s not the life-changing humor that he himself states the word “hilarious” implies. Decent enough, but not a comedy game changer one would expect from the title and the prestige of being Sundance’s first stand-up film.
The film is in widescreen. For a stand-up film, there’s an impressive number of cameras, especially in motion shots and close ups while still on stage. Too bad one closes in so much that Louis breaks to tell the camera man to back up.
The DVD offers Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo. The routine comes through fine. It’s just a talking head so there’s not much opportunity for surround sound moments.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
This bare-bones release comes on one disc in a single case. The cover jacket is bland, with the main color being dingy beige and little info on the back beside a quote and some bland copy. It’s not a pretty box.
There are no extras or bonuses to speak of, simply the stand-up feature itself. However, the film chapters are all given useful titles referencing that chapter’s focus, which are great for referring back to select material.
Overall (Not an Average)
Hilarious is a decent enough stand-up film. The lack of special features in this no-thrills release keeps this DVD from being a must buy for Louis C.K. fans or comedy enthusiasts, so stick to a rental copy or reruns on Comedy Central.
The Series 7/10
The Video 5/10
The Audio 6/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 2/10
Overall (Not an Average) 5/10