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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Louis C.K.: Chewed Up
Louis C.K.: Chewed Up
Image // Unrated // December 16, 2008
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Francis Rizzo III | posted January 5, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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In 10 Words or Less
An hour of regular-guy complaints and odd observations

Reviewer's Bias*
Loves: Louis C.K.'s comedy, stand-up
Likes: Louis C.K.'s movies and TV shows
Dislikes: Stand-up DVDs lacking in extras
Hates:

The Show
Louis C.K is easily one of my favorite active stand-up comics, joining Eddie Izzard, Brian Regan, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galafianakis and Mike Birbiglia in that exclusive pantheon, which pretty cleanly illustrates my taste in stand-up. I like storytellers more than riffers, almost preferring monologuists over comics. Louis C.K. doesn't get into long rambling tales like Izzard or odd stories of personal humiliation like Birbiglia, instead sticking to shorter segments of familial headaches and off-kilter notes about the world around him.

The resulting bits are hysterically funny, thanks mainly to Louis C.K.'S delivery. It's the natural, honest way he speaks that makes it all work, because it never feels like he's trying to be funny. I've never laughed harder than when told funny stories by my (admittedly hilarious) friends, because I connect to them. The same goes for Louis C.K., who brings you into his reality. He doesn't have any unusual tics or high-energy style, coming off like a cool neighbor sharing a bitch session over the fence or an older brother or uncle instructing you in the ways of the world. You just want to listen to him, because he has something interesting to say.

The ground covered in this special is the usual stuff he's done in the past, including plenty about getting older and having kids. Being a dad to a precocious little girl, I find his material about his daughters to be some of the funniest comedy he does, and this special is no different, as he talks about his daughter's secrets and what life is like with a child, including the surprise when you discover, as a man, you are responsible for maintaining a tiny vagina. Maybe it's funnier when you are lost in a world of wipes and diapers, but I couldn't stop laughing as he describes his relationship with his daughter, a loving, yet realistic bind. The same goes for his marriage, which is informed by the length of his relationship, leading him to compare the benefits of dating young girls versus being married to a woman (culminating in the meaning behind the special's name) while bemoaning the state of his body (aided by Cinnabon) and his sex life, both to fantastic effect.

The other highlight of the show is his discussion of language, which is equally funny, focusing on three forbidden words and his joy in using them. It's not that he's even being crude or shocking by talking about them. He's simply hilarious in dissecting the meaning of the words, especially when he talks about the C-bomb, explaining it's inappropriateness for its primary use. I was in tears as he described the joys of the female intimate area and how it should be named. This section is pretty harsh in a way, as he drops the N-bomb in hilarious ways, and laments his inability to use "faggot" liberally, but it's all in good humor and all very down-to-earth, a perfect example of what Louis C.K. does best.

The DVD
The one-disc release is packaged in a standard keepcase with a promotional booklet. The DVD has an animated anamorphic widescreen menu with options to watch the show, select chapters, adjust languages and check out the special features. Audio options include English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, but there are no subtitles and no closed captioning.

The Quality
The anamorphic widescreen transfer looks nice, with a clean, bright image, but it has a pretty excessive amount of grain, which is noticeable due to the simplistic design of the set with him wearing a black t-shirt against a black background. The level of detail isn't great, and it's slightly soft, but it is free of any obvious defects.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack serves to separate Louis C.K. from the audience, to put you in the middle of the mix, and it does a good job of it, but as with most stand-up specials, the audio doesn't have all that much to do. At least it does it well though.

The Extras
There's just one extra included here, and it's a good one (with a major problem though.) Louis C.K. interviews himself, sitting down in front of the camera with a list of questions to answer. The topics and responses are really quite interesting for fans of Louis C.K. or stand-up in general, as he talks about his early comedy career, his comedic philosophy and his experience editing this special, among other subjects. Unfortunately, it seems no one checked the sound, as you can barely hear what he's saying unless you crank the volume, and then it still sounds like he's in a tin can. There's good material here, but the challenge of listening to it doesn't help.

The Bottom Line
Louis C.K. is damn hilarious, and this special, following closely after his "Shameless" show, is him playing to his strengths, focusing on being a middle-aged man and life with children. Perhaps it's just that being the father of a little girl makes me connect more with him, but I found him to be hysterical long before I had a kid, so that's not the whole story. The DVD looks and sounds decent, and has a solid, but flawed extra, making it a pretty easy recommendation for fans, though if don't have "Shameless" that's a better place to start, before hitting this one.


Francis Rizzo III is a native Long Islander, where he works in academia. In his spare time, he enjoys watching hockey, writing and spending time with his wife, daughter and puppy.

Check out 1106 - A Moment in Fictional Time or his convention blog called Conning Fellow


*The Reviewer's Bias section is an attempt to help readers use the review to its best effect. By knowing where the reviewer's biases lie on the film's subject matter, one can read the review with the right mindset.

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