In 10 Words or Less
Cute, but dirty
Loves: Stand-up comedy
Likes: Any Schumer
Dislikes: Cringe comedy
Hates: Most dirty female comics
With her cute, innocent face, it's easy to be surprised when Amy Schumer opens her mouth and spills forth filthy jokes and aggressively graphic comments. But the shock value fades pretty quickly, so you're left with how funny her jokes are, which is often the issue with female comics who take the path less traveled. If all they have is their inappropriateness, you end up with a one-shot deal or just a mediocre stand-up, like a Whitney Cummings. But if they can use that shock as a foot in the door and follow it with a truly funny routine, you've got the audience right where you want them.
Taking the stage at he Fillmore in San Francisco, Schumer wastes no time making sure you know where she's coming from with a bit about having sex with high-school kids, before talking about the morning-after pill, AIDS and semen. Though she does get into topics like the challenges of being a woman, dating and the problems with bathroom attendants, she doesn't stray far from the less acceptable stuff, be it the predictability of porn, an extended it about pubic hair and the people who make a career out of it, or her many jokes about race.
Though Schumer is often funny while being filthy, utilizing Wendy Liebman-like redirects to surprise the crowd, along with plenty of '80s references and some decent crowd work, she's at her best when she's telling stories. Obviously capable of painting a graphic picture, as evidenced by her descriptions of genitals, she's just as good in long-form, as her finale about her friends and a game of confessions gone wrong proves clearly. However, your enjoyment of her set (which ends with a seven-minute encore Q&A that never really gets off the ground) depends on how comfortable you are with controversial content.
For a comic whose act is peppered with boasts and self-aggrandizing gags (not unlike the stage persona of her one-time boyfriend Anthony Jeselnik) Schumer has a decidedly off-balanced set, developing little to no momentum thanks to frequent pauses. At one point, thanks to some crowd work, she loses focus to such a degree that she has to be reminded by the audience what she was talking about (which admittedly results in an amusingly absurd moment.) It's a touch uncomfortable to follow as she awkwardly segues from thought to thought (even if most of them are on the same topic.) Perhaps she was just having an off day, because the extras tell a very different story.
Inside a standard keepcase, you get a one-disc release, with a static menu offering options to play the special, select chapters, check out the extras and adjust the subtitles. There are no audio options, while subtitles are available in English SDH.
Schumer's set-up is a bit subdued, with a deep green backscreen, a warm ceiling and her muted red dress, but it all looks good in the anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a nice level of fine detail and solid color (as well as nice skintone on our heroine.) There are no noticeable issues with compression artifacts.
Oh forget it. No matter how many times I complain about Comedy Central's simplistic Dolby Digital 2.0 stand-up tracks, they keep pumping them out. At least these center-balanced tracks consistently sound good, with clear dialogue and appropriate separation between Schumer and the audience.
Comedy Central has decided to take advantage of their comics' appearances on their series of roasts, as this disc features a pair of uncut performances by Schumer from the roasts of Charlie Sheen (7:47) and Roseanne Barr (8:17). Schumer is in fine, ruthless form here, including some wicked attacks on Mike Tyson that leave the boxer babbling in an attempt to formulate a comeback.
The other extra is a short (2:12) featurette with Schumer and her sister, who walks around talking to her sibling's fans before the show. All I'll say is Amy seems to have received all the comedy talent in the family.
The Bottom Line
Amy Schumer can be very funny, but if you're not into hearing a woman speak rather unladylike, then this isn't the special for you. If you are though, there aren't a lot of better options out there. The DVD looks and sounds good, and includes a few minor extras to extend your enjoyment. Give it a rental unless you're already a fan.
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 follow him on Twitter
*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.