DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Janeane Garofalo – If You Will, Blu-ray (2010)

Garofalo may be on Blu but thankfully avoids being too blue.

Published on September 20, 2010

Janeane Garofalo – If You Will, Blu-ray (2010)

Janeane Garofalo – If You Will, Blu-ray (2010)

Performing live standup at the Moore Theatre, Seattle
Studio: Image Entertainment GEC6688BD
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 color 1080p HD
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, PCM stereo
Extras: “Pets,” “Representative Richard Martin”
Length: 65 minutes
Rating: ****

The Emmy-nominated star, who has been on TV’s 24 and Larry Sanders Show, as well as movies and radio’s Air America, does a fairly straight standup performance in Seattle.  I wouldn’t call it “extreme comedy” as does the jacket blurb, but Garofalo is pretty hard hitting and though she gets a bit scatological occasionally (as does Garrison Keillor). I was relieved she didn’t overdo the profanity – in fact hardly used it at all.

She never refers to the many tattoos all over her upper body, but she handles a number of hot cultural items such as alcoholism, obesity, TV, sex, and other insights. I was surprised after hearing her on Air America that political subjects were only a small part of her spiel – mostly about the Tea Partyers. She’s as much into dogs as Paula Poundstone is into cats, and she has some bits on that subject. The self-deprecating slant is strong, as with many standups. But Garofalo ruefully corrects reporters who have identified her as Jewish and lesbian, and one person who confused her with Kathy Bates.

I don’t see any advantage in having a standup act in Blu-ray.  Perhaps her tattoo details show up better, but who cares. The sound is excellent, but who needs the surround, and any video of a standup is going to have superior sound to many seats at an in-person live appearance (I could only hear about half of the one I just attended of another female comic.)

 — John Sunier

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