Stanley Nelson’s documentary of Miles Davis is a disappointment. In the first half of the film, Nelson uses more still images than live performances. Based on the title, I thought the film would focus only on Birth of the Cool. Compressing Miles’s entire music career in just two hours only scratches the surface of Mile’s extensive catalogs. My criticism might be unfair because I have spent tremendous amount of time listening to Miles and read as many books about him as I could get my hands on. If you haven’t heard of Miles Davis and just wanted a quick overview, this might do it. To really appreciate Miles, you have to dig much deeper.
I caught Chappelle’s exceptional acceptance speech for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last year, but I decided to watch the entire ceremony Netflix has recently released. In addition to touching words from other comedians including Sarah Silverman, Neal Brennan, and Jon Stewart, Netflix highlights some of Chappelle’s works. From his early performance on Star Search to his acting on the Chappelle’s Show to various standup specials, Chappelle has been great at what he does for so long because he never afraid to speak honestly about how he felt. In one particular segment, in which I found intriguing, he sat on a stool and told his audience:
Everybody gets mad at me because I say these jokes. You understand that this is the best time to say them. More now than ever, you have the responsibility to speak recklessly. Otherwise my kids may not know what reckless talk sounds like. The joys of being wrong. I didn’t come here to be right. I just come here to fuck around.
Now that is some truthful shit. Chappelle definitely deserved this prestigious award. He is a living legend in the world of standup comedy, which is truly an American art form I have come to appreciate.
Tom Segura is a dick and he doesn’t give a fuck if you are offended. In his latest Netflix Special, he claims that you have a right be offended by whatever offends you and you have a right to express it, but you do not have a right to expect anyone to do anything about it. If you can accept that then you are in for some dark humors. Segura pushes the art of modern comedy as far as he could. Base on the title, Ball Hog, alone, you can tell what he alludes to. Hint: it has to do with your mom. Segura is such a good writer. His materials are brutal yet brilliant. If you can take vulgar jokes, you will enjoy this special.
I am still not sure why Kreischer took off his shirt the entire time in his latest Netflix Special, but he is funny as fuck. He starts off with ordering his Starbucks coffee from a black barista: a venti thug-out coffee, a venti I-don’t-want-to-be-pulled-over-for-no-reason-at-all coffee, and let me not spoil the last one. On sex and sick, he has no problem doing doggy-style so that his wife can cough to the wall. His relationship with his daughters—the period party in particular—is beautiful and hilarious. Seeing his gut hanging out the whole time is a bit off-putting, but Kreischer is a good storyteller. Go streaming on Netflix while quarantining.
Holy fuck, Marc Maron ends his new Netflix Special with a satirical blasphemy that involved Mike Pence and Jesus Christ. I don’t want to give anything away, but he sure as hell lights a fire under the evangelical asses. From vitamin to woke to technology to anti-vaccine, Maron’s humors are dark, ruthless, and brilliant. I had been mind-fucked for an hour.
Like many Black comics, Arnold takes a crack at Black-related issues including parenting, alcohol, marriage, and blowjob. His jokes were raw and raucous. The audience seemed to be entertained. What stood out for me was when he talked about being petty. Arnold is in his 50s and he isn’t afraid to admit that he’s petty. I loathed myself at times for being such a petty. I know it is wrong, but I can’t help myself. Arnold gave us the license to be petty. It’s an enjoyable Netflix special.
Tomlinson is impressive for a twenty-five-year-old comedian. Even though her materials are familiar, they are polished, refreshing, and hilarious. Her observation on modern parenting is dead on. We are too damn soft on our kids. She revealed that spanking got her to where she is today. She isn’t apologetic about the fact that she makes more money than men she dated; therefore, she is perfectly fine with a man who would give up everything to be with her and not a man who would want to live off her. Tomlinson delivers her jokes and punchlines with confidence and control. She is also a damn good writer, which makes her new Netflix special enjoyable. Even though this is my first time watching her performance, I am already sold.
Davidson opened his Netflix Special with a jab at Louis C.K. The punch landed on C.K.’s jerking off in front of women, but he missed the target. In reverse, C.K. would have roasted his ass. His porn sex materials were disappointing. He took a swipe at Ariana Grande over big dick and small hands. That didn’t quite land either. He explained the joke he made about Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch. The word “whatever” got him in trouble and he had to apologize. That was probably the highlight of the special. He talked about the death of his father in September 11 when he was seven years old. His writing isn’t quite there yet.
Papa indeed sounds like a dad on his latest Netflix Special. His message is positive. He encourages us to live a simple life, turn off the news, and find someone you love and trust. His delivery is calm and his material is light. Life is good. Just don’t die. You’re Doing Great. Thanks Papa!
I don’t listen to Taylor Swift’s music. I don’t know too much about her except when Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech. Miss Americana is a compelling documentary of her life as songwriter and cross-over singer. She is young, talented, and beautiful. She speaks out about sexual assault as well as her political stand. I enjoyed the film more than I thought.