Archive for July 22, 2013


So the other day when I reviewed the atrocious, sophomoric, egocentric, and decidedly unfunny This Is The End, I served up some pretty full-throated condemnations on the state of movie “comedy” in general these days. I think all the points I made were entirely correct — even if I do only say so myself — but still, something told me to give Hollywood funnymen another chance. They surely can’t all be idiots, right?

Kevin Hart is clearly no idiot. In fact, he strikes me as being a reasonably bright guy. Most of the stand-up material he delivers in his new film, Kevin Hart : Let Me Explain is fairly funny stuff. It’s mildly topical, and while it doesn’t break any new ground — or even cover old ground in a way that hasn’t been done before — his timing is good, his delivery is well-executed, and his stage presence is undeniable.

That being said, I’d only recommend seeing this thing if you’re a die-hard fan. Directors Leslie Small and Tim Story — who filmed this live performance of Hart at a sold-out Madison Square garden gig last year — are so clearly mailing it in that their lackadaisicality (did I just make up a word there?) actively detracts from one’s enjoyment of the material being presented. They’re prone to overly-obvious, half-assed editing, sloppy transitional material, ham-fisted jump-cut segues, and even the sound mix is a total clusterfuck mess. The tacked-on bit of ego-swollen sketch humor at the beginning doesn’t help matters much, either. All in all, while Hart’s generally-good-but-far-from-consistently-good stage material is no silk purse, these two have managed to make a sow’s ear out of it anyway.

Not sure what else to say beyond that, really. There’s no way to properly “recap” a live stand-up recording without giving away the jokes, so — I guess I just won’t go there apart from saying most of ’em were alright.  Hart seems to be making quite a name for himself in the comedy world right now, and that’s probably well-deserved, but the rank amateur nature of this film probably won’t win him any new converts. Next time just point a camera in his face, leave the room, and let him take it from there on his own.