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Studio: Image Entertainment
Year: 2009
Cast: Charlie Murphy, Freez Luv
Director: Lance Rivera
Release Date: February 15, 2010, 3:22 pm
Rating: Not Rated for (adult language)
Run Time: 01h:02m:58s

ìItís the moment of truth, baby!" - Charlie Murphy

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Charlie Murphy enjoyed a huge rise in popularity thanks to collaborations with Dave Chappelle. Now, it'll be interesting to see what kind of stand-up material he has up his sleeve.

Movie Grade: B-

DVD Grade: B

To most folks, Charlie Murphy will always be seen as simply, Eddieís older brother. However, over the last decade, Charlie has done everything he can to make a name for himself, catapulting out of little brotherís huge shadow. It all started in 2004, with the Chappelleís Show sketch ìCharlie Murphyís True Hollywood Stories (Rick James).î This instant comedy classic (which is just as side-splittingly hilarious 7 years later) single-handedly elevated Dave Chappelleís variety show to another level, but it also put Charlie Murphy on the map. He was responsible for many other memorable moments on Chappelleís Show, but since heís created an online sketch comedy show, penned his autobiography, and pursued a lucrative stand-up career. One night in Boston, his stand- up performance went before the cameras, and is available for mass consumption in the form of the new DVD, Charlie Murphy: I Will Not Apologize.

Comparing Charlie Murphy to brother Eddie is not only an apples-to-oranges comparison, but itís also unfair to Charlie. Anyone who expects him to reach the comedic highs of Delirious or Eddie Murphy: Raw is wasting their time, but after telling only a few very funny stories, itís obvious that Charlie is a talented comedian that clearly knows his comedic strengths and weaknesses and has adjusted his stand-up act accordingly. It takes five minutes or so to get to the actual stand-up performance, as Murphy takes the time to give us an introduction featuring clips of his past performances. During these clips, he muses about how he got to where he is today, giving great words of advice to young people out there who donít know what to do with their lives. This is actually a very touching, surprisingly inspiring sequence that would truly benefit the ears of youngsters.

He kicks his performance off giving thanks to his friend, apparent bodyguard, and ìroad dog,î Freeze Luv. He then goes on to muse about his favorite movie of the last decade, (geesh!) 300. Itís difficult to tell how much he truly loves the movie, but he takes plenty of time to indirectly make a case for just how un-manly much of that opus is. Then, Murphy goes to the well for the first time and does his imitation of the man who helped make him famous, the late Rick James. Despite the fact that Dave Chappelle actually embodied James on Chappelleís Show, Murphy blends his impression into his act by claiming that being possessed by Jamesí ghost is the reason that Britney Spears went crazy. Murphyís impression is a good one, but I couldnít help feeling that including him in his act was kind of a cheap joke on the comedianís part.

It doesnít take long for Murphy to delve into the catch phrases made popular during Chappelleís Show. He begins by telling us how heís still not tired of people yelling ìCHARLIE MURPHY!î in the loud style that Chappelle-as- Rick-James made famous. We also get a punch line based on the always hilarious ìF#$k this couch!î phrase. His whole act isnít based on old reliable though, as thereís some hilarious stuff about the worldís ìfunctional retards,î a group that Murphy says includes a certain ex-President with a middle initial of ìW.î In all, the majority of this hour-plus is funny, but, unfortunately, Murphy canít quite sustain laughs the way that a David Cross or Zach Galifianakis can during their stand-up sets.

There are plenty of extras on the disc, including a ton of footage from other Charlie Murphy stand-up gigs. The best of these segments involve Murphy taking on some hecklers; a battle he wins with ease. The audio and video are just fine given the material being presented, and this disc, on the whole, will more than please both Murphyís fans, and the skeptically curious among us.

Chuck Aliaga February 15, 2010, 3:22 pm