"DANE COOK: ISolated INcident"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: ** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)

    Dane Cook as HIMSELF

    Not Rated
    Studio: Comedy Central

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Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore the comedy power that is Dane Cook. He’s simultaneously one of the most beloved comedians and the most reviled actors of a generation. In his latest stand-up comedy special, he lets it all hang out with a single take shot of him delivering his material to a fresh audience. It’s a smaller venue of 400 people, and he gets a chance to touch on topics such as President Obama, racism, adoption, his sex life and the challenges of his own fame.

For years, I have been among what Dane Cook refers to as his “haters.” It’s not unfounded, considering that I was first introduced to him in his numerous film roles rather than his stand-up comedy. After enduring “Employee of the Month” and “Good Luck Chuck,” I was even inspired to write an article for a film web site that launched a “Stop Dane Cook” ribbon campaign.

Still, I hadn’t really given his stand-up comedy a chance. Now I have with the release “Dane Cook: ISolated INcident.” And I will be the first to say that his stand-up is better than his films.

There’s a certain taste you have to have for Dane Cook’s material. I’m still not someone who would call himself a fan, but I appreciate the intimate nature of his performance in this special. He doesn’t pull his punches, and if you like his material, you’ll enjoy this special. It is definitely made for the fans.

With all that said, I really didn’t find this special to be all that funny. It had a few moments that made me laugh, and yes it is better than some of the truly awful films he has made over the year, but I just didn’t get into his style.

Cook fancies himself a self-deprecating comedian, but he really isn’t. He doesn’t poke fun at his own faults, just sits back and observes long enough to laugh at himself. No matter how you slice it, the guy comes across as an arrogant ass. Does that mean he’s just getting into a character? Perhaps. But after watching his more personal analysis of his own comedy in the special features, I’m inclined to believe that he’s just in love with himself.

I wasn’t offended at his material. It takes a lot to offend me, and he didn’t even come close. But I was turned off by his cheap shots at certain material, like declaring everyone in the world a racist, especially those who didn’t vote for Barack Obama. That joke went out of style before the primaries ended. And for someone who delves so much into his own sex life, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that he was bragging about how many hot chicks he’s slept with.

There was one thing that did bother me... and that was that he didn’t include my brilliant “Stop Dane Cook” article in his bit about haters. I’d like to think that he heard about it.

The DVD comes with an “ISolated INterview,” which features a camera POV interview with Cook about his stand-up and career. There’s also “30 Premeditated Acts” which feature a montage of his various bits cut together from different live performances. These are cool to watch for the Dane Cook fan, though they do become tiresome if you’ve already been through the jokes from the included feature.

Dane Cook acolytes.

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