Sunday, 13 April 2014

Blu-ray Review - The King of Comedy

The King of Comedy
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Nero, Jerry Lewis
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Retail: $24.99
Running Time: 109 minutes
Rating: PG


Arriving last month on Blu-ray for the first time is 1983's The King of Comedy directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Nero and the legendary comedian, Jerry Lewis. Special Features include Tribeca Film Festival: A Conversation with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis; A Shot at the Top: The Making of The King of Comedy; deleted and extended scenes; and the theatrical trailer.

The King of Comedy is a dark-satire film about the celebrity and media obsession in America. Robert De Nero plays Rupert Pupkin, and aspiring stand-up comedian, who wants his big-break in showbiz. After briefly meeting talk show host, Jerry Langford (played by Jerry Lewis), he believes his opportunity for fame has finally arrived, but he is quickly shoved aside by Langford.

Pupkin has a delusional disorder that cause him to believe that he is close personal friends with Langford. He enlists the help of Masha (played by Sandra Bernhard), who has been stalking Langford, in helping him kidnap Langford for ransom. Pupkin doesn't want any money in return; he only wants a spot on Langford's talk show.

The film was a box-office flop back in 1983 and received mixed-reviews; though over the past thirty years, the film has been more accepting from critics.

I grew watching the old Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movies on AMC in the early 90s and have been a fan of Jerry Lewis's solo films, but I have never heard of The King of Comedy before reviewing the Blu-ray last week. The film offers no laughs, despite the title, and is a dark look into the obsession people have with fame. Robert De Niro and Sandra Bernhard both give excellent performances playing unlikeable characters; and Jerry Lewis gives a great performance as well. The film as a whole is a little boring, especially for the first hour. There are too many dream-like sequences. The film becomes somewhat interesting after Langford is kidnapped. Overall, The King of Comedy is a bizarre, but entertaining film.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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