Janeane Garofalo. Love her or hate her, I admit that I used to listen to her on the defunct Air America via her radio show "The Marjority Report" and have always felt that her comedy was intelligent, self-deprecating and one of those people you want to hang out with because she was like a female version of Larry David. A bit narcissistic and she has this unique perspective towards society and pop culture that I find witty and different from other female comedians.
Although, Janeane Garofalo is known for her television and movie work, may it be from "24', "The West Wing", "Felicity", "The Larry Sanders Show" or "Reality Bites", she was once a stand-up comedian who would go up on stage with her notebook and go into random observations and direct quotes in her act.
It's been several years now but Garofalo made her return on stage via her special "If You Will" shot in Seattle's Moore Theatre and aired on EPIX in June 2010 and now, the special will be released on Blu-ray and DVD.
"Janeane Garofalo - If You Will: Live in Seattle" is presented in 1080 High Definition (1:78:1). The picture quality is solid and there is a good lighting on Janeane, skin tones are natural, blacks are nice and deep. No dizzying editing cuts, we see Garofalo straight on but you don't see a lot of audience reactions to her jokes. Camera angles are stationary towards Janeane via close up, full body or right behind her onto the audience.
As for the audio, the audio for "Janeane Garofalo - If You Will: Live in Seattle" is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Dialogue is clear and understandable, audience reactions and ambiance can be heard through the surround channels. Overall, the lossless audio is well-done.
"Janeane Garofalo - If You Will: Live in Seattle" comes with the following special features presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:78:1) and audio via uncompressed PCM Stereo:
* Pets- (6:00) Janeane talks about losing a dog and her love for dogs but this time, having to take care of a female toddler and comparing her to a dog.
* Representative Richard Martin (R) - (5:13) - A Republican politician wants to be interviewed by Janeane and question her on her liberal beliefs.
For those who are familiar with Garofalo's work on Air America, many wonder if this will be a liberal tongue lashing on stage. And if anything, Janeane keeps things cool and doesn't engage in any politics, party groups or anything that is too racy.
If anything, watching "If You Will", this is a mature Garofalo. A grown up version of what we have seen from her in the 1990's but this time, seeing how her career has changed over the years but also how life has affected her in different ways. She takes on a various topics which include her maturity, misconceptions of her being a lesbian, hear health, her Spanx body shaper, her alcoholism and more. Including an interesting perspective that she has towards Natalie Portman (and Charlize Theron). If anything, Garofalo is quite fun to watch because she is esoteric. She is intelligent, well-versed but she doesn't come off as an egotistical snob.
Garofalo comes onto the stage with her notepad, tatoos on her arms and just goes through a flow of whatever is on her mind and it's a different style of comedy than one typically sees on stage. Of the many stand-up comedy DVD's that I review each year, it's always a pleasure to watch not only a female comedian but also an intelligent one that doesn't pride herself in sexual or moronic comedy.
In one bit, Garofalo criticizes men on their lack of cutting their toenails and dry heels and her delivery is quick and as much as she dishes out, she brings back in and becomes self-deprecating. In one segment she talks about going to Starbucks and the barista telling her, "No offense, but you look like Janeane Garofalo" and another where her manager tells her she needs to have web presence and how she doesn't even tweet.
Her comedy is not for everyone but it's definitely comedy for those who want intelligent comedy for 65-minutes long and no, there is no polemicizing on one's political views. She keeps it to topics surrounding pop culture and life and topics that people can relate too.
The Blu-ray release of "If You Will: Live in Seattle" is a good blu-ray release with solid PQ and good use of the surrounds via the lossless audio. I wished there was a bit more special features but for the most part, these two short comedy segments are fun to watch and for the most part, "If You Will" is a good Garofalo comedy Blu-ray release.
Overall, "Janeane Garofalo - If You Will: Live in Seattle" was a fun special and definitely an enjoyable comedy Blu-ray release!