SARAH SILVERMAN: JESUS IS MAGIC
Review by Michael Jacobson
Stars: Sarah Silverman
Director: Liam Lynch
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Visual Entertainment
Features: See Review
Length: 72 Minutes
Release Date: June 6, 2006
“I don’t care if you think I’m racist. I just want you think I’m thin.”
I’d love to have Sarah Silverman as a girlfriend. She’s beautiful, sexy, she plays guitar, sings lines from Yes’ “I’ve Seen All Good People” in her show, and she makes me laugh. What more could a growing boy want?
Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic showcases the talented comedienne in concert, peppered with little extra “bits” here and there. The comedy works beautifully…the other stuff, not so much. Sarah’s best when it’s her one-on-one with her audience. The other times, it’s not so funny, and feels a little forced.
Her show features her thoughts on race relations, sex, religion and more. Her stage presence is tremendous, and her delivery second to none. She uses pauses better than any performer I’ve ever seen…she constantly comes across like she’s making up all of these biting, brilliant observation as she goes. Like Andy Kaufman, she’s a total performer, using theatrics and music as part of her routine, and like Kaufman, she’s intelligent enough to know how to make it all work.
This DVD represents an unrated version of the show. Translation: there’s not much I can reprint here. I don’t think I’d even want to try. You can write out a gag, but you can’t put in words how good someone’s delivery is. And that’s Sarah’s magic.
Her vignette interstitials kind of took me out of the joy of the show, though. She looks great and sings with gusto during her musical numbers, but come on…happily singing to an audience of old folks “You’re Gonna Die Soon”? Doesn’t work.
I prefer her live, where she has her fans totally in the palm of her hand. More than once, I found myself thinking out loud, “God…she’s brilliant!”. And a lot more often than that, I was howling. She treads into offensive waters with a gleam in her eye…the juxtaposition of the taboo material with her frequently innocent demeanor and striking beauty is…well, magic.
Her stuff may not please the delicate, but she didn’t make this movie for them. She made it for those who love to laugh at verboten topics. Sarah Silverman may be the most gentle and dangerous woman alive at the same time. God bless her for it.
Filmed on video and transferred to film, Jesus is Magic looks as good as it needs to, but no better. Some darker moments lose nearly all definition, but there aren’t many. Mostly it’s the spotlit Sarah, and that looks good no matter how you digitize it.
I was surprised that this disc offered a 5.1 soundtrack, and it really kicks into gear during the musical bits. They give the audio punch and dynamic range. Apart from that, Sarah’s spoken delivery is well rendered throughout.
There’s an entertaining commentary with Sarah and director Liam Lynch that’s worth at least one listen (especially at only 72 minutes…come on). There’s a making-of featurette, a video for “Give the Jew Girl Toys”, her excerpt from The Aristocrats, and a pair of trailers.
If you haven’t experienced the comedy of Sarah Silverman, you owe it to yourself to check out Jesus is Magic. The comedienne’s material isn’t for everyone, and you probably know which one you are. But if you’re willing to open yourself up to the comedy of dangerous ideas, Sarah’s just the girl for you. Remember, though…I saw her first.