HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Fluffy Movie: Unity Through Laughter
HTS Overall Score:70
Fluffy! Fluffy! Fluffy! Fluffy! Anyone who knows Gabriel Iglesias knows exactly what I’m talking about! The chubby Mexican is back in town once more and back with an extended cut of his famous “Unity through Laughter” tour. Stopping off in San Francisco they filmed it in front of a live audience (probably one of the biggest I have ever seen for a comedy tour) and even given us the choice of a theatrical cut that was edited for pacing and an extended cut with over 10 minutes of extra laughs. Now Comedy is one of those topics, ESPECIALLY stand-up comedy, as one person’s “yuk yuk” is another person’s “that’s not funny”, but Gabriel Iglesias has to be one of the most popular comedians in show biz right now, second only to Jeff Dunham for popularity, bringing with him a sense of humor that tends to lean quite heavily on family oriented humor. Sure there’s a few know words and a wink wink type of sex joke here or there, but we’re not talking Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor language and vulgarity by any stretch of the imagination, which makes allows him to reach an enormously broad audience demographic.
“The Fluffy Movie” is one of the longest comedy shows I’ve ever seen, with an hour and 41 minute runtime and if you choose the extended cut, a few minutes shy of two hours. In some ways it’s more comedy gold, but at the same time I still think the 1 hour 30 minute mark is perfect for a standup show as the extended cut can drag in the middle. Gabriel fires up the show by talking about the 800 lb elephant in the room (pun intended), which is his own weight struggle. The first thing I noticed when he jumped up on the stage and started waving to the audience was that he had dropped a TON of weight. According to his first act, over 100 lbs, due to him being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and given only 2 years to live on his current diet. From there he talks about going to India for the first time and having to adjust his humor style to a different culture. The jokes are firing on all cylinders and take a decidedly upbeat tone compared to his more somber first act where we focused on the sad reality of his weight. He regales us on how a group of Germans heckled him in India and a stinking hysterical joke that he came up with off the cuff (one of which his friend Martin uses to embarrass the poor guy later). In his last act the curve drops once more as he delves into a serious matter, where Gabriel tells us of how he met his father for the first time in over 30 years.
I’ve followed Gabriel over the course of his rise to fame and the man is a powerhouse of comedy. He can pull off imitations better than anyone I’ve ever seen and has that sort of silly 4th grade girl type of humor that comes from a lifetime of being carefree and wild. For better or for worse, his “Unity Through Laughter” tour is a much more down to earth and mature show, with a decidedly reined in lifestyle. We’re always used to him firing off jokes about his drunken experiences or about his eating tacos and soda on stage, but now you can tell that he’s had to reconsider many things in his life and is now actually have to deal with growing up. His weight loss story is both inspiring and sad at the same time, for the best jokes have a weird habit of coming from personal pain, and you can tell that they fueled every one of the jokes this time around. Even when he’s joking around about his stepson, Frankie, you can tell there’s a maturity to his jokes. Not only does he rib the poor kid mercilessly, but he weaves in his touching experience with his OWN father not being around, and the responsibility he feels towards his stepson as a result of this experience.
I loved the show, and I was either chuckling or outright falling over laughing 95% of the time, but I do admit that the show might have been trimmed up a little. The Theatrical cut is a little long, but the added jokes of the extended cut actually are almost detrimental in that they make what was already a long standup act turn into that “ok, this is going on a bit long” type of situation. Some of the extended cut’s jokes were pretty stinking funny, but the overall pacing seemed a little off. With that out of the way, I still had a ball with the act and can’t wait for his next one to come out (although if all goes well he’ll be a bit less “fluffy”).
Rated PG-13 for suggestive material and sexual references (Extended Edition Unrated)
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=30745[/img]As it’s your typical on stage standup act, “The Fluffy Movie” mainly focuses on Gabriel Iglesias up on a giant stage with tons of lights focused on his act in San Francisco. As a result there really isn’t a whole lot of variety here, black stage with lots of pretty reds and yellows as backdrop to his antics. The first thing I always look at in a standup act are the black levels and the contrast levels, for both are probably the most important in this situation. I am glad to say that the blacks are amazingly deep and inky, with only a hint of black crush when it pans out against the audience. The spotlights are nice and bright, but the camera angels are judicious enough that they don’t wash out his face and cause hot spots on the stage or blur our his features. Clarity and detail are impressive, but there is a decent layer of softness over the digitally shot image which keeps it from being an amazing stunner (although we usually are NOT focusing on that type of thing in a comedy act so it’s not a wild game changer). Skin tones look nice, if a little pink, and I didn’t see any compression issues to mar the natural imagery.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=30753[/img]There is one single 5.1 DTS-HD MA track for the whole show and it sounds about as good as it’s going to get for a standup act. The dialogue is the main focus and it shines quite nicely, as every line, every joke and every little imitation is replicated with perfect clarity. There’s even a few panning effects and limited directionality moments when the audience gets into the show and the laughter starts roaring. The surrounds are used very sparingly, as expected, usually only to accentuate a joke by the audience reacting and a few moments near the beginning where we see Gabriel’s mom’s meeting his father reenacted before the show starts. LFE is nearly nonexistent, really only showing up for the first few minutes of the show and with the ending music, but then again, there really isn’t anything in act that would REQUIRE the use of LFE, so the only downside to the 5.1 audio is the fact that it’s limited by the source.
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I love Gabriel Iglesias and have his other stand up acts on Blu-ray as well, and while this one isn’t as riotous as some of his earlier acts, it has a sense of maturity and polish to it that some of his others lacked. His relating painful childhood events and his issues with his weight have some funny jokes, but they serve as a sounding board to also point out some more serious things at the same time, which is both appreciated and highly relevant to a lot of people. As a fan of Gabriel’s mild use of profanity and crudity compared to other comedians I have to say that this is still a hit for the (less) fluffy comedian and certainly recommended by me for a good laugh.
Starring: Gabriel Iglesias
Directed By: Manny Rodriguez,
Written By: Gabriel Iglesias
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC (Opening in 2.40:1)
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Rated: PG-13 / Unrated
Runtime: 103 Minutes / 114 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 21st 2014
Buy The Fluffy Movie: Unity Through Laughter Blu-ray on Amazon
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