DVD Review: Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood to the Heartland
By Frankie Dees Jun 19, 2008, 13:39 GMT
Hit the road with Vince Vaughn as he takes on America s heartland with the wildest comedy tour of all time. Friends like Justin Long Jon Favreau and Dwight Yoakam join Vince and four of today s brightest comics for a 30-city 30-night laughfest where the comedy doesn t stop (Phil Villarreal Arizona Daily Star). So hitch a ride on the tour bus and go behind the scenes it s ...more
Vince Vaughn hits the dusty trail with this intermittently funny doc about his admiral desire to shake hands with the common folk and give some exposure to four stand-up comic buds by staging a variety/stand-up comedy show that will tour for a solid month, a show each night.
This ‘Hollywood to the Heartland Tour’ focuses on slightly smaller venues between Hollywood and Vaughn’s hometown of Chicago, the idea being to present a nicely-staged show to the common peeps who don’t necessarily have the chance.
This results in a sometimes less predictable crowd that can range from the usual array of drunken college kids to country bumpkins that seem less than thrilled by the self-proclaimed “guido” comic in front of them.
Vaughn is a consistent presence throughout as he introduces the show with some skits and special guests but the majority of the running time is devoted to the four comics, their differing styles and personalities, and the inherent tension involved with such a high/low profession.
The four up-and-coming comedians are Ahmed Ahmed, an Egyptian who uses that background liberally and throws out the expected mistaken for terrorism jokes. Of the four, I found his act the most pedestrian although relating a story of how he was arrested at an airport for simply looking the part was affecting. John Caparulo, a Cleveland native, was an intriguing character in the film even if his ‘Larry the Cable Guy’ish act wasn’t quite as interesting.
An obviously insecure loner who confesses to still having trouble approaching women despite being able to stand up in front of 2,000 people and attempting to make them laugh, Caparulo seemed to have some depth that his act hasn’t quite taken advantage of yet. The aforementioned ‘Guido” Bret Ernstand was probably the funniest for me with ace comic timing on his physical humor. A bit about his teenage years toiling around the rolling rink in cheap, rental skates as ‘Tony’, the 30-year old rolling-skate wunderkind who scores all the teenage chicks, goes sailing by almost had me in tears.
A close second is waiter-turned-comic Sebastian Maniscalco whose bits were not all that impressive until the last third of the film when he took on shopping at ‘Ross’s, the clothing discount store. His take on that experience was spot on as my wife has dragged me in that third-world equivalent of a store one too many times.
Interspersed with skits involving Vince Vaughn and special guests such as ‘Dodgeball’ co-star Justin Long, ‘Wedding Crashers’ co-star Keir O’Donnell doing a gag on his gay artist character in that film, Vaughn’s “best friend” Peter Billingsley, who most will know as Ralphie from ‘A Christmas Story’, and Jon Favreau, there’s enough comedy here to satisfy fans of that genre.
We also get some reality tv/documentary interludes about life on the road dealing with toilets, bus pranks, tourist stops including a fun bit with Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam in Bakersfield, female fans and on a rare serious note, dealings with flood victims as the four comics get drafted to hand out tickets at a Alabama trailer park.
Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, plentiful special features include two audio commentaries, the first from Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley which mostly discusses the behind-the-scenes trials of getting the film made. The second commentary includes the director Ari Sandel and Ahmed Ahmed, Bret Ernst and Sebastian Maniscalco and as expected is a looser, funnier track but with little in actual info.
‘Bonus Material’ is an almost hour long collection of interviews and various behind-the-scenes footage. Good for a watch if the film leaves you wanting more. ‘The Tour’ takes a look at how the tour was assembled and the business side of it. “The Making of…” is a short technical look and ‘Behind the Scenes’ is a ten-minute look at more shenanigans with the comics. A theatrical trailer and sneak peeks wrap it up.
For fans of Vaughn and stand-up comedy, this is a no-brainer. As a doc, the pic comes off a bit shakier as there’s very little tension between the principals to make an interesting watch from that angle.
Everybody gets along for the most part so there’s no ‘Real World’ nastiness with ego-maniacs slapping each other on a bus and no real insight into superstar Vince Vaughn as the camera doesn’t linger on Vaughn very long outside of his stage appearances. But it’s obvious Vaughn still has comedy chops in spite of ‘Fred Claus’ and the four comics, while hit and miss, are varying enough with their styles to prove interesting anyway.
Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood to the Heartland is now available at Amazon. It is available for pre-order at AmazonUK for a June 30th release. Visit the DVD database for more information.