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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Stand Up > Teens > Maz Jorbrani: I Come In Peace (2013/Inception DVD)/Paradise (2013/Image Blu-ray)/The To-Do (2013/Sony Blu-ray)

Maz Jorbrani: I Come In Peace (2013/Inception DVD)/Paradise (2013/Image Blu-ray)/The To-Do (2013/Sony Blu-ray)

Picture: C/B-/B- Sound: C+/B-/B- Extras: C-/C/C Main Programs: C+/C/C-

Here are some new comedy releases to know about... or to avoid...

Maz Jorbrani: I Come In Peace (2013) is the best of our choices here, a stand up comedy show that runs 71 minutes, spoofs the Bond films on the cover and (briefly) opening credits and has has all kinds of amusing jokes about being from the Middle East, the conflict, racism, age of terrorism and other topical humor that is consistently interesting and amusing. I never laughed out loud or got bored, but was impressed Jorbrani had a good sense of humor and some insight to go with it. He is an original, a growing talent and I want to see his next routines.

A short with similar humor and two friends of his called My Two Worlds is the only extra.

Next we have the story of a young gal who decides to do as many crazy, dumb, gross and idiotic thing as she can think of and even has them marked down. This time around, it is not just the pathetic premise for one bad film, but two really bad films that happen to have been made and released at the same time! Imagine that.

First up is Diablo Cody's version, Paradise (2013) with Julianne Hough (doing everything but wearing blackface this time out) as a born again gal who was in a terrible airplane accident that burned up much of her body, a traumatic experience she barely survived. Sick of her oppressive Christian community, she tells them off in church and runs to Las Vegas, only to learn the newly built section is really in Paradise, Nevada right next to the real thing. She is looking for something that is the real thing and intends to commit just about every sin she can.

She meets a bartender (Russell Brand playing yet another variant of himself) and a would-be lounge singer (Octavia Spencer) who are friends in the same bar and befriend her. Our protagonist over-narrates this dud with beyond obvious jokes that go on and on and on and on and on and on... Worst of all, this had the potential to be more, but Cody has been coasting since the highly overrated Juno, forgettable Jennifer's Body and should-have-worked-much-better United States Of Tara TV series. Holly Hunter also shows up in the wasted supporting cast.

Extras include a feature length audio commentary track by Cody, Behind The Scenes with Cody, Brand, Hough, Spencer & an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Maggie Carey manages to make the dame awful film with less money and a lesser-known cast in the some slightly more unfunny The To-Do (2013) with Aubrey Plaza as a gal who graduated as the perfect student and now wants to learn everything about sex before moving on with her life, but the ideas are as gross and dumb and idiotic as anything we have seen in these comedies of late. Produced by the bottomlessly inept CBS Films (are they trying to have a nonstop train of tax write-offs?), I don't know who this dud was made for, but it is remarkably cynical, lame, pointless and does not take any audience of any age seriously and has little to no respect for them.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse makes one of his unfunny turns playing himself, more bored-looking than ever and Andy Samberg is again very unfunny. Include this on to-avoid movie list.

Extras include a feature length audio commentary track with Carey and co-star Bill Hader (also unfunny), a Gag Reel, two boring featurettes and Deleted and Extended Scenes.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Maz has some good shots, but is soft more often throughout than I would have liked, so the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Paradise and 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on To Do tie as the better visual presentations, yet neither are great (though Paradise has some nice shots of Vegas) and they both tend towards visual genericness.

The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Maz is a good, consistent presentation where you can pretty much hear everything he is saying, but the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on both Blu-ray features are better, even if they are dialogue/joke based and tends towards the front channels more than they should.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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