"Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic"
Directed by Liam Lynch.
Written by Sarah Silverman.
Starring Sarah Silverman, Brian Posehn, Laura Silverman and Bob
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 12/03/05
My buddy Yac and I went over to the E Street
Cinema last week because we both wanted to laugh our ass off at some
good, quality racism in the new film "Sarah Silverman: Jesus is
Please note: after careful review, this
movie is amazingly unfunny. And remember, I LOVE RACIST HUMOR.
Sarah Silverman, who really does reveal
herself to be a one-trick pony in her self-titled stand-up film, is
famous for being very Jewish, pretty hot (although I'm inclined to
disagree with that, especially after watching her for a full 70
minutes) and unfathomably comfortable making you laugh at terribly
un-PC humor. Now, I have seen/heard Silverman before in bits and
starts; you know, a bit on XM Radio here and there (five minutes), a
bit of her stand-up on Comedy Central (maybe eight minutes), her
scene from "The
Aristocrats" telling her version of the joke. In small
doses, she can be quite funny.
My mistake was thinking that she could pull
that off for a full hour, since "Jesus is Magic" is about 72 minutes
long, with a few too many sketch sequences that were better left on
the cutting room floor and almost no jokes that fall outside of her
skill set (Silverman doesn't seem to be able to just say something
funny without trying to offend). Example: the film opens and
closes with Silverman hangin' out with two of her "friends", who in
real life are her sister Laura and Brian Posehn, a comic from the
old "Mr. Show" days with Bob Odenkirk, who is also in this movie.
Both of these bookend sequences basically die on the operating
table. There's a scene where Silverman chastises Jews that buy
German cars--admittedly, an interesting argument--but the song that
she uses to do that is full of other offensive stuff, none of which
got our sold-out audiences to laugh. The musical sequence
featuring old people was somewhat funny, but only because of a
moment where Silverman mentions that it's not cold in the room, it's
just that they are dying. That scene got me mostly because
there were real old people standing in as the audience in a
But for the most part, it was stunning how
infrequently folks were laughing in this movie. Normally, I
might say that was because people were shocked by how offensive
Silverman is...but, you don't come to the theater without having
some feel for her normal comedy, which is to say things like
"The best time to get pregnant...is when you
are a black teenager."
This, of course, will get you to start
laughing until you regret that you've done it, and that's where
Silverman can be good. But, even that line didn't get the
theater to lose it, and in a movie which by-and-large is a stand-up
film, you need to have five or six whoppers that carry the rest of
the movie. Hell,
"The Original Kings of Comedy" had some, "Bill Cosby: Himself"
had a dozen, "Richard Pryor: Live in New York" had some, "Eddie
Murphy: Raw" had some, Margaret Cho's
C.H.O." had some. "Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic" has
exactly zero big laugh scenes. This is unacceptable for a
stand-up movie that somebody thought was good enough to release in
Yac, for the first time ever, actually
wanted to go a grade higher than I did. I disagreed; man, this
was bad. And I dropped $10 to sit in the theater for just over
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard