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Chris Rock
Amy Schumer
Writing Credits:
Amy Schumer

Emmy®-winner Amy Schumer gets personal in her first HBO stand-up special, directed by Chris Rock and taped at New York's iconic Apollo Theater.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/16X9
English Dolby Stereo 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 62 min.
Price: $19.97
Release Date: 12/1/2015

• None


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 6, 2015)

Why does it feel like I see a new Amy Schumer project every couple of weeks? Probably because I do view fresh Schumer comedy pretty often. I watched her hit movie Trainwreck in early November and took in Season Three of her series Inside Amy Schumer in the middle of the month.

Here comes early December, so it must be time for more Schumer! Fresh material arrives via Live at the Apollo, a Schumer stand-up performance that first ran on HBO in October 2015. Directed by Chris Rock, Apollo gives us a May 2015 show recorded at the legendary Harlem theater.

In Apollo, Schumer touches on topics typical of her comedy. She discusses her own sexuality and physical insecurities as well as Hollywood double standards, making Trainwreck, her family, and a few other topics.

As I mentioned when I reviewed her TV series, I always find a bit of a disconnect with Schumer’s comedy because she denigrates her appearance so much. No one will confuse Schumer for a bikini model, but I think she’s pretty attractive. Her schtick doesn’t make a ton of sense for someone who looks as good as she does.

That said, Schumer can be awfully funny. Perhaps her persistent focus on weight, appearance, sex and drinking will eventually become tiresome, but her jokes work now, and I suspect she’ll adapt well. Schumer shows too much intelligence to just regurgitate the same gags over and over.

She certainly knows how to tell jokes and give her show a good flow. Even when Schumer flits from one topic to another, the performance moves well and comes with no lulls.

That’s a pretty good accomplishment. It seems like most stand-ups hit a snarl at some point during their shows, but Schumer avoids that. Of course, some bits score better than others, but we never find ourselves mired in a theme that we want to see end.

Rock’s direction reinvents no wheels, and that’s fine with me. Editing may be a little more “cutty” than I’d like, but this doesn’t become a distraction, and Rock focuses on stage the vast majority of the time. We get the occasional crowd image, but not many, and that’s a good thing. We want to see Schumer deliver the jokes and the program concentrates there like it should.

Apollo offers a solid comedic performance. With a nice array of jokes and strong timing, Amy Schumer makes this a winning concert.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio C+/ Bonus F

Amy Schumer: Live At the Apollo appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Simplicity ruled the day with Apollo, as the basic production looked solid.

Sharpness generally seemed satisfactory. Sometimes the wider shots of Schumer appeared a little ill-defined and weren’t as distinctive as I’d like. Nonetheless, the program mostly came across as accurate and concise. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no signs of edge enhancement. Source flaws also were absent, as the presentation suffered from no artifacts, video noise or other issues.

Given the basic setting, colors stayed simplistic but solid. The stage’s backdrop dominated the palette, as Schumer wore black. The tones well depicted within the low-key parameters of the show. Blacks also appeared deep and firm, and the occasional low-light shot seemed clear and appropriately visible. There wasn’t a whole lot to the visual presentation of Apollo, but the DVD replicated the concert fairly well.

Similar thoughts greeted the Dolby Stereo 2.0 soundtrack of Apollo. Not surprisingly, the mix presented a modest soundfield. Schumer’s monologue emanated firmly from the front center channel, so that speaker heavily dominated the proceedings.

Otherwise, we got audience laughter and applause from the front sides and – to a lesser degree – surrounds. And that was it! Outside of the opening and closing credits, no music appeared in the program.

Audio quality remained fairly positive. Speech easily became the most important aspect of the track, and Schumer’s remarks sounded decent. They suffered from a little too much reverberation, though, which made them a bit unnatural.

Nonetheless, I noticed no edginess or problems with distortion, as Schumer’s comments were always pretty smooth. The light applause and laughter also seemed clear and accurate. No one will use Apollo as a demo disc, but the soundtrack did what it needed to do.

No extras appear here – not even any previews!

Amy Schumer caps her breakout year with Live at the Apollo. She gives us an entertaining performance that comes across well here. The DVD provides acceptable picture and audio but includes no supplements. The lack of bonus materials disappoints, but I still recommend this amusing show.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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