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Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Baker Hall,
John C. Reilly,
I used to be a big Dennis Miller fan. His rants (later made to books) as well as his overall TV show on HBO was often smart and funny. He knew how to take good pot shots at all the angles. Then after 9/11, he started his decline (his latest show on TV is awful). Once his TV show on HBO ended, this special came. I was interested to see what he had to say, and I *tried* to not put a political bias in my way of liking it or not. But the problem is that, aside from the material verging into just aimless pontification and even talking points from the right-wing, it's just not up to par with his past stand-up stuff. Sometimes a funny line will come up when talking about celebrities (the Willem Dafoe joke was my favorite). However with the political jokes, he doesn't seem to even get as big laughs, per say, from the audience as he gets applause for his lines. It's also of note that the special was taped right before Bush plunged the US into Iraq, and from here you can clearly tell his alliances. It's somewhat of a drag seeing how he's so drastically changed in nine or ten years from his special in 93 (he used to be not necessarily liberal or conservative, somewhere in the middle, not so here), but I didn't want to care about his bias while watching it. Meanwhile, it seemed as though the audience itself had a bias. What I cared about was if the jokes worked, the ironies, and it just didn't do it for me. I'd rank it as my least favorite special of his, despite a few laugh-out-loud jabs. C-
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