6.7/10
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12 user 1 critic

Margaret Cho: CHO Revolution (2004)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Margaret Cho ... Herself
Bruce Daniels ... Himself
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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Margaret Cho: Cho Revolution See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Color:

Color
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Quotes

Bruce Daniels: Like, some straight white guy comes up to me and says, "Dude. Dude. Dude. You're like fuckin' whiter than I am." Okay, first of all, you're over 30, you can't say dude anymore. Second, just because I use proper English doesn't make me whiter than you, just smarter than you.
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Connections

Follows Margaret Cho: Notorious C.H.O. (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Never laughed so hard at dieting before!
4 June 2004 | by tevansonSee all my reviews

It's almost impossible to avoid comparisons Cho's previous effort, her tour de force, "Notorious C.H.O." (2002). In many ways, it would be an unfair comparison. "Notorious C.H.O." was in front of a much larger audience, during what almost everyone agrees was Cho's best comedy tour ever. Cho worked almost every major theme she's ever utilized into the routine. The result was a mesmerizing foray into self-loathing, gender, femininity, weight, dieting, beauty, race, family, love, fame, television, politics and sexuality. It was cathartic for performer and audience alike. Listening to Cho discourse on her ill-fated television show while raking TV executives and weight-phobic misogynists over the coals was, and remains, something not to be missed.

It would be asking the impossible to top such a magnificent performance. And, in fact, we should not ask Margaret Cho to do so.

That said, I think that while "Revolution" is an able comedy film, it is not necessarily Margaret Cho's best work. Technical issues stand out almost immediately. Chalk it up to my bad hearing, the theater's awful sound system, or perhaps poor sound recording by the film-maker himself. Whatever. The sound quality of the film was particularly poor. This afflicts the film not only in the opening sequence (we visit with Cho and warm-up act, the openly gay comedian Bruce Daniels, in a limo on the way to the theater) but various moments in the film itself (particularly when Cho gets too close to the mike).

The other technical problem with the film is that the camera work is simply not as good as in "Notorious C.H.O." Cinematographer Kirk Miller worked the camera for "Notorious C.H.O." (both times working for director Lorene Machado). But the magic is simply not there. Perhaps that is due to the venue. The stage is much smaller, and the wings less expansive. But whatever the problem is, much of the film is a face-on film of Cho's performance. The wonderful movement and lyricism of "Notorious C.H.O." is missing here.

The content of the film is somewhat uneven as well, which is almost solely due to Cho's performance.

It's not the audience. They are in stitches, howling with laughter at even the weakest jokes and tall tales. They cheer at even the mildest political criticism. They give Cho a standing ovation at the end of her show.

The film starts out strong enough, with Cho pulling a very funny physical bit of humor with her costume.

But the show falters afterward. Comedic routines just get started, and then they are put on hold during which there are long pauses. None of the routines really go anywhere, or are linked thematically or narratively. Indeed, each of the humorous bits is very short. That's the biggest problem: They really don't build up enough of a head of steam to really get the film's audience in the mood. Just as you're working up a good head of steam for that continuous, 30-minute laugh-a-thon, Cho stops working the audience and the humor.

This is not to say that Cho is unfunny. To the contrary, she nails almost everything she does extremely well.

There is one outrageous skewering of the type-casting Cho has to confront in Hollywood. As Cho imitates the various ethnic stereotypes she's been asked to play, she mimics the physical as well as ethical contortions she'd have to go through in order to play these awful roles. It is superb comedy.

Cho's best moment, however, comes in the film lengthiest segment. Cho, who is rightly infuriated at the unrealistic and misogynistic weight-goals Western women are held to, talks about a very, very unhappy result of her six-month "persimmon diet." If you don't find the whole fifteen minutes of the bit funny, then you aren't alive.

I swear, I haven't laughed so hard since I read the "fudge-colored towels" bit in David Sedaris' "Naked" or the wedding scene chapter in Joe Keenan's "Blue Heaven."

"Revolution" ends on a really high note. It's not funny, but it is good and it ties the film together very well.

At a mere 1 hour and 10 minutes, "Revolution" is a much shorter film than "Notorious C.H.O." But that's the film's saving grace, in a way.

I recommend "Revolution" to anyone who wants to spend a pleasant hour laughing.


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