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Jamie Foxx - Straight from the Foxxhole  Print E-mail
DVD Comedy
Written by Bryan Dailey   
Tuesday, 31 May 2005


title:
Jamie Foxx - Straight From the Foxxhole
studio:
Image Entertainment
MPAA rating: NR
starring: Jamie Foxx
TV broadcast year: 1993
DVD release year: 2005
film rating: Four Stars
sound/picture rating: One and a Half Stars
reviewed by: Bryan Dailey

When the Oscar buzz started surround comedic actor Jamie Foxx for his portrayal of gospel/R&B Legend Ray Charles in the Taylor Hackford-directed film “Ray,” the Foxx bandwagon kicked into high gear. Foxx was the focus of hundreds of entertainment news reports leading up to the Oscars and the producers of the Barbara Walters interview specials and the execs at ABC were so sure Foxx would take home Oscar gold that they slated an interview with him to run after the airing of the awards show.

With Foxx taking the award for best male actor in a leading role this year, it was no surprise that memories of his past have resurfaced in a big way. “In Living Color,” a show that Foxx was a featured player on for many years, is being re-issued season by season on DVD. Copies of “Ray” and “Collateral,” the latter earning Foxx an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, are flying off video store shelves as a result.


With Foxx taking the award for best male actor in a leading role this year, it was no surprise that memories of his past have resurfaced in a big way. “In Living Color,” a show that Foxx was a featured player on for many years, is being re-issued season by season on DVD. Copies of “Ray” and “Collateral,” the latter earning Foxx an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, are flying off video store shelves as a result.

Not only has Foxx’s well-known film work been released on DVD, but his first HBO stand-up special has now been put on DVD by Image Entertainment. Called “Straight From The Foxxhole,” this DVD gives those who are not familiar with this unbelievably talented comedian/actor/musician’s past a chance to see why he made it big and why he was chosen for the lead in “Ray.”

Comedians who have followed in the footsteps of the cutting-edge humor of Richard Pryor are a dime a dozen. A few ultra-successful names come to mind like Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, but most of these Pryor disciples are working in small clubs, trying to catch that big break. Foxx, no relation to Redd Foxx other than their mutual love of four-letter words, caught a great break in 1993 when he landed an hour-long comedy special on HBO, a network that has always taken chances on cutting-edge humor. At the time of this stand-up special, Foxx was making waves at “In Living Color” with his Wanda character, a mannish black lady with crossed eyes, large lips and a thick southern Ebonics accent. “Faa real though?” was her famous catchphrase and it was evident by the reaction that Foxx’s depiction of Wanda received that everyone in the house was waiting for Foxx to bring it forth.

Foxx is a mediocre impressionist from a vocal standpoint. However, his dance moves as Michael Jackson and Prince are dead on. With bits about Mike Tyson, Bill Cosby and others, he does impressions well enough to get the job done but you don’t close your eyes and think you are hearing the actual person. Sometimes there is something a little more humorous about hearing an impression that is close to the real thing but not perfect. What makes Foxx’s impressions so funny are the scenarios that he puts the characters in, most of which I can not even mention in this review.

Foxx’s stand-up is funny and he hits all of the gears as he works through his set, talking about everything from his popularity with the ladies since “In Living Color,” to trying to beat up a guy in a wheelchair (it’s not as mean as it sounds). The moment when his talent really shines through is when he sits down at the piano on the right side of the stage. As he sits down and starts playing, many in the audience do a double take. The Texas-born and raised comedian says, “Y’all didn’t think I could actually play, did ya?” with his smooth Southern accent.

As Foxx sings songs from his album Peep This, along with a few funny numbers, the audience quickly displays a new level of respect. Even when singing funny, goofball lyrics, the power in Foxx’s voice and skill in his fingers come gushing out. It’s no wonder that he was chosen to play the part of Ray Charles over 10 years later.

The only disappointing part about “Live from the Foxxhole” is the fact that are literally no extra features on the disc. Even a slide show of pictures from the disc of a little interview with Foxx today, reminiscing about the good old days, would have been a welcome addition. However, it was obvious that this disc was put together at maximum efficiency: capitalize on Jamie Foxx’s Oscar win and get a stand-up special out of the market as soon as possible. You can’t blame the discs producers for making this move, but I believe there is a lot more we could learn about this performer and unfortunately this disc is only a single snapshot in time of his career.

The sound on this disc is Dolby Digital Stereo and the picture quality is quite grainy. It was filmed in 1993 in a theater in San Diego, CA, and the clothing looks quite dated. Foxx took a page from the Eddie Murphy Book of Stand-Up Specials and wears a blue body suit. It’s not as over the top as the purple leather suit Murphy wore in his groundbreaking stand-up feature film “Raw,” but you can’t thinking that Foxx looks like a cross between Murphy and Bobby Brown in this get-up.

Retail price for a 58-minute stand-up comedy special DVD with no extras and only a stereo soundtrack might seem expensive but consider the alternative. A night with a date at a comedy club with its two-drink minimum, parking, tickets and dinner could set you back easily $100 to $200. Looked at in those terms, “Straight From the Foxxhole” is a bargain.



more details
sound format:
Dolby Digital 2.0
aspect ratio(s):
4:3 (Full Screen)
special features: None
comments: email us here...
   
reference system
DVD player: Kenwood DV-403
receiver: Kenwood VR-407
main speakers: Paradigm Atom
center speaker: Paradigm CC-170
rear speakers: Paradigm ADP-70
subwoofer: Paradigm PDR-10
TV: 27" Toshiba








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