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February 18, 2012

Movie Review: I Ain't Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac (2012)

I am a huge stand-up comedy fan. Hell, I did it for years. 2008 was a tough year for comedy fans. First, we lost George Carlin, arguably the most prolific stand-up in history. Less than two months later, we lost Bernie Mac at the young age of fifty. Not only did we lose a great stand-up, but a great comedic actor. He was the shining light in a few films that would be otherwise unwatchable, and he stood out in great ensemble films such as Life or Ocean's Eleven. With some great stories and insight from family and friends, we get a great look at a great comedian in this touching documentary.

Buy I Ain't Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac on DVD

It seemed like every person interviewed in this documentary spoke with a mix of sadness and joy. We hear from comedians, actors and directors. That list includes Steven Soderbergh, Andy Garcia and Carl Reiner from Ocean's Eleven, Kellita Smith and Camille Winbush from The Bernie Mac show, and his fellow Kings of Comedy. We hear the story of Mac's big break in comedy from Bill Bellamy, who was backstage when it all happened. We hear about Bernie on set of Head of State from Chris Rock.

The most amazing thing about the documentary is the involvement of Mac's wife and daughter. His daughter does all of the interviewing, and you can see her excitement in talking about her dad. When she's on camera with an interviewee, she absorbs the stories they share with excitement. When his wife is interviewed, she sits tall in her seat and talks about her husband with great pride. They share unseen footage of Bernie's stand-up, old television clips and even footage from his memorial service. It's amazing to watch, and it made me want to go back and watch his work. He only had fifty years on the planet, but he spent them well.

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