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Blu-Ray, DVD Review: ‘Eastbound & Down,’ ‘Tracy Morgan: Black and Blue’

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CHICAGOHBO brought two of their most outgoing personalities to Blu-ray and DVD last week with the releases of “Eastbound & Down: The Complete Second Season” and “Tracy Morgan: Black and Blue.” Both are a step down from the best that these men have offered the comedy world but they also feature enough quality laughs for fans of Danny McBride and the controversial star of “30 Rock.”

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

The first season of HBO’s “Eastbound & Down” was a thing of beauty. Co-created by the great David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”), Jody Hill (“Observe and Report”), and star Danny McBride (“Your Highness”), it was a fearlessly raunchy piece of work in a medium so often defined by trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator. The second season was a bit of a step down from the hysterical first chapter but it eventually built to a pretty impressive finale and HBO does well by the show’s fans with the Blu-ray release of their favorite show.

Eastbound and Down: The Complete Second Season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 2nd, 2011
Eastbound and Down: The Complete Second Season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 2nd, 2011
Photo credit: HBO Home Video

In season two, Kenny Powers (McBride) headed deep south of the border to Copales, Mexico, a location choice that seems mostly-inspired by the opportunity to give Kenny another manner in which to talk about his “cock.” Kenny left behind North Carolina (and, in a slight misstep, most of the talented supporting cast from season one) and every bit of fame and fortune.

Tracy Morgan: Black and Blue was released on DVD on August 2nd, 2011
Tracy Morgan: Black and Blue was released on DVD on August 2nd, 2011
Photo credit: HBO Home Video

Of course, Kenny is addicted to fame like a junkie is addicted to his drugs and he can’t help but try and find it again…just in Mexico instead of the South. Kenny Powers is still seeking fame, respect, and adoration through the haze of his insane ego. He’ll never give up.

Other supporting players in season two include a love interest for Kenny (the gorgeous Ana De La Reguera), the maniacal owner (Michael Pena) of Kenny’s new team, his manager (Marco Rodriguez), and a neighbor (Efren Ramirez) who helps Kenny out when he makes mistakes like shooting Stevie in the leg. The great Don Johnson appears late in the season. Stick with it till then. You won’t regret it.

The Blu-ray release of “Eastbound & Down: The Complete First Season” presents the seven episodes on two discs and it’s heavy with special features includes deleted scenes, audio commentaries, outtakes, “Big Red Cockfighting,” and “Invitation to the Set.”

“Eastbound” is the one to buy if you can only afford one release from HBO but if you like your larger-than-life personalities doubled, Tracy Morgan’s latest stand-up special “Black and Blue” is worth a look. Personally, I think the reason that Morgan works so well on “30 Rock” but has never really worked in a movie is simple — he’s best in small doses. Accordingly, his stand-up special starts strong but wears out its welcome long before the 60-minute running time (or the 15 minutes of “hilarious extended footage.”) Watch it in 15-minute chunks. It’s the best way to appreciate Tracy.

“Eastbound & Down: The Complete Second Season” and “Tracy Morgan: Black and Blue” were both released on August 2nd, 2011. “Eastbound” is available on both Blu-ray and DVD while “Tracy” is DVD-only.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

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