Sunday, September 14, 2014

Marc Maron: Thinky Pain - 2013

"Marc Maron: Thinky Pain" - 2013
Dir. by Lance Bangs - 1 hr. 37 min.


by Clayton Hollifield

I've been warming up to Marc Maron lately; I've been listening to random episodes of his podcast for a year or two now (not every episode, but when someone interesting to me is the guest), I finally gave in and started watching episodes of his TV show (I'm four or five episodes into the first season.  I've been aware of him for quite a while - I remember seeing him host some stand-up show on Comedy Central what must have been like twenty-five years ago - but he's not someone who I've kept up with his work over the years.  So why not dive into a stand-up special/movie (I don't know exactly how to categorize this)?

There's two big things that I think need to be explained.  First, I'd usually do a plot recap here, and that's pointless.  This is ninety minutes of Marc Maron doing stand-up comedy.  There, you're all caught up.  Secondly, when I settled on a way to rate movies that I watch, I figured that three out of five (and above) meant that I'd be willing to watch the film again, at some unspecified point in the future.  Anything less than that pretty much sums up the lengths I'd go to in order to avoid watching a movie again.  I've watched a few stand-up specials over the years, some of them repeatedly.  I've watched or listened to Dave Chappelle's "Killin' Them Softly" probably a minimum of a dozen times, and I'd watch it again in a heartbeat, no matter what point in the run time I stumbled across it.  That's a five of five.  Sadly, I also had Pauly Shore's CD, "Future of America," on repeat for much of my high school years, so take that for what it's worth.

I enjoyed Maron's comedy.  He's often repeated that his podcast is the best thing he's done in his life, and I'd agree with that.  His comedy isn't bad; he's angry, and often self-lacerating, but you'd know that before long, and know whether or not it's your kind of comedy.  I kind of like it.  I'd probably not want to watch "Thinky Pain" again.  It's not like I'd pitch a fit and whine about it if someone else wanted to watch it, but I'd also probably spent that time half-listening to it while playing around on the internet.  I haven't seen anything else by Maron in so long that I couldn't tell you whether or not this was a matter of him not being at top form (although I don't think that's the case - he's pretty sharp), or whether the material was uncharacteristically weak (again, I doubt that, but I couldn't speak authoritatively).  I liked "Thinky Pain."  I laughed all the way through it.  I'm like 95% sure that, given the choice of re-watching "Thinky Pain" or checking out something else that he's done (whether that be more stand-up, an episode of his show, or an episode of his podcast), I'd check out something else that he's done.

I don't think that means that "Thinky Pain" is weak, or mediocre or anything.  I had a good time.  I want to stress that, that I had a good time.  I just don't want to re-watch everything that I see.  This was good, but not transcendent, and there's nothing wrong with that.  If I'm getting defensive, it's because I don't people to think that I hated, or even disliked "Thinky Pain."  Once was enough, however.

2.5 / 5 - Streaming

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