Movie Review: Jeff Dunham: Controlled Chaos DVD

Jeff Dunham is back with his old friends and a couple of new ones in this 97 minute laugh riot starring ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his famous friends Peanut, Achmed, Walter, Jose and more.

Film making 20/25

Video 21/25

Audio 23/25

Bonus Features 16/25

Total 80/100

Jeff Dunham has been a comedian and ventriloquist for years and has brought laughter to the stage and television using topical humor and his own take on many subjects. Controlled Chaos is Jeff’s fourth DVD release along with his Comedy Central show which only aired for seven episodes.

While his sketch comedy routines fell on deaf ears his stage ventriloquist and comedian act has fans and newcomers alike laughing out loud, sometimes to tears. This truly is the first comedian I can remember who has brought tears to my eyes again and again with his routines using his puppets.

With ventriloquist acts on DVD being so scarce Jeff Dunham may be your only option for repeat performances that you can watch over and over again but they are worthy purchases. This is not a bad thing though as Jeff Dunham is really funny and this release just adds to the fun and entertaining world of ventriloquism mixed liberally with comedy.

Controlled Chaos brings back favorites of Jeffs show including Peanut, Walter and Achmed along with the unique puppet Jose Jalapeno on a stick and a couple newcomers. Jeff creates Achemd’s son and Peanut brings his own ventriloquism to the stage with a puppet of himself in a unique four voice piece that stretches Jeff’s ability and talent.

Dunham brings new life to his ventriloquist act by using the voices of Peanut, his own voice and the voice of the Dunham puppet at the same time then ups the ante by pulling out a hand puppet of peanut. How he controls the Dunham puppet is pretty easy to see but how in the world he keeps track of who he is supposed to be speaking as and who’s mouth he’s moving is plain amazing.

Like other great ventriloquist acts Jeff Dunham in Controlled Chaos does work hard and succeeds at bringing a new twist to ventriloquism that is both entertaining and funny. Jeff continues to break boundaries and uses topical issues along with personal stories to make you laugh including his recent divorce.

Jeff does not delve too deeply into controversial topics but just skirts the edges of the ones we like to hear about like his recent tour and the countries he has performed in. He does use some old jokes and with this DVD release does not really up the humor level compared to his other releases, especially Spark of Insanity.

Jeff was tear jerking funny in Spark of Insanity while Controlled Chaos is merely laugh inducing for the most part and really funny at times. Some of the jokes Jeff tells, or his puppets, are not funny at all and could easily be construed as racist or very politically incorrect but that goes with the territory when dealing with comedy.

Personally I did not find any of his humor in that bad a taste but others may not like it so he does press the boundaries somewhat. Whether you are a newcomer to Jeff Dunham or a repeat customer he does well with this outing but just does not bring his best work.

The DVD is in standard definition, has well done camera work to keep Jeff center stage but with enough variety to keep things interesting and looks good overall. The audio is clear at all times and you can specifically hear him well throughout his stage act, the DVD is surprisingly in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound.

There are several bonus features including a really good look at Jeff Dunham creating a part of the AchmedMobile which shows the creative genius of Dunham at work. Most of the features are very short, a minute or so but the outtakes and many of the short ones are funny and well worth watching again and again.

The Making of the Achmedmobile is a fourteen minute video showing how Dunham creates a masterpiece for his shows, not a puppet but a car ornament. Dunham uses a 3D scanner and printer to create the hood ornament instead of the old clay and foam sculpting method.

While this may not be as entertaining as his comedy and ventriloquist acts this does show the work that goes into some of his acts and the sideline parts for advertising. Any act or show has its unusual aspects and ventriloquism does have a lot of creative and artistic aspects which Jeff just takes to an extreme of cars that is really cool.

I was not really surprised when this DVD did not reach the same level of laughter that other releases had but it is still a worthy purchase to have one of the few ventriloquist acts on disc. Jeff Dunham: Controlled Chaos is well worth the purchase and funny enough to add to any entertainment collection.

Jeff Dunham Website

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