Posted: 02/20/2012

 

I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen




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Image Entertainment and One Village Entertainment proudly present I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac

Known as one the “Kings of Comedy,” Mac was one of the brightest and most influential comics to ever walk onto a stage, and here is a documentary that’s as unpredictable as the man himself. Famous for his ribald stand-up and hilarious TV show, most fans have no idea of the life Mac led offstage.

Mac (who passed away in 2008) won over the audience with his very first appearance on “Def Comedy Jam,” when he took the microphone and exclaimed to the crowd, “I Ain’t Scared of You!” It was his sharp-tongued humor, mastered in the streets of Chicago, that had people rolling in the aisles, but it was Mac’s sly smile and warm wit that kept them coming back.

The DVD follows the development of Mac’s unique performance style and his rise to fame. A tireless perfectionist, his comedy broke through barriers and made Mac an iconic figure in the entertainment world. The film unearths early footage and never-before-seen performances, courtesy of Mac’s friends and family. In addition, his better-known work, such as the Kings of Comedy Tour, The Bernie Mac Show and several of his feature films, are included, along with fascinating behind-the-scenes memories. These memories include his HBO show, local performances at Milt Trenier’s and the old Cotton Club in Chicago.

Directed by Robert Small (Back from Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison) and executive produced by Small and Rhonda McCullough (Mac’s wife), the DVD features exclusive interviews with his co-stars, colleagues and friends, including Anthony Anderson, Tom Arnold, Angela Bassett, Bill Bellamy, Cedric the Entertainer, Don Cheadle, Cameron Diaz, Mike Epps, Andy Garcia, D.L. Hughley, Warren Hutcherson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ali LeRoi, Je’niece McCullough (Mac’s daughter), Rhonda McCullough, Carl Reiner, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Kellita Smith, Steven Soderbergh, Joe Torry and Camille Winbush.

Mac’s daughter conducted many of these interviews with each story contributing to the picture of Mac as an exceptional artist, husband, father and friend. She proudly holds her own, while chatting with Hollywood legends. Fellow comedians Steve Harvey, Hughley, Epps, Rock and Cedric the Entertainer have nothing but high praise for Mac. Diaz comments that many of the scenes in the Charlie’s Angels movie were done right “off-the-cuff,” and directors just let Mac roll with it. Reiner, a comedic icon himself, also spoke highly of Mac.

I loved this DVD; it shows Bernie’s road to stardom, with a love for Chicago and his wife and daughter that couldn’t be disputed. I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac is available February 21 on DVD and Digital Download. For more information, visit www.image-entertainment.com

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago, who also serves as a news editor for FilmMonthly.com



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