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DVD Review: Jamie Kennedy’s Blowin’ Up

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When the opportunity arose to review Jamie Kennedy’s Blowin’ Up DVD boxset, I’m afraid I volunteered with the thought that it would be something that I could watch and then totally and freely mock with no remorse at all.

This is the same guy who did Mask II: Son of the Mask, after all.

Now that I’ve had a chance to sit down and watch the two discs that comprise the set, discs consisting of the entire seven episode comedic-reality-based show entitled Blowin’ Up that aired originally on MTV and the assorted extras that were added into the DVD incarnation, I’m not quite sure how I feel.

Sure, I want to sit and mock the entire thing as being merely a scripted reprisal of what may or may not have occurred to bring about Jamie Kennedy’s signing with Warner Bros. and the eventual release of his new rap album, also entitled Blowin’ Up on said record label, but I find myself hesitating.

There was a voice in my head, you see, that asked me to reconsider.

While the voice that asked this may be delusional, as are many of the various voices that live in my head, the words it spoke reminded me of the occasional moments where I genuinely laughed at the situation and not the idea of the show itself.

From the opening moments where we see Jamie Kennedy and his ever present sidekick Stu Stone driving about in Kennedy’s Hummer and karaoke-rapping along with the radio all the way through the closing moments on the final episode where we see them, err, driving about in Kennedy’s Hummer and karaoke-rapping along with the radio during the closing credits, there is something present in this series that I wasn’t expecting to find.

Heart.

Sure, Kennedy and the boy-wonder-esque Stone are goofy and utterly ridiculous in their quest to be taken seriously as rappers throughout the entire series, but there is something that rings true and genuine in the midst of all the created goofiness.

No matter how many times their quest took them into contact with people who utterly walked away from their delusions (Kennedy’s own management team), nearly choked while laughing at the very idea of it all (Method Man, when desperately asked if he would rap with them on a track to help them gain “credibility”), or simply glared at them incredulously as if thinking they were insane (Bow Wow, when Kennedy confronts him about “taking” his spot on the celebrity basket-ball game at the NBA All-Star weekend), the duo of Kennedy and Stone remain convinced of their own destiny.

They are destined to “blow up” as rap stars, you see.

This would all happen as soon as someone — anyone — would wise up and give them the record deal that they so obviously deserve.

In their quest to get such a deal they manage to meet with Method Man, Ice-T, the Wu-Tang Clan, Jessica Simpson’s father, a Real-Estate Agent/Talent Broker, Bow-Wow, Paul Wall, and of course, Bob Saget.

Yeah, I said Bob Saget.

When told that they needed a “Dope Ass Rapper” to drop lyrics on one of their tracks in order to help them arrive at a record deal, the only celebrity that they could get on the phone to eventually help them out was Saget.

Saget, who does some of his best work in this series since… okay, who am I kidding? Saget does some of the only decent work he’s ever done in his career in this series, as he brilliantly portrays himself as an actor named Bob Saget.

It was as if he were born to the role, really.

Eventually, after stumbling over themselves multiple times, (Need an example? When Kennedy and Stone were distressed over how hard it was to get noticed, they decided to ambush a local “hot” celebrity and fake some paparazzi photos with her in order to get into the papers. Yeah, Mena Suvari probably now has a lifelong phobia of stalkers, thanks to this.) the guys eventually decide to shoot their own music video as a means of convincing people that they are serious.

Ultimately they had to, I suppose. Only a music video can take away the sting of being told that they were the “Hall and Oates” of rap, right?

After the video is shot, the show winds its way to the excruciatingly scripted tension of a moment where Kennedy and Stone are getting one precious tablespoon of respect from the Wu-Tang Clan while being told to tough it out as an independent without a label, and then, another moment where they are offered a deal with Warner Brothers.

Ooh, which path would they choose? If only they had someone filled with wisdom that they could ask for guidance! If only there were someone on the rap scene that could “fo shizzle” help them make their rap career sizzle!

They ask Snoop Dogg, of course.

After that, the show winds down to its end, and I find myself sitting here a day after watching it all, trying my best not to do the predictable review that makes fun of it all and lets everyone know that there is nothing of substance worth watching on this release.

But there is, so I can’t.

In spite of the camp-factor in every scene, despite the fact that I’m not quite sure that Jamie Kennedy is ever believable in any role other than that of Jamie Kennedy (does this mean he took acting lessons from Saget? Hmm…), and despite the fact that there is no way in hell that these guys are ever going to be considered as rappers…

I enjoyed myself as I watched this.

That’s basically all I ask for these days. Whether it is a movie, television show, album, or video game, I find that I can put up with the utterly ridiculous if it is genuine and not contrived.

Show me heart and show me passion, and I will forgive the lack of everything else, often.

Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone have shown me that they genuinely and unashamedly love hip-hop music, and would love nothing more in their life at the moment than to be allowed to be a part of it.

Even if that part is one of Court Jester.

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