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Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert

Subjects many people think are no laughing matter get treated as just that in "Allah Made Me Funny," a concert film documenting a tour by Muslim-American stand-up talents Mohammed "Mo" Amer, Bryant "Preacher" Moss and Azhar Usman.

With:
With: Mohammed “Mo” Amer, Bryant “Preacher” Moss, Azhar Usman.

Subjects many people think are no laughing matter get treated as just that in “Allah Made Me Funny,” a concert film documenting a tour by Muslim-American stand-up talents Mohammed “Mo” Amer, Bryant “Preacher” Moss and Azhar Usman. Released to Landmark Cinemas Oct. 3, this amusing rather than laugh-out-loud funny project is best suited to smallscreen exposure. Theatrical playoff will provide a quick prelude to ancillary.

While the concept is stimulating, there’s actually too little political comedy here, as most yucks center on traditional men-vs.-women, my-funny-family material of middling inspiration. Before a conspicuously multicultural Los Angeles crowd, performers’ routines — notably lacking in profanity — are separated by brief docu sequences profiling their home lives and creative processes. Houston-raised Palestinian emigre Amer is likable, but his writing is too often innocuous. Bushy-bearded Chicagoan Usman, of Subcontinental Indian heritage, has some sharper crosscultural observances. Best is saved for last, as Washington, D.C.-based “Preacher” Moss confidently spins humor from claimed twin-pariah status as both Muslim- and African-American. Yet even his material is good, not great. Presentation is pro.

Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert

Production: A Truly Indie release of a Unity Prods. Foundation production in association with Spark Media and Handshake Prods. Produced by Andrea Kalin, Bryant Moss, Azhar Usman. Executive producers, Alex Konemer, Michael Wolfe. Directed by Andrea Kalin.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-DV), John Rhode, Bryan Sarkinen; editor, David Grossbach; production designer, Jennifer Spence.Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, Sept. 22, 2008. Running time: 83 MIN.

With: With: Mohammed “Mo” Amer, Bryant “Preacher” Moss, Azhar Usman.

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