DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007 Rating: Not Rated Running Time: 60 Minutes
Straight from the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, Massachusetts, politically incorrect Bill Maher does his eighth stand-up special. If you’ve never heard of Bill Maher then you obviously have never watched any news show ever or just are completely oblivious to everything in political comedy. He was the host of the renowned discussion show Politically Incorrect, currently hosts Real Time With Bill Maher, and has views on anything and everything that happens in the world today.
His stand-up routine is almost exactly the kind of thing you would see on an episode of any of his series except that now he’s talking about it solely on his own. As if you may not already know, one of the biggest topics during his set is about President Bush and the “good” job he’s done while in the White House. It is totally uncensored and he doesn’t dare take a step back and try not to step on anyone’s toes here. He is going to say exactly what he is thinking and he’s not afraid who he may offend or upset. I admire that because it takes a lot of guts to not give a damn what the world thinks of you.
Maher doesn’t simply stay on the political track as he discusses his wife, the airlines, sexuality, and a hilarious short bit about Sheryl Crow. He does nothing to keep his foul language to himself, but it is presented in a very civil manner if you can truly believe that. Instead of those comedians that use it as a way to liven up the punch lines to unfunny jokes or to simply shock the audience, Maher uses it as transition points and noteworthy adjectives. He’s a dirty comedian that uses actual events going on in the world to get his point across rather then being the dirty comedian that needs to talk about sex at all times to get his non-point across.
This may drive some of you away, but I urge you to reconsider before veering away from this special. Bill Maher is going to make you think. Hold on just a second and don’t stop reading. It is comedy and it is going to make you laugh, but the way he presents his material is going to have you thinking about things that may never register as you watch the nightly news or CNN. All you hear may make you just sit up and take a bit more notice to what is going on in the world around you and not look at it in total dread and with complete despair. Now you may see a political leader step up to the podium to discuss the country’s future and be able to laugh just by looking at them. More humor is needed in the world today and Bill Maher presents it.
The show is presented in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen format and is as good as you can expect for a stand-up comedy routine. It is a nice transfer to DVD and except for how pale Bill appears, all looks good.
The show is heard in Stereo Sound and is just fine. Maher can be heard clearly at all times and the laughter and applause is at a nice volume as well.
Bill Maher Finds A Purpose In Life – Maher comes back out and reads a little from Rick Warren’s book, “A Purpose Driven Life.” He reads a little bit from a couple chapters in the Christianity-driven book and proceeds to rip the book to shreds in quite an amusing fashion. He goes on for a good nine minutes and it is quite funny and really should have been left in the show itself.
The Inside Pulse
In a bit of a difference then most of the comedic performances I’ve reviewed, you may end up being offended by Bill Maher but not by his filthy and disgusting material. Your views are going to be beaten upon, your hopes will be dashed, and your balloons of kindness and goodness will be shot down in an instant. Maher does not hold anything back and while I’m not totally up on everything going on in the world today, I still was able to follow along with everything he discussed. As I’ve said, you aren’t going to enjoy this DVD if you are offended easily and don’t enjoy political humor. For those of you that see a lighter side to everything, then this is a comedy set for you. The topics discussed (including a fantastic U.S./Mexico border Wal-Mart scenario) are going to crack you up and have the gears of your mind turning at full speed. The special feature is nothing more then an encore but it is just as hilarious as the rest of the show. Still it is the only feature included so that score takes down the overall in the long run. Check this DVD out sometime unless you’re scared to be proven wrong and end up a bit smarter.
The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Bill Maher: The Decider