Bill Hicks: Totally Bill Hicks - It's Just A Ride/Revelations [DVD]
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Double bill dedicated to the late American stand-up comedian Bill Hicks. 'It's Just a Ride' features numerous clips of the man in action, along with tributes from Sean Hughes, Eric Bogosian, David Letterman and Eddie Izzard. 'Revelations' is a recording of Hicks' sell-out performance at the London Dominion Theatre in 1993.
The Bill Hicks - Totally DVD release consists of "Revelations", the outrageous comedian's last live performance, and "It's Just A Ride", a tribute to Hicks that features interviews with comic personalities such as Eddie Izzard, Sean Hughes, Jay Leno and David Letterman.
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Revelations is seriously let down because the first 10 minutes or so of this issue have been badly edited, so rather than Bill coming on stage and the comedy keeps rolling, instead what we get is Bill on stage - cut to 30 secs later - cut to 30 secs later, etc. We never get to see Bill's feelings on leaving LA "Bye, Bill, we'll be good!" and the choppy editing is annoying.
But worst is that for some unfathomable reason, whoever edited Revelations on this DVD release also decided to fade in images from the background during Bill's performance. So we get to see a burning US flag suddenly fill the picture, and at another point, the head of a baby with accompanying child noises. It's distracting, annoying, and entirely pointless.
If you really want a recording of Revelations to view, don't buy this release - instead get a standalone which hasn't been butchered the way this one has.
It's criminal that there are so few 'real' Bill Hicks performances available, but Totally Bill Hicks is the best of the bunch. The DVD contains a featurette about Hicks' life, and a live show recorded in London just a few months before his untimely (understatement) death.
The featurette 'It's Just a Ride' is brilliant. It plays before the live show on the DVD, and strangely enough, I find myself watching it the whole way through every single time. Aswell as showing us some brilliant bits from other shows (I absolutely love his explosive rant at commercial pop music) we get to hear from the people who knew him best, including his close friends, colleagues and even his family.
Revelations, the show itself, is pure Bill Hicks at his best. As Jay Leno also mentions in the featurette, it's noticeable that Bill was in a slower but more productive phase. That's not to say he puts on a dull performance here; he is angry, loud, pissed off, and not afraid to say or do what he wants.
What's sad is that while Bill does joke about things like the Persian gulf war, you can tell it was a subject that genuinely saddened him. He dreamed of a peaceful, explorational world (where we all make money doing nothing) yet was stuck in one of utter banality that was killing itself.
Bill Hicks was and still is an utter inspiration, in terms of being who you really are, in terms of taking what you can from the world, and in understanding everything you want to understand. The world is a colder place without Bill Hicks. But then again, it's just a ride.
I'm sure I don't really need to spell out what Hicks was about. Needless to say, it is a joy to see Hicks attacking such destructive and brainwashing concepts as religion, capitalism and, worst of all, commercial music!
The man was a legend....
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