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Hicks, Bill Live: Satirist, Social Critic, Stand Up Comedian [DVD] [2004]

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: RYKODISC
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Oct. 2004
  • Run Time: 210 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0004Z33FK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,584 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Ultimately, this release is a very mixed blessing. Although this disk contains material from all three previous DVDs, the quality has indeed suffered. As you may expect from an NTSC format and a compression that gets 3.5 hours on one disc, the quality of picture and sound is below that of the individual PAL releases. Not awful, but certainly inferior.

As ardent fans will know, the main attraction to this disk is the inclusion of RELENTLESS, which has not previously appeared on DVD. This makes it's shortcomings all the more irritating. It's frustrating and bizarre that this performance claims a 'missing' 10 min segment, whereby the quality suddenly dips to sub-VHS standard towards the end of the performance. As the UK tape version includes all of this 'added' material in perfect quality, it is a somewhat confusing fault with this DVD. It's also tragic to note that this section is the absolute highlight of the performance (the 'Drugs and Rock music' classic).

That annoyance aside, if you aren't too concerned about having 'perfect quality' transfers, or if you're completely new to Bill Hicks, this a cheap and concise record of his work. However, die-hard Hicks disciples should note that because of the imperfect transfer mentioned, and since the quality of each individual UK (region 2) release is higher, you might want to wait for the UK release of Relentless rather than buy it within this omnibus disk.

Update (08/08/2014): Okay, so Relentless was eventually released on it's own. Sadly, however, the same dip in quality mentioned above is also present in the individual release as well. A huge shame.
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If you're a fan of Bill Hicks, try to get hold of this dvd instead of "One Night Stand" or "Totally". Both of those shows are included here, plus the brilliant "Relentless" which was filmed at the Montreal Comedy Festival.
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great value dvd with his last three shows. so sad that he died so young, comedy legend
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x89bac3a8) out of 5 stars 85 reviews
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89c12b88) out of 5 stars His status as a legend is SECURED 14 Nov. 2004
By John S Harris - Published on
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As one who worked in comedy clubs for years and saw hundreds and hundreds of so-called comedians, I can assert that only a handful of comics make a lasting impression.

Hicks was one of those. Though I only got to see him onstage for one week's worth of shows in 1987, his body of work thankfully became more commercially available over the next decade.

Hicks is one of the rare comics with a point of view that both skewers and embraces Mankind. He loved his country and his fellow man, and that gave him license to stab and poke at their flaws. He championed THOUGHT as the means to combat Mediocrity and the Sheep Mentality.

This DVD is a sufficient look into his mastery of his craft and his unflinching control over his audience. Sometimes his control of the audience was mixed with disdain towards them, too. But it was closer to "tough love" than animosity or condescension.

Not everyone will recognize Bill's brilliance and not everyone will "get" the humor. Actually, the brighter you are the more likely you will appreciate Bill Hicks.

Buy this DVD and be elevated to a higher understanding of how the interactive medium of stand-up can be used as a persuasive pulpit not for bullying or mass entertainment but for communal introspection and self-examination.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89c152f4) out of 5 stars "was i wrong? i wasn't, was i?" 6 Oct. 2004
By anotherspaceboy - Published on
sick of the lies all politicians spew?

tired of having every aspect of your life turned into a commodity to be bought or sold by a corporation?

don't understand how cigarettes and drugs are the devil but alcohol is the fountain of youth?

what i'm asking is : do you want the truth? truth you know, truth you can feel in your bones, truth like when you were a kid truth?

just buy this dvd. even if you've heard it all before, you have to see it like this.
49 of 60 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89a12af8) out of 5 stars The true successor to Lenny Bruce... 6 Oct. 2004
By criderman - Published on
...but, unfortunately, he never was allowed to reach the peak of his success due to cowardly television and recording executives, and, again like Bruce, due to being a victim and slave to his own excesses--before I go on, I do not own a copy of this DVD, but before any of the usual suspects gets on your high horses to castigate me for reviewing a DVD I've never seen, I correct all of you in advance by answering, that yes, I have seen all this material before--the HBO special, I saw--duh!--on HBO and was one of his few attempts at commercial success as the material is watered-down but no less hilarious, just not as risky and compelling--and the rest I saw on two different PAL format VHS tapes I purchased in the Amsterdam airport gift shop--one was the same Relentless show and that one is later than the HBO special but earlier than the Revelations show--the Relentless show is one of the most funny but haunting comedy sets I have ever seen--Hicks performs all of the material on a dark stage only lit by a spotlight--this is the show that most of the Hicks fans out there will recognize their favorite bits from--the Revelations and the documentary was on the other of the VHS tapes I bought and was called "Totally Bill Hicks"--the Revelations show was haunting, but in a different way--the stage is garishly lit and he is introduced by blaring rock and roll, reminiscent of a Sam Kinison show--but by the middle of the set, Hicks is obviously SKYhigh, and by letting his true demons and inner self out, he skirts all the way to the edge of the abyss, just to pirouette and come back just enough to finish the show--all in all, I have to have this DVD just because upon my return to the US, I had the tapes transferred to NTSC format and they lost a lot of quality, but for the first time viewer or even some Hicks fans, seeing him live for the first time on these discs will be a shocking experience that you didn't or wouldn't get from the CDs--straight arrows, get ready for the drug humor, Republicans, get ready for the Bush-bashing, prudes, get ready for the porn jokes and racists, get ready for the OJ riots as seen from a white man's eyes--I say Hicks is the true successor to Bruce and not Richard Pryor as Hicks was brutal in his political satire and that's what kept him in the end from his exposure to a wider audience, wheras Pryor was more of a successor to Redd Foxx for the race and sex humor--your David Crosses, Janeane Garafalos and all the other (who I call) grunge humorists? That's right--with no Bill Hicks, they'd be doing airplane and 7-11 jokes like all the rest--David Letterman, shame on you for letting this brave and talented man down and shame on you, dear reader, if you don't spend the paltry sum required to see a true comedic genius in action--don't let him slip away in the pages of the cult performer like Bruce--highly recommended!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89ca0174) out of 5 stars Still fresh, still funny, still gives aural paper cuts 28 Oct. 2004
By Clare Quilty - Published on
In a perfect world, Bill Hicks would've found the kind of fame and fortune and acceptance that went to other stand-up comics who parlayed their material into multi-million dollar sit-coms.

But we don't live in a perfect world, and that's one of the things that fueled Hicks' art. It almost makes sense that he died underheard, underpaid, censored and young.

The good news is that most of the things he railed against way back in the early 90s -- the war in Iraq, President Bush, awful pop music, closed-mindedness against drugs, corporate co-opting, advertising and smoking -- are all still pretty fresh topics.

This DVD includes his 1991 performance at Chicago's Old Vic Theatre (which was made as an HBO "One Night Stand"), his 1991 gig at the Montreal International Comedy Festival, his 1991 "Revelations" show at the Dominion Theatre in England and the documentary about his career, "It's Just a Ride," which aired in chopped-up form on Comedy Central years ago.

It's a great collection of material that is frightening, harrowing, intense and always, always incredibly funny. Required viewing for anybody who thinks more than, say, ten hours a day.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a10ee64) out of 5 stars Memories of one of Bill's high school teachers 20 Feb. 2009
By Ole Blue-Haired Lady - Published on
I can't resist recording here that I was twice Bill Hick's high school teacher: For freshman algebra and for senior English. I was proud that I was one of the teachers he gave no trouble, mostly because I left him alone regarding trivia so long as he tested out OK. He was above average in both subjects. A few days before graduation, I took him aside and told him that I had become a pretty jaded audience but that I could tell that he was really special. He didn't seem especially impressed. I never flattered myself that I was an influence in his life, but I did know quality when I saw it. He was not a class clown, actually seemed rather sad and withdrawn much of the time, but he was no outcast; he had the respect of the "in group," I think. The only gag I remember: "I wanted to be an orthodontist, but my parents insist that I become a comedian."
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