Eddie Izzard-Dress to Kill (1999)

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Released 11-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Eddie Izzard
Featurette-Dress To Circle, Paris (Performed In French)
Gallery-Montage - America 1998
On-Screen Information Track-Trivia Track
Web Links
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 114:08
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (25:38) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Lawrence Jordan
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Eddie Izzard
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
German
Italian
Dutch
Danish
Swedish
Norwegian
French
English Information
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Eddie Izzard is a somewhat unconventional stand-up comedian. The fact that he is openly proud of his transvestitism is intriguing - and this alone makes him a person who warrants at least one viewing. Thankfully, Izzard is more than "just" a transvestite - he is a genuinely funny comedian. Rather than suffer my inadequate description of his personal history and lifestyle choices, why don't you check out his excellent website, which can be found here.

    Prefaced by a (presumably) home video of a cable car heading towards Alcatraz, reminiscent of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail disc spoof intro, this DVD presents Izzard in an extensive award-winning live show in San Francisco (or The City if you prefer) in 1999. Looking like a significantly more butch version of Julian Clary, he manages to cover a wide range of topics in his diatribe, which is based loosely around the history of religion, the British Empire, war and of course...squirrels. There are few actual jokes in Izzard's work. Instead, he is happy to present a social commentary with his own intelligent, albeit slightly askew view, coupled with an occasional dalliance with surreal gibberish. Indeed, there are one or two moments that recall Monty Python - the "Cake or Death" routine was more than a little reminiscent of the "bridge of death" scene from the aforementioned Python DVD.

    The back cover of the disc proclaims that this is "very, very funny" and a "dazzling West Coast debut". The latter may well be true...the former is open to debate. I like Eddie Izzard. He is witty, acidic and occasionally very funny. On this disc he is generally funny but by no means will this have you holding your sides lest they split. I laughed out loud on several occasions, and admired Izzard's ability to maintain a coherent flow through his extensive set. What I did not do, however, was weep openly as I would have done with a similarly lengthy Billy Connolly set. His humour is intelligent in the main, but he resorts a little too often to stating the bleeding obvious. It is hardly controversial to decry Adolph Hitler (even being so "daring" as to call him a Nazi s***head), but perhaps the (somewhat misjudged) jokes about skewering babies on metal spikes could qualify as rather more shocking. He comes across as a well educated, politely insulting, self-deprecating comedian...in make-up and comfortable heels.

    What this DVD will do is provide a generally entertaining couple of hours. For fans of the man, this will be well worth a purchase as it is lengthy, well produced and contains some substantial extras. Those in the know may recognise his sans-drag acting abilities (hinted at by his impressions of Sean Connery and James Mason) as witnessed in movies such as Velvet Goldmine and Mystery Men. For fans of smart stand-up, this will be a borderline purchase but certainly a worthwhile rental. For wannabe cross-dressing comedians, this is an essential addition to your DVD library, but for homophobes (despite the fact that Eddie is assuredly heterosexual) this will be as popular as a fart in a spacesuit.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this transfer is very good given the nature of the source.

    The video is presented in an aspect ratio of (approximately) 1.33:1 and it is certainly not 16x9 enhanced. The DVD back cover claims the feature is presented at 1.85:1 and the "original theatrical aspect ratio"...it is not - as watching it in widescreen format will all too soon reveal. The main feature is acceptably sharp throughout - particularly on a standard television set. On a larger display (such as a projector) the sharpness is tested rather more strenuously and softness creeps in on occasion.

    There are no dark scenes to really test black levels or shadow detail. As far as it goes however, both are acceptable. Colours are normally cleanly rendered and whilst often verging on over-saturating, there is no hint of colour bleeding. Skins tones are just dandy.

    There are no significant MPEG artefacts. Edge enhancement was not noticed and aliasing was not an issue on my set-up. In addition, film (video) artefacts are absent, and this is essentially a spotless transfer.

    The English subtitles are well timed and easy to read. They follow the monologue fairly closely, conveying the humour well...or as well as a subtitle track can.

    The disc is in RSDL (single sided, dual layered) format, with the layer change cropping up at 25:38. The change is certainly noticeable, and mildly disruptive to the flow.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The overall audio transfer is perfectly fine given the nature of the content.

    The English audio track is a Dolby Digital 2.0 affair, encoded at 192 kbps. The other audio track present is the commentary by Izzard - an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mix, also encoded at 192 kbps.

    There are no significant defects present. Hiss, clicks, distortion and dropouts take a holiday. Dialogue is, importantly, always clear and audio sync is fine throughout.

    There is very little in the way of music present - somewhat unsurprisingly given this is a stand-up comedy routine. The music, such as it is, is credited to Sarah Townsend but plays no significant role.

    The overall audio stage is of course overwhelmingly frontal. The surrounds and subwoofer have nothing to do.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are some surprisingly good extras present.

Menu

    The main menu is a nicely animated jobbie, allowing the options of playing the main show, choosing one of twenty chapter stops, activating numerous subtitles or viewing the following extras:

Dress To Circle

    An extensive, and impressive, feature running for an amazing 55:49 and presented at 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced) with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps. This is a "Raw Cut" of Izzard's Circle stage show performed live in a totally credible (to my limited Year 10 linguistic ears) French incarnation. It is available with English subtitles. A veritable second show for the price of one, this is without doubt more entertaining than the main flick...and gee, is Eddie's French impressive! Those of you who who want to study French, throw away those musty old textbooks and pick up this DVD.

America 1998

    A self-indulgent photographic slideshow, shot in oh-so-cool black and white with tear-inducing violins showing Izzard mincing around the good ole US of A. Running for 6:26 and presented at 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced) with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Commentary Track

    Amazingly - possibly amusingly - for a stand up comedy routine, there is a full commentary track available. Eddie Izzard provides a critique of the show which is worth a listen for fans. It is of interest because you get to hear the "real" Eddie as he watches himself perform. Slightly amusing and certainly an unusual addition. Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 kbps.

Trivia Track

    A mildly disruptive, yet strangely engrossing trivia track which runs beneath the main feature. This presents all sorts of interesting - and yet trivial - factoids about the topics covered in the set. Fun.

Web Link

    C'mon. If you need an explanation, try an Adam Sandler DVD instead.

Commentary Tracks

    Another link to the above mentioned commentary, PLUS the ability to watch the above mentioned Circle show with another English Izzard commentary.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 release appears to be the same. Buy whichever can be found at the lowest price.

Summary

    Dress To Kill is a rather nice introduction to the comedy stylings of Eddie Izzard. There is little here to truly shock, but there is enough comedic insight present to make most people laugh several times. This is a perfectly satisfying waste of a couple of hours for comedy aficionados, but is worthy of purchase by fans only.

    The video quality is very good for a stand-up comedy show.

    The audio transfer is fine - no more, no less.

    Extras are substantial (and quite impressive) given the nature of the main feature.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Monday, January 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDHarmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
'Circle' also coming on DVD - REPLY POSTED