Eddie Izzard-Circle (2002)

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Released 11-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Eddie Izzard
Featurette-Circle Tour
Informational Subtitles-Trivia Track
Featurette-Dress To Circle (Paris, Raw Cut)
Web Links
Screen Saver
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 81:34 (Case: 161)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
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 for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
German
Italian
Dutch
Danish
Swedish
Norwegian
French
English Information
Smoking Yes, the tiniest bit at the start
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 back on DVD with the release of Circle. For those not aware of the man, he is quite probably the most famous transvestite stand-up comedian since err...Dame Edna Everage. Actually, he really is a transvestite full-time - not just for stage shows. One of the more interesting aspects of Izzard's show is that his dressing preference is paid little more than a passing mention. His comedy shines through the make-up and suspenders, to the extent that after a few minutes you completely forget that you are watching a man in ladies clothing. He doesn't wear a dress during the performance - choosing instead a dashing combination of leather pants, glittery black shirt and diamante necklace to complement his stiletto boots and teased hair. Izzard is a d*** funny comedian, whose intelligence is self-evident as soon as he opens his mouth. He has an excellent website which can be found here if you wish to find out a bit more background info on the man himself.

    This set was filmed in New York in 2000. Whilst he covers some of the themes which he mentions in Dress To Kill (a review of which can be found here), he doesn't actually repeat any of his earlier material. For my money, Circle is a much wittier, and far funnier routine. Once again, he eschews standard jokes and instead presents a wide-ranging and hilarious journey through the quirks of various religions and wars. I particularly enjoyed his "Jesus and the dinosaurs" segment, but there are many gems present in this eighty minute show including mad cows, seals and their ball skills, plus the chortle-inducing concept of the "stoned Olympics". My favourites have to be the "Popeman and Altar Boy" and the "Death Star cafeteria" bits - classic stuff!

    This is an intelligent, well thought out set which flows along surreally and is peppered with some wonderfully vivid comedic images. Very highly recommended for fans and newcomers to Izzard's work alike.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this transfer is very good.

    The video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it is certainly not 16x9 enhanced. As with the Dress To Kill DVD, the back cover claims the feature is presented at 1.85:1 and the "original theatrical aspect ratio"...it is not. The main feature is sharp and well lit throughout.

    Black levels and shadow detail are perfectly acceptable. Colours are vivid and cleanly presented without any hint of colour bleeding. Skins tones are natural - well, for a heavily made-up man that is.

    There are no compression artefacts. Edge enhancement and aliasing are never an issue. Film (video) artefacts are absent and this is once again a spotless transfer.

    The English subtitles are well timed and easy to read. They follow the monologue closely, and include audio cues for applause and even attribution for heckling.

    The disc is in RSDL (single sided, dual layered) format but the layer change is placed outside of the main feature.

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 that you need to hear Izzard talk, and ummm...that's about all really.

    The English audio track is a Dolby Digital 2.0 affair, encoded at 192 kbps. The other audio tracks are the commentaries by Izzard - also in English Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 kbps.

    There are no audio defects present. Importantly, dialogue is always perfectly (other than when Izzard deliberately mutters under his breath) clear and there are no audio sync problems.

    There is really little present in the way of music - other than a brief introductory ditty. The music is a drum/synth number and is credited to Sarah Townsend but simply serves as an intro and outro to the show as the titles roll.

    The overall audio stage is of course fully frontal, with a reasonable spread across the front speakers. If Pro Logic II is enabled then you will find the stage slightly more enveloping, as audience laughter and applause is redirected to the surround speakers. The subwoofer carries some bass from the introductory music, but unsurprisingly there is no true LFE activity present.

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

Extras

    There are some very good extras present.

Menu

    The main menu is a very nicely animated affair with circled choices and some nice computer animation along with a picture of Eddie complete with bra and stockings! It allows the options of playing the main show, choosing one of twenty chapter stops, selecting from a range of subtitles or viewing the following extras:

Dress To Circle

    An extensive, and impressive, feature running for a lengthy 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 French in Paris. This is the same as the bonus footage on the Dress To Kill DVD. Once again, it comes highly recommended and is effectively a second show for free. The audio and video transfers, whilst not up to the standard of the main feature, are still quite acceptable.

Circle Tour

    A rather pleasing featurette of Eddie and his support crew in LA and New York as they prepare for the tour in America. There is some nice behind the scenes footage of the tragedy of total sound failure during the recording of the show. Running for a reasonably substantial 23:23 and presented 16x9 enhanced in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.

Commentary Tracks

    Once again Eddie pulls out all the stops and provides a commentary track for both the New York gig and the Paris (French) gig. Both are a fun listen and add to the repeat viewability of the DVD. Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 kbps.

Trivia Track

    Another fun 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. Good fun, albeit slightly distracting. I would suggest watching the gig without the trivia at first, so you can give Izzard your full attention. Once again it adds to the repeat viewability of the DVD.

Web Link

    No prizes for guessing what this one does.

Screensavers

    For both Mac and PC users, accessible via a DVD ROM drive.

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

    Circle is a very funny stand up concert from everyone's favourite British transvestite comedian Eddie Izzard. Personally, I enjoyed this set much more than the (Emmy Award winning) Dress To Kill DVD. There is a plethora of genuinely funny material spread through Izzard's (at times surreal) stream-of-consciousness monologue. The extras include the raw cut of his French language show, commentary and trivia tracks plus a nice featurette. This DVD is very highly recommended for fans of the man, or for anyone who can appreciate inventive, intelligent humour.

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

    The audio transfer is fine with crisp dialogue - which is all that is required for a stand up routine.

    Extras are quite substantial and add genuine value to the package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Thursday, January 29, 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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