Chris Rock-Bigger and Blacker (1999)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Dec-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 65:04
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Keith Truesdell
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Chris Rock
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Dutch
Croatian
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Norwegian
Romanian
Slovenian
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    Chris Rock is undoubtedly one of America's most funny and topical comedians. In this HBO special, Rock performs an outstanding stand-up comedy routine, which I would place second only to Eddie Murphy's classic, Delirious.

    Born in South Carolina in 1965, Rock grew up in Brooklyn, New York. As a naturally funny young man, Rock found himself performing as a stand-up comedian in his late teens, when he met Eddy Murphy. Murphy was suitably impressed, and provided Rock with a small role in Beverly Hills Cop II, and some contacts. Rock's big break arrived when he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live (as his mentor Murphy had done before him).

    Apart from SNL, Rock made a number of appearances on other television shows, and also scored small roles in Doctor Dolittle, and Lethal Weapon 4. But as I wrote in my review of Down To Earth, "Chris Rock is a great comedian, but he is no actor!" Rock earned his own show on HBO, and has performed in four specials for them, which includes this one. (BTW: Rock is to host the 77th Academy awards to be broadcast on February 27th, 2005.)

   Bigger & Blacker is an absolute corker of a live stand-up comedy DVD. It has so many laugh-out-loud moments, I lost count of them. With his irreverent style, Rock opens with a routine about gun control. Some of this might be familiar, as a section of this was used by Michael Moore in Bowling For Columbine. Rock then goes on to cover everything from relationships, to porn (and masturbation), to parenting to politics and black issues. Rock's routine about Bill Clinton is positively hilarious.

    Rock seems to pride himself on being a fearless comedian, able to tackle any subject. He is certainly willing to critique both white and black culture. His style is his own: He paces the stage back and forth like a caged beast. He doesn't tell any stories, and he never picks on the audience, two of the standards for any stand-up comedian. With a mixture of observational comedy and cultural insight, Rock rather rants, with mock outrage, at a number of life's serious, and not-so-serious issues.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is fine for the content, although I would have expected HBO to be broadcasting in widescreen.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1.

    The sharpness is good throughout. The shadow detail is a little hard to judge, as the content is shot with live concert lighting, and while the shots of the audience are a little dark, they're supposed to be. The colour is excellent throughout.

    There are no serious problems with MPEG artefacts, but very occasionally, the image did appear slightly pixelated, such as the brick wall in the background at 25:14.

    There are no problems with film-to-video or film artefacts. However, during the opening of the concert, the loud hip-hop band cause some horizontal banding (microphony).

   English, Dutch, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovenian, Turkish, and English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are provided, and the English subtitles are accurate. The quantity of subtitle tracks surprised me. Is anyone really going to watch a Chris Rock stand-up comedy DVD with Norwegian subtitles?

    This is a single sided, single layered disc, so there is no layer change to report on.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio option on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent throughout.

    There is no musical score, but at the opening and closing of the show, Slick Rick, Doug E Fresh, and D Life rap over the credits.

    As a stereo track, there is no surround presence or LFE activity.

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

Extras

    There are no extras.

Menu

    A very simple menu, it is static and silent.

R4 vs R1

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

    Bigger & Blacker has also been released on DVD in Region 1.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    I would call it pretty even, although the R1 does win by a nose for at least trying to have extras.

Summary

    For those who like to laugh (and are not easily offended), Bigger & Blacker is one of the all-time great stand-up comedy DVDs!

    The video quality is good for the content.

    The audio quality is also good for the content, but surround encoding would have been nice.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

Other Reviews
The DVD Bits - Kevin K

Comments (Add)
The question is: why has it taken so long to get release in Oz? - Anonymous