The Richard Pryor Show-Volume 2 (1977)

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Released 29-Nov-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Additional Footage-TV Violence
Outtakes-Improv Segment Outakes
Featurette-Audience Q & A
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1977
Running Time 99:17
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By John Moffitt
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Richard Pryor
Robin Williams
Sandra Bernhard
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    These are the final two episodes of the ill-fated Richard Pryor Show. Having been scheduled in prime family time up against the two most successful shows on US television at that time (Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley), the show rated very poorly and was cancelled after only four of ten episodes were made. Pryor was reportedly not very happy with his television experience, having been frustrated by network executives and censors.

    The third episode features an amusing start, but too much of this is aimed at being worthy rather than funny, such as the clown segment and the woman who describes several different versions of the same sexual encounter Rashomon-style. The final episode features the Richard Pryor Roast, which can be seen in full as an extra on the TV Special disc. Very little of what Pryor had to say made it into the final cut, and even today the complete material would not make it onto US television. There is an amusing stand-up routine by Indian comedian Charlie Hill.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The aspect ratio is the original 1.29:1.

    The transfer is average for 1970s television material. This is a transfer from NTSC to PAL and consequently the video quality is reduced. The show was recorded on video so the lower resolution of NTSC means a lack of clarity and sharpness. On the other hand, it is bright and clean-looking, and contrast levels are good. The colour is reflective of the video technology of the era, looking vivid but not pure or solid.

    There are some analogue video tracking errors from time to time. There is also some colour bleeding and cross-colouration, though the effect of these is minor. Some flaring is noticeable on the glassware in the Dr Jekyll sketch.

    No subtitles are provided on this single-layer disc.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track, in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    The audio is pretty good considering the source material. Dialogue is generally clear. The audio tends to be a little harsh at times.

    There is not much in the way of music in these two episodes, though during one of the Mr Fixit sketches there is theme music from some 1970s series but I cannot quite recall which one it is.

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

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    The main menu is displayed with a brief video of the star, taken from the original introduction to episode one. This promo did not make it to air, but is included as an extra on the Volume 1 disc.

TV Violence (5:40)

    A very grainy sketch with time-coding, introduced by Robin Williams and featuring Pryor as a man who goes berserk at his TV. Not especially amusing.

Improv Segment Outtakes (7:45)

    There is an improvisation segment in episode three, and these are outtakes from the filming. The video quality is terrible and time-coding is shown at the bottom of the screen.

Audience Q&A (5:07)

    Just what it sounds like, Pryor standing up in front of a studio audience and answering questions. This is quite funny.

R4 vs R1

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

    This appears to be a direct port of the Region 1 release, judging by the presence of the Image Entertainment logo on the back. It seems that this disc is only available as part of a three-disc box set in Region 1, while in Region 4 each of the discs is available separately and there is no box set. The only difference between these releases seems to be DVD- ROM content comprising unfilmed scripts, which Region 4 misses out on. Unless you really want this material, or want the slipcase, or want to see the material in the original NTSC, there is no reason to bypass the Region 4 release.

Summary

    One of the great stand-up performers of the recent past, sadly prevented from giving his best in this series.

    The video quality is average.

    The audio quality is average.

    The extras are relevant but not overly generous.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Monday, February 28, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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