Case Number 03266: Small Claims Court


Ventura Distribution // 2003 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Adam Arseneau (Retired) // September 4th, 2003

The Charge

"Aw, I'm just kidding -- don't get mad, baby!"

The Case

The host of BET's Comic View, Bruce Bruce is a large and in-charge sort of fellow. His canon includes being very well dressed (for a gigantic man), making lots of jokes about foreplay, penises, his two-faced mother, smoking cigarettes, and lots and lots of audience heckling (especially over their fashion sense.)

"Wow -- I ain't never seen a muscle shirt with slack in it!"

At the risk of spoiling the plot for people, here is a synopsis of Platinum Comedy Series: Bruce Bruce. The camera shows the comedian for a minute telling joke. Cut to shot of crowd laughing. Cut to shot of comedian grinning broadly. Cut to shot of crane shot flying over crowd. Repeat.

Sound familiar? A long time ago, somebody decided this was how all stand-up comic movies should be, and ever since, this is how they have been. You score bonus points when the shots of audience members laughing and clapping seem completely out of sync with the chuckle track.

Not surprisingly, a lot of sentences start with, "White people ___!" and, "Black people ___!," where the blanks represent whatever particular joke is being told. Some of them are funny, and some of them are not.

But, to his credit, he saves the best for last, and ends on one of the better stand-up jokes I've ever seen a comic do.

Pardon me; not "jokes." He doesn't tell jokes. He tells real-life stories, and makes them funny. (His words, not mine.) And this makes sense -- his style is very casual, very flippant, and very verbose.

He has the skill of a practiced comedian where every thing that he says has the casual air of witty, spontaneous banter, even when the lines are rehearsed and practiced. I don't know anybody who can spin a serious yarn about 9/11 and the World Trade Center disaster, and then go seamlessly into black people having bad credit; but dang if he doesn't pull it off with immaculate style and panache.

Bruce Bruce also offers numerous tips about relationships, some of which are so profoundly striking and accurate, I wrote them down. The guy comes across like a big, crazy uncle, who simultaneously intimidates you and makes you laugh.

From a technical standpoint, the disc is what it is. The audio is on par with what you would expect from a 50-minute stand-up comedy disc. Likewise, with the video -- the disc is full screen and the colors are not spectacular, but neither are they disappointing. The audio, likewise, is a very neutral and plain mix. No extras to speak of, no features, just a really big comic on stage, doing his thang.

The worst feature of the disc, ironically, has nothing to do with the technical presentation, or the comedic content. A two-minute DVD ad at the beginning of the disc appears, and amazingly, it cannot be fast-forwarded, jogged, shuttled, skipped over, or interrupted in any way. FBI warnings are irritating enough, but this is especially aggravating, for two reasons. First, even the most obnoxious FBI warning never lasts two full minutes; and second, FBI warnings usually don't have Snoop Dogg in them.

Bruce Bruce is fairly endearing, but he's not really my cup of tea. Granted, I suffer from, how shall we say, a serious demographic deficiency -- but even so, other comics in the genre, say, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley; heck, even Bernie Mac has a funnier show. But at a show where the audience is drinking shots of booze by the fistful, I'd be laughing pretty hard too.

Still, all in all, not a bad disc, especially if you are a fan of the man and his material. If you have no idea who Bruce Bruce is, well...come to think of it, I can't think of a reason for you to even be glancing at the DVD in a store, in that case (though it does have a very pretty and striking pink cover.)

Extra points for the pink cover, and the case is closed.

Review content copyright © 2003 Adam Arseneau; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 60

Perp Profile
Studio: Ventura Distribution
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

* None

Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Platinum Comedy Series Previews

* Official Site