Sony // 1993 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Harold Gervais (Retired) // May 5th, 2000
I vent therefore I am.
From 1993 comes the DVD edition of comedian/talk show host Dennis Miller's HBO special.
Dennis Miller is one of those comics who divides people right down the middle. There are those, such as myself, who love his pop reference school of ranting comedy. There are also others who can't stand him. The material on this disc is not going to change anybody's mind.
At this point I would talk about the highlights of the disc but this being a PG-13 rated site, I really can't. Miller has a definite fondness for a certain 4 letter word that begins with F and ends with K.
Just let me say, as always, no target is too sacred for Miller and he delights in twisting public perception and turning it around to his, basically, common sense point of view.
Miller's style of topical humor has a lot in common with Bill Maher. While I generally find Maher to be smug and somewhat arrogant, Miller I find funny in almost a playful kind of way. With the constant torrent of obscure pop references, Miller is angry but knows not to take himself too seriously.
In the slowly building effort of releasing nontraditional material on DVD, Columbia has done a nice job on this disc. Taken from the live HBO broadcast the picture is bright and clear. There seem to be no flaws present in the full screen image and it is rather pleasant to look at.
The sound is Dolby Surround and it gets the job done. Miller's material comes through clear and there is zero distortion or feedback.
There are no real special features to speak of. There are a couple of trailers, some production notes and instant access to some of the specials highlights. Otherwise, nothing else.
As stated above Miller is not to everyone's taste. If you don't think he is funny, don't pick this up.
The only problem with going back and looking at something like this, is that it was taped in 1993, shortly after Bill Clinton entered his first term as president. As is usually the case with topical based humor, many of the jokes are dated. This was also right after his syndicated talk show had been canceled and he was in the middle of his public feud with Jay Leno. I had to sit back and remember what he was making a joke about. The second time I watched, I was able to laugh quite a bit more because I was more familiar with what was coming. Many viewers are not going to give this a second chance though.
I have always found Dennis Miller to be funny. That said, I would only recommend this as an evening's rental. As a purchase there is just not enough there to warrant picking it up.
A better option would be to start releasing episodes of his regular HBO series. That is something I would gladly pay for.
For what it is Dennis Miller: Live From Washington, DC is pretty good. Dennis Miller is released to go out and thumb his nose at society on a weekly basis. Columbia is thanked by the court for trying to expand the horizons of the usual DVD fare. Just next time this judge would like to see more current material.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Episode Highlights
* Bonus Theatrical Trailers
* Production Notes