Image Entertainment // 2004 // 72 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Chief Counsel Rob Lineberger (Retired) // August 3rd, 2004
Here's your sign...
Comedians don't have to be edgy or profane to be funny. Bill Engvall is part of a loose alliance of blue-collar comedians that includes Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, and Larry the Cable Guy. The term "blue collar" ranges from squinty-eyed rednecks spitting tobacco juice all over your Kenneth Coles to friendly folks who play hard and work harder. Engvall emphasizes the latter view, creating a comfortable atmosphere where couples can relax and laugh at each other's foibles.
Bill Engvall: Here's Your Sign Live presents a 72-minute set wherein Bill makes fun of everything from marital strife to embarrassing moments. If you lead the kind of life where your wife asks you about her new hairstyle while your daughter has just started her cycle and your son whistles at hot women behind your back, you'll appreciate Engvall's sardonic commentary on the everyday.
The set opens with a comedy standby: intramarital communication. At one time or another, you may have misunderstood your wife and vice versa. Bill discusses some of the basic reasons why women misunderstand guys and provides tips for men to lead happier, more productive married lives. A simple change in attitude is all you need to reach blue-collar nirvana. From there, Engvall transitions into a discussion of his children and some of the embarrassments they've put him through. I'm sure Bill's son didn't intentionally wind up at the strip club; these things just happen.
The middle act is more reflective, even surreal, as Bill details his adventures parasailing in the Caribbean while under the influence. This is probably Bill's edgiest riff, but he still doesn't move out of the comfort zone he established with the opening jokes. Most comedy acts provide a lull to set up the final joke blitz, and this one is less boring than most.
The final act becomes much more polished, a rapid-fire onslaught of incisive commentary. I assume the "Here's your sign" riff will be familiar to his fans; I wasn't familiar with it, but it still had me laughing. All in all, the set was full of hearty laughter, laced with a healthy amount of irreverence and irony; it will please Engvall fans.
The DVD presentation is as straightforward as Engvall's style. The main feature is presented in a clean widescreen aspect ratio, with good shadow detail and contrast. Very few camera tricks are employed; the DVD sticks mainly to head shots or middle shots of Bill with occasional pans across the audience. The 5.1 soundtrack is pushed too far back, making Bill's words seem to come from the middle of the crowd, but the track is clean and clear. The extra, a photo gallery, is about what you would expect.
If you want to kick up your feet and enjoy some well-earned laughs, this DVD is worth a look. Its modest asking price makes up for scarce extras, delivering good value. Here's your sign, Bill: Not Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 72 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Photo Gallery
* Bill Engvall's Site