Anchor Bay // 2008 // 324 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 27th, 2009
10 shows. 40 comics. 12,000 guests. Unlimited @#$%^$#$ laughs. (Their words)
Martin Lawrence's 10 episode stand-up bonanza, hosted by Doug Williams, offers two discs and five hours of comedy. The sheer volume of the shenanigans is nothing to sneeze at and the comics certainly strive to live up to the "First Amendment" tag. There is plenty of graphic sex humor, profanity galore, and some awkward applause in defense of Michael Vick.
Still, there are some laughs to be had here. Like any stand-up comedy anthology, there's always going to be hit-and-miss comics. Even more nuanced is how a comic I may find unappealing might have you busting a spleen. That's the nature of stand-up, I suppose. What First Amendment has going for it are the massive amounts of comics and routine flavors to choose from, ensuring at least one or two of these guys or girls will punch you in the funny bone.
Granted, the performers and performances skew towards the African-American audience (the live onlookers are predominantly black), so it should go without saying that if you dig this brand of comedy, you'll be happy as a calm. Once in a while, you'll get a white dude, but he'll go with the same stuff.
Even though I might not be the target demographic, per se, there was much to like and I found myself laughing aloud more than a few times. The anti-Bush jokes grew stale (wow, those are dated already?), the Obama suckling was a few degrees short of excruciating, and don't get me started on the breakout applause defending Michael Vick. Generally, the jokes were rambunctious, profane, incisive, and funny. Plus, the audience was just loving life, which went a long way into creating a good-mood atmosphere.
The DVD set is all feature and nothing else. Full frame, 2.0 stereo mix, and no extras. Just five hours of riotous stand-up comedy.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 324 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated