Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 82 mins .
M15+ . PAL
When it comes to stand up comedians, there are few that can claim to be transvestites. There are many who may dress up in womenís clothing as part of their act, but few who dress this way all the time. Eddie Izzard is one of them and although the fact that he wears womenís clothes is an important part of his personality, it really has little to do with his comedy. This extremely funny comedian, hailing from Sussex in England, has a very likeable demeanour. His humour is fast and although he does ramble and get easily distracted, he rarely loses your attention.
The man in heels.
For this performance, filmed in New York in 2000, he is in fine form. He appears on stage wearing leather trousers, high heels and tons of makeup. There are a few early references to his appearance, however he never focuses on it in this show and soon the viewer is totally oblivious to it. This is quite simply a comedian who is good at what he does and what he looks like is never an issue.
His constant mocking of Americans and their culture is hysterical. He targets their gun laws, in particular their most well known advocate Charlton Heston, in a series of observations that are depressingly accurate. He covers many other subjects ranging from organ grinding monkeys to religion to baseball and all are intertwined brilliantly. Izzard sometimes comes across as a man that makes it up as he goes along, and to a degree he does, but you can tell that this set is well thought out and planned and the fact that he makes it look otherwise is a credit to his ability as a comedian.
"Got any bananas?"
There is currently another earlier live release from Eddie Izzard entitled Dress to Kill filmed in San Francisco in 1999 which is also well worth checking out.
The case for this DVD states that it is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, but it certainly isnít. It is presented in full frame and is therefore not 16:9 enhanced. This transfer is very good indeed, with terrific sharpness and good detail levels. Colours are strong and there are no issues with bleeding or aliasing. Subtitles are supplied in a wide variety of languages and the English ones sampled proved accurate.
Audio is supplied in English Dolby Digital stereo and this is more than adequate for this type of feature. The only real need is for clear dialogue and this is never an issue. There are no problems with hiss, distortion or dropouts and synch is never a problem. This is a perfectly fine transfer that suits its purpose well.
For a DVD release of this nature, the extras supplied are both extensive and of the highest quality.
Dress to Circle (Paris Raw Cut)
Running for 55:49, this featurette is a terrific addition and a surprising one also. It features Izzard in a performance in Paris with the whole show being spoken in French. Thankfully, there are English subtitles for those unable to speak French. The video and audio quality is poor compared to the main feature, but to be given a complete bonus performance makes this only a slight annoyance. This extra can also be found on the Dress to Kill release.
Another quality extra, this featurette runs for 23:23 and features behind the scenes footage of Izzard and his crew in preparation of their US tour.
There are two commentary tracks with this release, making this DVD worth many repeat viewings. Firstly, there is a commentary for the main feature that offers some hilarious listening. There is also a commentary track for the Paris gig that is also highly amusing.
This nice trivia track offers all sorts of interesting and useless information during the New York gig. It can be distracting, so it would be best to watch the main feature without this on the first time and then give it a second viewing to get the full value out of it.
Ok children, hands up who knows what this does.
For those with DVD-ROM capability there are three screensavers available. Two of them are for Mac users and the other is for PC owners. The screensaver is nothing special but again, it is a nice addition for fans.
Many may prefer this show to that featured on Dress to Kill, but both really have so much to offer. The simple solution is to either rent or buy both, especially if you are a fan. Video and audio are both of a high standard and a good supply of extras make this a worthy addition to most collections.