Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 114 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Eddie Izzard is an English comedian with a difference, he wears women’s clothes. This may be a shock to some people, but let us not forget Dame Edna Everage. Izzard is not the same type of crossdresser as Edna though, he tends to wear tight leather pants and heeled shoes rather than frocking up and, more importantly, he wears women’s clothes all the time, not just on stage. The makeup is almost as layered as Edna’s, but Izzard has a much classier style in this area. Women’s clothes or not, Izzard is an outstanding comedian and newcomers to his humour will be in for a treat.
"I was born in Europe, where the history comes from!"
Too much make up?
For this performance from San Francisco in 1999, the presentation begins with a tour on a cable car through the streets of the city. The spoof looks at the prisoners (tourists) on their way to Alcatraz Prison. It is a very funny introduction to the show and gives a good idea of what is to come. Entering the stage looking resplendent in his tight leather trousers and heels, he quickly draws in the audience. This is basically done with an explanation of his lifestyle, explaining that he is not a “weird transvestite”, he is an “executive transvestite”. He quickly discusses his beginnings into this lifestyle and his desire to join the army, to become an “action transvestite”.
Topics covered in the show are varied to say the least. He targets the National Rifle Association (a pet hate of his) along with diverse topics such as religion, history (or more so America’s lack of), World Wars and even Stone Henge.
" Before Stone Henge there was Wood Henge and Straw Henge!"
Izzard has been around for quite a while, but many are yet to discover his humour. This release is a great introduction and along with his other current release Circle, fans and newcomers alike can get a good dose of this talented comedian. He is also a talented actor having appeared in films such as The Cat’s Meow and Velvet Goldmine and does a mean James Mason impersonation, so most should find some enjoyment here. He is not going to have you rolling around laughing like Billy Connolly does, but he is highly amusing.
Stated on the case as being in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, this transfer is actually full frame and therefore not 16:9 enhanced. The transfer is quite impressive, however, given the nature of the show. Sharpness is strong throughout and shadow detail is also acceptable. Colours are strong and skin tones natural, even though the skin in question is covered in makeup. Edge enhancement and aliasing are not issues and there are no signs of artefacts. The layer change occurs quite early on in the show at 25:38 and is slightly intrusive. Subtitles are supplied in a multitude of languages and the English ones sampled are accurate.
Being a dialogue-driven show, audio needs to be clear at all times and this transfer does the job nicely. It comes in Dolby Digital stereo and is always clear and audible. There are no problems with hiss, distortion or dropout and synch is never an issue.
Quite a substantial amount of extras accompany this release, all of a very high standard.
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 Circle release.
Running for 6:26, this slide show looks at Izzard travelling the USA. Izzard comments on the pictures and offers some amusing information.
It is highly unusual to be given a commentary track for a stand up show, but this one is well worth a listen. Izzard is very natural and is extremely sharp with his observations. This really makes this a DVD that will warrant repeat viewings. There is also a commentary for the Dress to Circle (Paris Raw Cut) show here as well to make this even better value.
Giving reason for a third viewing, this amusing trivia track covers many interesting and trivial items featured in the show. It is best to have this feature on after watching the show once as it can be distracting.
Simply a link to www.eddieizzard.com
Fans will love this show as they will love its counterpart Circle. Those new to this comedian should definitely take the time to see his work. If you have a problem with a hetero man wearing women’s clothes then save your money as you won’t enjoy it. He won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but most should find enough here for a few laughs. The video and audio are both of decent quality and the admirable amount of extras make this release great value for money.