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All Movie Guide -Any comic who's been around as long as George Carlin is bound to repeat himself -- especially when much of his material makes it onto the printed page as well as into his stage shows. But this HBO comedy special finds the famously foul-mouthed misanthrope working himself into a near-operatic tizzy, building from slight, if amusing, observational shtick to pointed barbs as socially relevant as they are uproariously funny. Those seeking a respite from America's War on Terror in the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks won't find it in this live and uncensored special, but Carlin proves typically idiosyncratic in his treatment of the subject, especially in the final segment of his set. Respecting sacred cows has never been the man's strong suit, so those unfamiliar with his act or uncomfortable with jokes that flirt with pedophilia and blasphemy should stay as far away as humanly possible. For everyone else, though, this is an average Carlin outing with a few classic segments that elevate the rest. The monologue about "People Who Out To Be Killed" gets funnier with each scathing socioeconomic caricature, while "The Two Commandments" ranks among his best political
eligious diatribes ever. It's his hyper-verbal intelligence and ability to flip on a dime -- from seemingly soft-soap routines to razor-sharp invective -- that have distinguished Carlin throughout his long and varied career. Here, despite long segments that taste like leftovers, he manages to serve up a varied comic buffet that gets better the closer it gets to dessert.