The Original Kings of Comedy

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Overview

Paramount's release of this Spike Lee comedy concert film is a commendable package. The anamorphic widescreen image presents colors vividly, especially the blue and darks, though there is a consistent flatness to the overall image that can be disappointing at times. As the original was shot on video rather than film, this transfer does not have the depth of field expected from a DVD, and the contrasts between lights and darks are often out of balance. The music is helped by the Dolby Digital Surround Sound. ...
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Overview

Paramount's release of this Spike Lee comedy concert film is a commendable package. The anamorphic widescreen image presents colors vividly, especially the blue and darks, though there is a consistent flatness to the overall image that can be disappointing at times. As the original was shot on video rather than film, this transfer does not have the depth of field expected from a DVD, and the contrasts between lights and darks are often out of balance. The music is helped by the Dolby Digital Surround Sound. Interaction from the audience is more definite than the usual tinny laughter of most comedy concert films. The only drawback, at times a major one, is when it comes to the actual comics' monologues. Often there is a lingering din and muffled reverberation that can be a strain to the ears. For a film almost completely based on its sound, this is a notable glitch. For the most part, however, kudos to Paramount, especially in the features department. As well as the expected theatrical trailer, there are bonus scenes cut out of the final edit -- more likely for timing's sake than for quality of content -- and they are hilarious. There is a music video for "Stunna," by Big Tymers, and scene/subtitle selections as well. As this is a Spike Lee film, a director known for his involvement in the entire package of a project, it would have been nice to see some behind-the-scenes film or anything providing background information on the genesis of the project. Still, all in all this is a great entertainment product for DVD audiences looking for a great laugh.
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Special Features

Widescreen version enhanced for 16x9 TVs; Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround; English Dolby Surround; English subtitles; Interactive menus; Scene selection; Theatrical trailer; Music video: Big Tymers "#1 Stunna"; Bonus scenes
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Pete Segall
The concert comedy film is dead -- killed by HBO, Russell Simmons, and anyone else responsible for turning the art into ubiquitous cable fodder. So Spike Lee's luminescent The Original Kings of Comedy is not so much a resurrection as a ghostly visitation. Resoundingly funny, richly insightful, and wonderfully framed on digital video by cinematographer Malik Hassan Sayeed, the film was shot over two nights on The Original Kings of Comedy tour in Charlotte, North Carolina. The four comedians -- Steve Harvey The Steve Harvey Show, D. L. Hughley The Hughleys, Cedric the Entertainer BET Comic View, and Bernie Mac Life -- are all quite funny, but their humor prompts far more than belly-laughs. In his hilarious monologue about Titanic, the highest-grossing film ever, Steve Harvey posits a version of the film with a black cast. As the star of TV's highest-rated show among black viewers, though one that hardly causes a blip in the overall Nielsens, Harvey knows plenty about aesthetic discrepancies between the races. The star of the show, however, is the finisher, Bernie Mac, whose ramblings cover sex, beatings, and a linguistic discourse on a certain profanity containing the letters "m" and "f." Fiercely wide-eyed and speaking in a South Side Chicago drawl, Mac provides the perfect climax to an incredibly funny evening -- but be sure to stick around through the credits for Cedric the Entertainer's brilliant imitation of San Antonio Spurs point guard Avery Johnson.
All Movie Guide
For anyone who grew up on the concert movies of Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, and others, the dead form returns to prominence with The Original Kings of Comedy. Spike Lee, putting his weight behind the project more than actually "directing" it, captures the Charlotte leg of what turned out to be the highest-grossing comedy tour of all time. Except for a few backstage interludes that seem set up, if not actually scripted, the film concentrates on the raucous standup comedy of emcee Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. In keeping with their TV sitcom backgrounds, the first three comedians are a bit more accessible and less vulgar than Mac, whose rants about beating on women and children may leave the audience in stitches, but will undoubtedly leave some viewers shifting in their seats. Catering to mostly African-American audiences on the tour, more than a couple of the comedians slip into some highly stylized slang that may be difficult for all viewers to decipher. In fact, those watching it on DVD might get more of the rapid-fire jokes by turning on the subtitles, so exaggerated are some of the speech patterns. Although not for everyone, The Original Kings of Comedy is a long-awaited theatrical rejuvenation of a genre that had since been abandoned to cable and video shelves.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/27/2001
  • UPC: 097363392446
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:55:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve Harvey
D.L. Hughley
Cedric the Entertainer
Bernie Mac
Technical Credits
Spike Lee Director, Producer
Barry Alexander Brown Editor
Mike Ellis Asst. Director
David Gale Producer
David Gale Producer
Walter Latham Producer
Rolf Pardula Sound/Sound Designer
Butch Robinson Co-producer
Malik Hassan Sayeed Cinematographer
Van Toffler Executive Producer
Tom Warren Art Director
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Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. How to get tickets [:16]
2. Steve Harvey [:20]
3. Poker game [:33]
4. D.L. Hughley [1:41]
5. Talking to the audience [:21]
6. Backstage experience [7:12]
7. Feeling the music [1:17]
8. Cedric the entertainer [6:09]
9. More cedric [8:12]
10. Brief intermission [1:22]
11. Going to church [2:55]
12. Bernie Mac [1:08]
13. The last waltz [3:40]
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Menu

Side #1
Play
Special Features
Bonus Scenes
Music Video: Big Tymers #1 Stunna
Theatrical Trailer
Set Up
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A barrell of laughs

    A real fall-out-of-your-chair and roll-on-the-floor comedy. This is a team that has come together with optimum fun as a goal. You won't be sorry!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Funniest Men Alive

    Not since Richard Pryor graced the stage has their been comedians that have come close to the Original Kings of Comedy in their funniness. Regardless of race, the jokes of the "The Titanic" were in great taste and the differences between the sexes. Bernie Mac, who was the funniest, had the best with his topic of sex and a certain panache for cussing. Cedric the Entertainer, though, had the most style.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2003

    Truly, Madly, Deeply...

    Truly: We were witnessing history being made, up there with the greats of comedy from a by-gone age, such as Bob Hope, The Marx Bros, The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, etc... Madly: Anyone who has not seen them perform is mad not to, anyone who has seen them was probably rolling about, and going mad, with laughter. Deeply: Insightful on varied topics, emotional on numerous levels, dig deep - pull out that cheque book/credit card and buy, buy, buy the DVD/VIDEO, buy everything on the genius that is ''The Original Kings Of Comedy''.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews