Wild, raunchy, insightful, and very funny, Richard Pryor was a comic on the edge in more ways than one. Filmed live in New Orleans about seven months after the comic had kicked drinking and drugs, Richard Pryor: Here and Now
may not be the best of his concert films, but it sure does contain enough good material to make it worthwhile. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's DVD presents the film in its proper letterboxed aspect ratio (1.85:1 enhanced) and in a full-frame format. Although the letterboxed transfer is not the greatest, it does open up the frame a bit more, giving one a better sense of the stage. The picture is overly grainy and washed-out looking, and the print could have used more than a little touch-up. Colors tend to bleed or fuzz (in particular Pryor's red shirt) and the picture occasionally appears unstable. The disc contains an English mono soundtrack, multiple subtitle options, and plentiful chapter stops (which is needed when it comes to a film such as this).There's nothing wrong in Richard Pryor: Here and Now
that a little editing wouldn't cure. This fourth entry in Pryor
's comedy-concert film series would probably have played better as a 48-minute video. Instead, it was released as an 83-minute feature, requiring way too much padding (mostly in the form of the hecklers who bedevil Pryor all through his performance). The best bits involve Pryor's R-rated comments regarding the Ronald W. Reagan
administration. Filmed in New Orleans, Richard Pryor: Here and Now
is undeniably funny, but it could have been far more than that.