171 of 177 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2002
Whether it's parading around on stage in a frenzy or breaking out into one of many possible impressions/accents, it simply does not get any better than Robin Williams Live when it comes to gut-wrenching laughs.
Williams goes all out in all of his live performances. This particular night he performs live on Broadway (the culmination of a 20+ city national tour, and marking the conclusion of his triumphant, and much-heralded return to the "stage" in over 16 years). And what is the verdict??? BRILLIANCE!! The same brand of raunchy, charismatic, no holds-barred, yet very intelligent humor Williams has been known for.
ONE THING NEEDS TO BE POINTED OUT: Williams' energy is unparalleled in his stand-up work and is NOTHING like his theatrical roles (from Flubber to Insomnia), which only seem to stifle the madman lurking beneath. With uncensored, and essentially unscripted stand-up, Robin is able to reveal his TRUE SELF. However, this is not some mindless rant... Williams seems to emerge from a shell he's been keeping himself in... commentating on social and political issues of the day (from foreign relations, biological warfare, sex, and even sports).
Where this "movie" truly earns 5 STARS is in Williams's performance itself. Sadly, comics today go through "ho-hum" HBO specials like candy (I will not name names), giving audiences and viewers 60-65 minutes. Williams goes non-stop for 2 hours!! And as a result becomes so drenched in sweat by the end, you begin to wonder how he's still standing!
Material-wise, I feel there is no one better, with Williams delivery of quips, jokes, and punchlines only rivaled by George Carlin, and the shows of Eddie Murphy from the early to mid 1980s.
The DVD package, as many other DVDs seem to nowadays, comes with more than anyone could have expected, with behind-the-scenes broadcasts, and a full interview with the maestro himself. The picture and sound quality are superb and nothing seems to have been lost in the transfer.
Bottomline: though perhaps crude at some points, I think that ANYONE with at least a partially open mind and a love for laughs will enjoy this movie. Take it from my mother (a 52 year-old Frenchwoman not necessarily in tune with "hip society") sitting crying from laughter, "He is the best!"
120 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2002
Robin Williams' laugh-riot HBO Special is a no-holds-barred comedy classic and a fitting document of the greatest funnyman of our generation. A master of fast and furious storytelling and 3-dimensional characters, Williams' genius is on full display for nearly two hours. The comedian's charm is evident - he leaps from joke to joke, each bit infused with warmth, irony and his now-trademark stream-of-consciousness dialogue. He draws on contemporary themes and hits every punchline like a concert pianist at the peak of his form. Never before has Williams been so accessible or hysterical and this special guarantees unlimited guffaws and side-splitting routines. He's sweaty and raunchy, childlike and mature all at once. Parents may want to save this DVD for personal viewing, since some bits are drenched in wicked adult humor, though Williams never offends - he gives his all and succeeds. Best of all, the Broadway event gets better on repeat viewings (rare as that is for comedy)so that like Lucille Ball before him (think grape-stomping, vitavitavegimin and chocolate assembly lines) the bits he delivers renew themselves time and time again. If laughter is lacking in your life, do yourself a favor and spend two hours with the Oscar-winning master of comedy.
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2003
I first saw the tail end of Robin's Broadway show on HBO and laughed till I was crying, and I was absolutely thrilled when they put his show on DVD. It is an excellent purchase if you enjoy Williams' quirky, loud, and animated humor.
His show, which runs over two hours and has very, very few parts that aren't funny, captures the full range of his comic abilities. You get to see Robin impersonate a monkey, a sexually frustrated ape, a little boy, George Bush, an Afghan trying to call a jihad with a mouth full of peanut butter, a drunken Scotsman, a stoner, a drunkard, and a patient recovering from a colonoscopy. His talent for improvising is obvious a few times throughout the show, most notably when he trips over his own tongue and still manages to turn his bungled words into a hysterical joke.
Aside from the show--which any Robin Williams or comedy fan will enjoy--the DVD contains a few amusing extras, most notably a special feature called "noises." This tidbit captures all of the various noises that Robin makes throughout his two hour show and condenses them into about five minutes. Needless to say, this is the funniest thing on the DVD.
Also included is an interview with the director of the show. This has its funny moments and sheds some interesting light onto how the show was produced (it actually didn't start out how it was intended to), and gives us a glimpse of Robin off the stage, but it is cut short, making it a relatively boring special feature after you've seen it once ("noises," on the contrary, can be viewed indefinitely).
The producers of the DVD also included a five minute clip of Robin cracking jokes in the minutes before he was to go onstage. It gives us another glimpse of just how funny he can be without rehearsed jokes, but it falls short of greatness and can only be viewed once or twice.
In short, if you enjoy the energetic style of comedy that Robin Williams exudes, or if you just want to laugh out loud about the absurdity of contemporary events, don't hesitate to add this to your collection. For a more intellectual and original show, however, I highly recommend Eddie Izzard's "Dress To Kill." (90/100)
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2003
Excellent, excellent, excellent!
Many of us associate Robin Williams with funny didactic movies that always end with a moral value. Well, in this live on Broadway standup routine (recorded for HBO from the Broadway Theater in New York City) Robin Williams throws whatever morallity he has out the window and enjoys an open mic.
Watching this made me laugh until I was crying and suffering abdominal pain. For those of you expecting "Flubber" or "Hook" you will be quite suprised that Mr. Williams is extremely dirty and political as he throws controversial jokes straight at the camera.
To explain the topics he covers is impossible because he is so fast and is capable of changing subjects so fast that to try to explain what it is about is far beyond my ability. In fact, he goes so fast, he finishes an entire CASE of water, which is probably about 20 bottles.
More specifically, Williams takes advantage of his large talent of character acting and astounds his audiences. As he jumps back between is French "Look, I give a cigarette to a baby" to George Dubya saying "Our economy is--oh, look at the kitty!" He is not afraid to offend anyone as he examines religeons like Episcipals, Jews, Christianity, Puritanism, Calvanism, Buddism, Hinduism, and Islam.
Because of the fact that this is a DVD, it comes with a few extra features. First is an interview which is very charming with several chuckles allthe way through. Also included is a track of noises, which are all of Robin's wacky sound effects that he creates throughout the stand up routine. For those of you who are always excited to find a secret easter egg, there is also a track called "Parental Advisory" that is 2 minutes of all the curses (which are EXTREMELY plentiful) that Robin uses. The feature is in PCM stereo as well as Dolby Digital 5.1.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound I thought seemed a little weird since at random times you will hear applause behind you and it sounds unnnatural most likely due to bad mixing/editing.
I would not, however, recommend any of this DVD for children under the age of 13, depending on how mature your children are. This probably deserves to be rated R or possibly even NC-17 because of it's extremely naughty language, vulgar topics and sexual content.
All-in-all, Robin Williams is absoluletly hilarious, I think this is probably the best stand up routine I've ever seen and is definately worth the price.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2002
I saw the special when it aired on HBO and I couldn't wait until I was able to buy it on DVD. I laughed so hard, I fell off the couch and peed in my pants at the same time. I've never seen him funnier, and the fact that it was uncensored only made it better.
He makes fun of everything and everyone--Canadians, sports, Parliament, even Olympic security. And look out when he starts to use those bottles of water on stage as a prop (trust me, you don't want to know). Having this show on DVD will only make it that much better. You can experience Robin Williams' truly twisted mind over and over again.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2003
Robin Williams might be one of the most brilliant comedic minds of the past 25 years. This is one of his first live solo shows in a long time, and it's wickedly funny. It also includes an easter egg that I'll detail at the end of the review.
Williams takes to a Broadway stage and talks about everything from the Olympics to prostate exams to President Bush. He does it in his own manic way, hardly stopping to take a breath and producing a gallon of sweat in the process. He is absolutely hysterical to watch, using nothing but water bottles for props.
The special features feature backstage footage of Robin before the show and an interview done by the director. You see that Robin is as insane off-stage as he is on.
A fair warning though: this is not for those of you who are easily offended or for kids. He talks, very graphically, about sex and body parts, and he also curses about every five seconds.
Which brings me to the Easter Egg. It's a montage of every swear word he says in the broadcast. It almost develops a hip-hop rhythm after awhile. To access it, go to the "Bonus Features" area and go down to "Resume". Press right and it should highlight a "Parental Advisory" logo. Hit enter and you're in.
If you're looking for something funny and a bit naughty, this is definitely an entertaining thing to show to friends or to just watch on your own.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2003
After sixteen long years, Robin Williams has returned to the world of stand-up comedy, and the results are off-the-wall. Williams is wild, crazy, and unpredictable... which makes it all that better.
"Robin Williams Live on Broadway" is 126 minutes of pure outrageous comedy like you've never seen before. You can tell that he doesn't rehearse any of his acts, because he can switch from one topic to the next with ease and without warning. He is constantly on the move and is never lacking the humor in his act. I could tell you about the stuff you'll see, but it wouldn't sound funny. After all, it's really not the content alone that makes this so funny, it's the DELIVERY. If anybody else attempted to do this material, it wouldn't be funny.
This is the exact show that was shown on HBO, unedited and uncensored. Don't be fooled, Williams loves to curse. (In fact, there's even a cute little hidden Easter Egg that if you find it, it's like a full-blown case of Turret's Syndrome, Williams style.) But when he swears, it doesn't sound all that shocking or offensive. It just comes out natural. Presented in DVD format, you get a crystal clear picture and your choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, or PCM Stereo. (PCM may not be available on all DVD players. I've never heard of it before, so be warned.)
There's some really cool extras on the DVD, such as an interview with Williams conducted by the director of "Live on Broadway," a behind-the-scenes look before the show, a noises montage, and a really, really offensive and hilarious Easter Egg.
"Robin Williams Live on Broadway" is a great purchase, and is a must-have for all comedy lovers. I recommend getting this instead of the CD, because the CD isn't as funny if you haven't seen the act. After all, it's all in the delivery. Also, the facial expressions Robin Williams makes are priceless. This is a program worth re-watching over and over again. Very high quality all the way!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2003
I'll tell you one thing that I am getting SICK of....all these new stand-up comic shows on Comedy Central. Geez, everyone's talking about reality TV getting out of control, and they're right, but this tidal wave of stand up comics that aren't funny in the least is getting to me more.
It's okay though, because there is a solution to all this madness that so many are confused by, and it's this DVD. Robin Williams returns from his mission of playing serious roles in Good Will Hunting, Insomnia and One Hour Photo to show that he's still the same funny guy that had us rolling on the ground years earlier in Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs. Doubtfire.
What makes this DVD so hilarious is Williams just will not let up. He barely pauses to take a breath. Joke after joke after joke come out, each one funnier than the last, not giving you any time to recover for the next joke. Even when he screws up (which he actually does quite often) he's ready with another joke to cover up what he just messed up on. Williams is brilliant, with writing and with improvisation, and he balances both quite well.
From jokes about cat territoriality to Osama Bin Laden to Gandhi jeans, Williams proves to be the funniest man alive...again. I can honestly say I have never laughed harder in my entire life as I did when I watched Robin Williams Live On Broadway for the first time.
Almost two hours of pure hilarity? Why not pick it up?
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2002
I have just ordered this Robin Williams DVD. Why? Because I saw his live performance (sitting in the 4th row) in Cleveland, Ohio, shortly before this HBO show was taped. I get a kick out of reading some reviews where the people say they "almost" peed their pants from laughing. I DID pee my pants, and thought I was having a heart attack. Mrs. Doubt Fire this ain't. For the TRUE Robin Williams fan, this is the ultimate. This man definitely is certifiable. I agree with a previous reviewer...when he starts with the water bottles...well...gee, ya gotta see it...and...you shoulda been there! I can't even begin to tell you about the Gorilla or the outrageous final bit. Believe me, ADULTS ONLY!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2002
Its been too long since one of comedy's geniuses has done a standup routine, but now the wait is over. Robin Williams explodes onto the stage, telling jokes at lightspeed, getting laughs everytime. Packed full of both extremely creative and outrageous humor, Williams once again proves that he is the king of stand up. He train of thought never seems to break, as he jumps in and out of dozens of characters. Despite the fact his jokes include lots of physical movement, this routine is not recommended for children, due to the adult humor and language. A 5 star congratulations to Mr. Williams and this outstanding routine!