Customer Review

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharp Views on Various Human Conditions..., April 10, 2005
This review is from: Chris Rock - Bigger and Blacker (DVD)
What makes you laugh? "Bigger and Blacker" dishes out the following:

1) Profanity -- quite a bit of it. If you laugh at the mere thought or sound of profanity, buy this DVD. But in reality, the raw language is irrelevant. Watch the intensity of the delivery and pay attention to the ideas surrounding the "bad" words.

2) Social/Political Commentary from one man's perspective -- A LOT of it.

Chris Rock, as he continually states either directly or indirectly, is a "law and order conservative" (well, mostly order!) and a "moral" liberal. His moral liberalism is a bit extreme for most people, but it is refreshingly consistent and counterbalances the traditional notion of "liberal" tolerance with the libertarian ideal of being accountable for one's actions. Oh, and by the way, there are no victims in Chris Rock's universe. If you dislike "Victim" mentality, you will find it well dismissed here.

3) Social/Racial Commentary from a black man's perspective -- There is a fair amount of this in Bigger and Blacker, but nothing earth shaking. Although he is clearly not pleased to be directly on the negative end of racial profiling, Rock typically redirects his racial commentary into larger themes (violence, hypocrisy, value systems...).

4) About Men and Women -- Who are we, together and apart? These subjects are always fertile ground for comedy. Although he attempts to soften the blows by continued professions of his love for women, Chris's take on women in general is pretty harsh, while not quite so hard, nor as detailed on men. Rock has a clear disdain for absentee fathers, but men get a pass on most of their behaviors -- behaviors that are excused as "understandable" (if not necessarily right) attempts to get around intolerable actions of women. Judging by the apparent reaction of the female members of the audience, Chris puts enough meat on the bones of his contentions to warrant serious contemplation after the laughter.

5) Physical Presence -- Energetic, intense, animated...

6) Limited Exaggerations -- Bigger and Blacker material mostly avoids "over-"exaggeration while its points are being made, and make no mistake, Chris Rock is trying to make a LOT of points (Rock's latest stand-up effort, "Never Scared" drifts more often into realm of over-exaggeration by my account, thus rendering it less enjoyable despite some great ideas).

7) Bonus Points -- A hilarious question is asked about medical science's ability (or lack thereof) to cure major diseases... An observation is given about social security's relevancy to black men... Both of these bonus points strain at the limits of exaggeration, but contain enough weight to make them worthy of an acid laugh or three...

In short, Bigger and Blacker is not light comedy. If you primarily like self- depreciating comedians, Chris Rock is not your man; If you are a diehard of the "left" or "right," he is not your man. If you prefer to believe that the world is generally rosy, he is not your man. If, on the other hand, you enjoy exceptional (almost) equal opportunity skewerings of pretenses and prejudices, it doesn't get much better than "Bigger and Blacker".
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