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Bill Maher - New Rules

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bill Maher: New Rules (DVD)

Collected from one of the most popular segments of the acclaimed HBO Original Series Real Time with Bill Maher, New Rules takes steady aim at well, just about everything in sight, bringing in the hosts incisive wit and hilarious asides. Bill Maher: New Rules brings these cleverly conceived barbs to DVD for the first time, along with some brilliant bonus feature editorials that you're unlikely to find in the pages of your local newspaper.

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Bill Maher's New Rules plays like a "greatest hits" compilation that you don't want to end. Compiled from the most popular segment of the HBO original series Real Time with Bill Maher, it's a fitting showcase for Maher's take-no-prisoners approach to political humor, in which the veteran comedian/pundit invents "new rules" in response to the insanity of current events, celebrity trivia, and the nonsensical irritants that pop up in the media on a regular basis. In collaboration with his gifted writing team, Maher delivers a constant barrage of hilarious yet eminently sensible solutions to the foibles of modern society, from common sense ("no more cell phones in movie theaters!") to harmlessly risqué ("lap dancing is a First Amendment right"), appropriately sarcastic ("the end of Friends is not a national tragedy!"), and just plain clever ("whenever they award an Oscar®, they should take one back"). Maher's flawless delivery of these "new rules" (culled from the first three seasons of Real Time) results in a steady flow of laugh-out-loud observations and punch lines, like this one about the same-sex marriage controversy: "All marriages are same-sex marriages--you go to bed every night, and it's the same sex!" And when he's not making funny suggestions about the effects of global warming ("all hurricane names should be scary!"), Maher delivers scathing editorials (mostly aimed at the Bush administration) and performs in comedic sketches like the "Accu-Terror Forecast" or "Ken Burns' Vietnam," spoofing the Civil War documentary style with a Bush-bashing segment called "A National Guardsman's Letter to Home," in which Maher (as Bush) reads a letter to his parents about the "hardships" of Vietnam-era service... in Alabama. Although the main feature runs a mere 45 minutes, there's an additional 28 minutes of material in the bonus features, including several "new rules Extras" and four hilarious "editorials" including Maher's demand for a presidential recall election! Some of Maher's issue-related jokes will grow dated as their timely relevance fades, but New Rules provides a brilliantly comedic appraisal of the early 21st century, from a smart, incisive comedian who'll boldly go where most comics fear to tread. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Bonus "editorials"

Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Maher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 11, 2006
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FC2HQS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,582 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bill Maher - New Rules" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lund on July 16, 2006
Format: DVD
I already own the NEW RULES audiobook, which was recorded by Bill Maher in a studio without an audience. With roughly three hours of material, the audiobook is the most comprehensive persentation of Bill's numerous new rules (not to mention I'd rather hear the material in Maher's own voice than read the printed version). The new rules on this DVD -- totaling 45 minutes not including extras -- frequently overlaps what's in the book, which itself at times reprised the material from the original HBO broadcasts which comprise this DVD. Either way, the point is that most of the rules will be familiar to anyone who has read or heard the book (and it goes without saying to those who've watched the broadcasts on HBO).

I agree with other reviewers who have criticized the relatively high list price and/or the incomplete presentation of what was originally broadcasted in the "new rules" segment of the first three seasons of his HBO show. Yet when I get to the bottom line -- is this DVD funny? -- in my opinion the answer is consistently yes. The edits from gag to gag are as smooth as can be, and there's several bits of other material from his show to offer comic relief -- so to speak -- from the "new rules" segments. Even if you know the "punch line" of the rules, the inspired rapport that Bill has with his studio audience carries over to the DVD, making it an entertaining option for those of us who enjoy Bill's not-PC humor (which is not surprisingly rated TV-MA). Although I'd recommend his live performance DVDs first, NEW RULES is a welcome addition to what is available by Bill Maher on video.
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Format: DVD
The three star rating that I am giving this DVD is no way indicative of the material that this DVD presents. The strong political humor that is brought to the table by Bill Maher is top notch. No, the reason this DVD gets three stars is because of the price in relation to the length of the DVD. Buying this DVD is like buying a lesser version of an SNL Best Of... The clips on this DVD are from Bill Maher's HBO television show, and on this show is a segment called New Rules, hence the name. The DVD presents New Rules (not all of them, but rather a selection of the best of the best) from seasons 1-3, as well as a few fake commercials and skits thrown in now and then. The jokes contained in this segment are raunchy, offensive, and aimed towards right-wing conservatives, mostly the president. During a skit in which Maher is being tortured for making fun of the president, he makes promises to marry Ann Coulter, at which point a black bag is placed over his head and a butchy-looking female soldier steps into the picture, indicative of Abu Ghraib. This DVD is not for the easily offended, or the Republican. The DVD is only 45 minutes long, which is why I caution you to only purchase this if you are a strong fan of Maher and his show. Otherwise, rental stores are receiving limited amounts of the DVD, and it might be worth a rent.
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Format: DVD
Bill Maher is one of my favorite comedians at the moment. His stand-up releases are all very funny and intelligent, and his HBO show as a whole is very funny and intelligent. The only thing that he does that isn't always great is the new rules segments he does. And just like he did with his opening monologues of his old show, Maher squeezes more money out of his fans by selling things we've already heard him say. While the book gets away with it, this DVD really does not.

It's true that the actual DVD is only 45 minutes, though there is bonus material that pretty much doubles the length. But they are all edited-down less-funny versions, they are interrupted by the occasional non-new rule sketch, and they are completely overshadowed by frequent cut-aways to a fake audience laughing (these are clips from different seasons, but it's the same audience with some way over-acting extras) which was completely unnecessary.

When I picked it up I was super excited, and less than half way into it, I felt sick. What a waste. Get the book instead.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a Bill Maher fan, and did not like this DVD. It is a collection of outdated blurbs from his HBO show. I saw Bill in person and laughed the whole time. I barely cracked a smile when watching this. I actually turned it off in the middle and gave it away to the thrift store.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It would have been nice of Amazon.com to tell us this BEFORE we purchased it. I can't help thinking the running time was deliberately left out of the product details.
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Format: DVD
I love Bill Maher. I love his sense of humor, his timing and mugging, and frankly, I like his looks plenty, too. But how will I review this DVD, which is actually a collection of the "New Rule" segment from his first four seasons on HBO, including a few special longer editorials with a relatively serious format that start with New Rule and then go on to editorialize in a pretty direct fashion.

I've recently been reading a book about the serious philosophical roots of this sort of humor. Did you know it began with Socrates? It's true. Not that I claim Bill Maher or any of these lovable crazies are intentionally using techniques they learned in philosophy school. But the serious side of what they achieve involves a rather long history of social commentary by way of humor.

Since these "New Rules" came from 2006 and earlier, the primary target is, not surprisingly, George Bush. But it's by no means all political. There are segments about many different aspects of American life. I'm not going to mention any, because (1) I have a lousy memory, and would screw it up, and (2) Maher does it so much better. I'll just suggest that if you get a chance to see this DVD, take it.
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